Do you have an off-site self-storage unit that you rent each month? Is this an extension of the clutter in your home?
Did you know that there is more than 2.3 billion square feet of self-storage space in the United States, according to The Self Storage Association. Some of this space is used wisely — by people serving overseas, people storing personal things while they sell their homes, or for other temporary situations — but a lot of self-storage space is used as a very expensive extra room to hold people’s clutter.
Unfortunately, when people stop making payments on these units, they are sealed off and the contents are put up for auction. The television network A&E is tracking this auction phenomenon in a new series called Storage Wars:
"A&E presents the new original real-life series "Storage Wars," which follows four professional buyers and their teams as they scour repossessed storage units in search of hidden treasure. Part gamblers, part detectives, these seasoned veterans have found everything from coffins to the world’s most valuable comic book collection, paying as little as ten dollars for items valued in the millions."
The series began airing last night (Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m. EST/9:00 p.m. CST) with the episode "High Noon in the High Desert":
According to A&E it’s a showdown in the high desert as the buyers crack open a trove of abandoned storage lockers. Barry Weiss unearths the personal possessions of rap magnate Suge Knight. Jarrod Schulz and Dave Hester throw down their bankrolls in hopes of scoring a classic organ. And Darrell Sheets reveals a historic, one hundred and fifty thousand-dollar find. Classic items, wily personalities–let the storage wars begin!
I’m interested in seeing how A&E handles this material. I believe the editing of the show Hoarders ignores the mental health aspect of hoarding and instead focuses on wowing viewers with shock and awe. As a professional organizer who has worked closely with hoarders in the past, I think the show can be dehumanizing. (Please understand that it is the editing of the show that is dehumanizing this issue and not the actual professional organizers and psychologists who are working with the hoarders.)
I am not sure whether or not Storage Wars is going to forget that there are real people involved who once owned the possessions that are being bid on. Although I missed the first episode, I’ll watch try to catch next week’s episode to see how this sensitive topic is handled by A&E. I hope they have found a way to highlight the self-storage problem in the United States without ridiculing or embarrassing the people who are losing their things. I find it very sad. It's an issue that can easily get out of hand.
If you get an opportunity to watch this show, let me know what you think of it and whether you believe it deals with the personal side of this issue.
Also, I am curious to learn whether you rent a separate off-site storage unit and what you tend to store in it. Is it for short-term or long-term storage? Did you rent it because you ran out of room in your own home to store your possessions?
Have you given any thought to eliminating the storage unit if it is intended for long term storage? I can't help but think about how much money you could be saving over the course of a year or more! But that’s a blog for another day!
In the meantime, watch the show, let me know what you think and have a great week!
As always, if you are feeling overwhelmed with your clutter and don't know where to begin, contact me at A BETTER SPACE and I will be glad to help.