Like most people in their late 30s and 40s, my family has accumulated masses of heirlooms, antiques, antiquities (not really just sarcastic here), and other precious items. Many are casts off from family members (often parents) who have moved, downsized, relocated and in the case of grandparents (passed on).
As the eldest grandchild with the largest basement, you can imagine my fate.
When we moved to North Carolina and rented a house half the size of our previous home we also rented a very large air conditioned storage unit costing about $175 a month. Even then, our excess possessions fit very snugly! In essence it was 16x20 packed all the way up to the ceiling in the back. Functionally we had 3 aisles of stainless steel bakers racks along the sides with the back full of stacked furniture and dish packs.
After moving to our larger house we reclaimed some of the boxes, but not many.
Over the last six weeks we have selectively recovered some of the boxes, bringing them home and in most cases donating the contents to charity. In other cases we shook our heads after finally finding missing pajamas, silver place settings, etc....
At this point in time we have cleared out the middle aisle and are now working on the right remaining aisle. We have maxed out charitable contributions to most of the local charities (I'm tyring to keep the contributions around $4500 per charity to avoid having to hire an appraiser - almost all the items are inexpensive - just lots of them - would hardly be worth the expense), but probably have a few more I can find before year's end.
Here's an important strategic question:
We will probably move in another 6-12 months. Should we seek to relocate as much as possible from the storage facility to our home? We cannot fit the extra furniture so we certainly we keep a storage room, but perhaps a smaller one.
If we are moving, does it make sense to unpack heavy and difficult to move items like wine - or should we take the chance, putting them in our house, hoping we'll drink them before we move? We currently have about 50 bottles uncased in a wall mounted wine-rack in an airconditioned room. We have room for 50-60 more. Somehow I don't think we would drink more than 40 bottles before we moved.
Unpacking books falls into that category as well. Should they live in airconditioned storage if we don't have room for them in the house?
I'm leaning toward keeping the books and wine in the storage unit.
We did reclaim several of the metal breadracks (costco about $70-$75 each). And placed them around the periphery of our garage.
Actually, I found old business documents from more than 15 years ago. Most were no longer necessary and it was a pleasure to dispose of them.
Our next step will be to unpack many of the large dishpacks - movers love them - they over wrap the items and underpack the box and charge you for all materials. We'll try our best to donate everything. If I run out of local charities, I'll probably consider some local religious institutions.
The odds are we'll be taking home boxes through the end of the year.
Have a wonderful day,