It is easy to look around your house, find things you don’t use or want and get rid of them. But what many decluttering gurus seem to forget is that there is a large gray space between “need or want” and “don’t need or want.” Marie Kondo and the ladies from the Home Edit don’t really have viable solutions for stuff that you might not need right now but could need in the near future, or stuff that you don’t use all the time but still want to have in your life.
If you are in the middle of an intense and trying decluttering effort, you might need to pay attention to this: Just because you need something doesn’t mean you need to keep it in your house. The last time I decluttered, I sprung for a low-cost storage space in Los Angeles to keep a few key belongings out of sight but very much still in mind. You might want to do the same if you have any of the following types of possessions:
This category contains anything you or your loved ones made or cherished during their childhoods. Beloved toys, cute crafts, and even family photos usually on display in adult homes, but that doesn’t mean you don’t like to pull them out to reminisce once per decade. You should cut your childhood memories down to the bare essentials — maybe give each person one small box — and hold onto those in storage space.
Baby (or Pet) Paraphernalia
If your little one is no longer in diapers, there is a whole house worth of stuff they no longer use or need. However, if you aren’t done having kids, you probably don’t want to give away or throw out all that valuable baby stuff. The same goes for pet goods; just because one furry friend passes on doesn’t mean you won’t get another one eventually, so you might want to hold onto stuff like beds, bowls and good-condition toys off-site.
Some decluttering gurus say that if an heirloom isn’t something you would display in your home, you should scrap it. I disagree — wouldn’t you be robbing future generations of something that connects them to their ancestry? Isn’t it a bit selfish for you to get rid of family history because it doesn’t fit your aesthetic? You don’t need to keep all your parents’ furniture, but things that have been handmade or passed down for generations should be preserved.
Seasonal Holiday Décor
Even if you like to decorate for the winter holidays starting in September, for more than half the year your decorations are sitting in storage. Because you only think about and use them once per year, your holiday decorations shouldn’t take up prime storage space around your home. What’s more, expanding to a storage provider allows you to go all-out with your seasonal decorations, so you can spread maximum holiday cheer.
Few people go to formal occasions more than once or twice per year. Tuxedos and gowns definitely aren’t warranted at most weddings, which means you can keep your formalwear in storage without it becoming a huge inconvenience. This is especially true for legacy formalwear like wedding dresses, which you might not need to see again until your children get married.
One of my biggest regrets in life has been giving away my PlayStation 2 when I graduated from college. I didn’t have much storage space in my studio apartment, and I was already using more updated video game consoles as my daily entertainment. But now that consoles aren’t capable of playing games that old, I miss the technology from my carefree youth. The same goes for laptops that function fine but have been replaced with newer tech and TVs that aren’t the top-of-the-line model. It might be useful to have a spare in case your current tech solution fails, and it might be fun to look back on older tech in a few years when technology is radically different.
Collectables not on Display
Some humans are natural collectors. As long as you can be certain that your collection is valuable, not just the manifestation of hoarding behavior, you shouldn’t worry about keeping it safe in specialty storage. You might swap out different pieces of your collection every so often to keep your displays fresh and interesting, but you probably don’t need your entire collection in your home.
Additional storage isn’t as inconvenient or expensive as you might expect. Besides, if it keeps your home clean and decluttered but allows you to hold onto important things in your life, isn’t the extra cost worth it?