My neighbor recently built a lovely free-standing garage with living space above it. The next time I saw her, I asked what she was going to do with that wonderful space above the garage. Was she going to:
1. Make it a cool Airbnb?
2. Make it a studio for herself?
3. Make it an office for her husband?
4. Make it an apartment for her son? (the one that’s way too old to be living at home but that’s a topic for another time)
She responded “no” to all my suggestions and told me that they had built the garage and above living space to hold all the stuff they got when both sets of parents passed away. Mind you, this couple is older than me with a house full of stuff already, like me, and don’t need anything else. In fact, they should probably be downsizing about now, as should I.
Why would anyone build a place to store stuff you don’t need? Think of the rental income if it was an Airbnb, or think of how wonderful it would be to have your own space to think, write, create, whatever! I was speechless.
On the same topic, this area is surrounded by dozens of U-Store It type places, all full of stuff that people can’t/won’t deal with so they pay $100+ a month rent, and rent goes up each year, to keep stuff they don’t want or need. Yes, I’ve written on this topic before but I have to revisit it because it’s a huge problem in my opinion.
Every month we have several consignors who clean out storage units because they are tired of paying that rent. Often, they find their items are damaged or ruined from sitting in non-climate-controlled buildings for months or years. Often, they are perplexed with why they kept the stuff and always, they are exhausted by the time they’ve cleaned it out and dealt with it all. And always, they have spent a lot of money on rent.
Baby boomers, it’s time to downsize! Do it over time, give away, sell, consign and stay vigilant but whatever you do, deal with it now, while you can and don’t put anything in storage! And, if you build a cool garage studio space, do something fun with it!