The Space Conundrum: When Good Storage Goes Bad

Does this sound familiar? You realise you haven’t used that fancy espresso machine taking up space on the kitchen worktop for six months. You keep moving it to clean under it, wiping round it and dusting off the top.


But you stopped making coffee with it a long time ago.

Light dawns. You don’t need it on the counter anymore. So you stash it in a cupboard and congratulate yourself that you’ve cleared space on the counter.

Except… you didn’t actually clear any space, you just moved the clutter to a different place.

We all do it. That machine cost a lot of money. There’s no way you’re just going to chuck it out. Suppose you fancy an espresso one day?

Scale It Up

It wouldn’t be so bad if we just did that with one or two gadgets. The trouble is, the hoarding, ‘just in case’ approach takes up space in just about every room in the house.

Wardrobes are full of last season’s clothes when we were a few pounds lighter, winter boots hog the shoe rack so summer sandals are strewn across the floor in an ever-shifting obstacle course through the bedroom.

Hobby gear we haven’t touched in months or years clutters the cupboards, and don’t even mention the loft. That’s likely full of TV boxes and those from other expensive stuff, the idea being we’d need them to safely pack up the item when we move house. But they stay there, don’t they, even after we upgrade to a new TV and recycle the old one.

A Better Way

It’s a rare person who can let go of possessions without a single twinge of regret. There’s some truth in the concept that you never need a thing until you let it go.

No matter how much storage your home has, it’ll never be enough when every nook and cranny is filled with things you don’t need, use or love.

William Morris said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”.

Everything else, all the stuff that might be useful again one day (maybe soon, maybe in years to come), the antiques, valuables or collectables, should be stowed safely away somewhere else, leaving plenty of room for the things used and appreciated on a daily basis.

The Solution on the Doorstep

You see the solution every time you drive into town, to a retail park, or along a main road. Self storage facilities are dotted about everywhere, and are often overlooked for simple home storage because we tend to assume they’re only for those with vast storage needs.

But there’s a huge variety in storage space sizes available, making it a practical solution to everyone with more possessions than space, and that’s the majority of us. Sizes range from large lockers to spaces that’ll swallow your entire house contents with room to spare. Here are some other practical benefits:

  • Short term room rentals. You normally rent by the week, so there’s no worry about vacating space or upgrading if you need more or less in the short term.
  • Easy access. As mentioned, they’re just about everywhere, so easily within striking distance for most people. Access to storage rooms is good too, with lifts and trolleys for bulkier items and plenty of parking space.
  • Secure and damp free. You don’t have to worry about rising damp like you might get in the garage, seeping up through the bottom of boxes, and there are no pests either like you might get in the loft, such as moths.
  • It costs surprisingly little to rent small storage spaces.

But the biggest benefit is an uncluttered home. Until you’ve got one, you can’t imagine how mentally liberating it is to release all that space for the things you love and use, but still have the comfort knowing your precious items are still there when you want them. Cleaning is easier, keeping rooms tidy is quicker and less hassle, finding anything is a breeze, and there’s room to play, work, eat and sleep in comfort, surrounded only by those things you know to be useful and beautiful.

If you’re living with chaos, take a good look at your home storage and estimate how well you’re really using it. When you have to dig through a jumble of never-used items to reach the thing you want, it’s time to reclaim your space. With self storage you can please your inner magpie and placate your inner neat-freak at the same time.