Welcome to the Plan-and-Organize-Life.com Newsletter. I hope you enjoy getting the newsletter and that it helps to keep you on track with your organizing goals. Remember, you can get a lot done in only 10 minutes of decluttering and organizing!

Table of Contents

-Did you know?
-Monthly Mission – Catching Up
-What’s New on Plan-and-Organize-Life.com – Recent site additions
-More About Self Storage


This is perfect timing! I’ve been in a bit of a catch-up mode lately with all the end of school year activities, parties and weekend outings. Things just seem to get messier when we’re busy and not home! I’ve been trying to figure out why this is, and I believe it’s because when we come in from a busy day, the last thing we want to do is put things away. We’re exhausted! We walk in and drop our stuff from one outing and get ready for the next. Routines sort of go out the window. And within a day or two of this type of non-routine, things get very disorganized.

Some of my catching up activities have been to do a little laundry, catch up on some paper filing, sorting and storing school papers, putting away medicine cabinet items and finding homes for stray items. What things do you need to do a little catching up on?

Did you know…

Regarding those self storage units we see everywhere these days…

50% of self storage renters are now storing what they can’t fit into their homes, even though the size of the average American house has almost doubled in the previous 50 years, to 2,300 square feet.

Do you think we have an issue with material possessions and wanting to have as much as we can?

Scroll down to “More About Self Storage” for more interesting thoughts about this.

The Monthly Mission – Catching Up

As I mentioned in the introduction, this is the perfect month to catch up on the first six months of monthly missions, or on any areas of your home that have gotten out of control and need a little bit of extra attention. Use July to focus on what calls out to you the most (the piles of laundry, papers stacked on your desk, the missing kitchen counter or table…) and be sure to relax and enjoy the warm weather too!

To read about the monthly mission for July, click here.

Recent Site Additions

Here are some of the more recently added pages to the website you may have missed.

Storage Shed Organization - Before and after photos of my storage shed reorganization project.

Toy Organizing Project - After Christmas I had to do some toy re-organizing. Here is a before and after of my little toy organizing project.

Bathroom Drawer Make Over - How to organize a bathroom drawer, an example with before and after photos.

Declutter Your Home and Life - Lots of information on how to declutter, what the benefits are, and how to keep the clutter away, in your home and in your life in general.

Stop Clutter - Quick simple tips on how to stop the clutter from coming into your home in the first place.

Organizing Your Magazines - Suggestions to help you downsize your piles of magazines and how to store them neatly.

Organize Your Junk Drawer - take control of that drawer you toss stray items into. Give it purpose with a few minutes and a little organization.

Organize Your Refrigerator - some simple guidelines to help you use your refrigerator more efficiently and waste less food.

More About Self Storage

The New York Times wrote an interesting article about self storage units back in September 2009…

We established above that even though the average American home has doubled in size over the past 50 years to an average 2300 square feet, 50% of people using those self storage units are people unable to fit all their belongings into their homes.

These storage units were originally intended to help people store their belongings while they were in transition, like moving into a new home.

Also noted, 15% of storage renters are paying to store items they no longer need or want! That’s simply absurd! Think about the monthly or annual cost to store items you don’t even want. Think about how wasteful that is and what else you could use that money for!

As well, if your home is not large enough to hold all your belongings, you should probably take a very serious look at what you own. Are you storing a second bedroom set or other furniture? Do you ever intend to use it? Maybe “someday” when you get a bigger house? You could probably buy something brand new with the money you’re currently using to store the old furniture away.

Part of living within our means includes fitting into our homes. We are such material people, but do we really NEED all of this stuff? I don’t think so. I had a bunch of stuff in storage in my parent’s shed. When they finally moved, they dumped it all. And I couldn’t even tell you what was in there except maybe a pair of shoes and college notebooks. I sure didn’t miss it. Out of sight, out of mind!

Do we NEED the excess amount of toys, clothes, nick nacks, DVD’s, furniture, books, magazines, tools, etc. that many of us have? Agency Sales Magazine said in April 2003 that “80% of what we keep we never use.” Even if we only used 50 or 75% of what we owned, there’s still plenty of room to downsize our belongings so that we fit in our homes more comfortably.

I continually evaluate our belongings and try to get rid of things in order to continue to fit in our home. It’s hard because not all of the things I’d like to get rid of are mine to do so. This is a necessary task though because things continue to come into our homes almost daily, so we need to continually let things out of our homes to keep the balance. Or perhaps we need to let more out than in to initially find our balance. Then learn to keep it.

In terms of paying for space, here is another angle. Do you have a spare room filled to the brim with stuff that’s stored away? Think about how much we pay for real-estate. Think about how your three bedroom home becomes only a two bedroom home because one room cannot be used for living. Let’s say that your three bedroom home of 1500 square feet costs $200,000 and you have a 10 x 10 bedroom filled with boxes and “stuff”. What’s the cost of that bedroom? $133 per square foot… $13,333 for that 100 square foot room! And you’ve stuffed it with things that you may or may not need or use! That’s an awful big price tag for a storage unit in your home! Wouldn’t you rather have that room be a comfortable living space? And if you live someplace more expensive like California (like me) and pay $650,000 for a 1500 square foot home, that person would be paying $433 per square foot, or $43,333 for that 100 square foot room! Even with the decline in housing costs, it still blows my mind how much people pay for housing out here. And I certainly wouldn’t use it, at that price to store stuff. I want to enjoy every inch of space in my home. Don’t you? You could have a spare bedroom/guest room, sewing or craft room, office, TV room, reading room, game room, man cave, you name it!

The NY Times says there are approximately 51,000 self storage facilities in the United States… that’s more than seven times the number of Starbucks.

If you have a storage unit, think about what you have in there and if you really need to keep that unit. Are you paying more in rent than the stuff is worth? Is this a short term rental, or is it turning a bit too long term? And if you’ve got stuff taking up valuable space in your home, take a good look at what you can let go in order to better use your valuable home space.

I know, letting go of things can be hard sometimes, but that’s why we work at this decluttering and organizing thing a bit at a time. Remember, progress, not perfection.

To read the full article from The New York Times about storage units, click HERE.

Until next time, happy organizing!


Tracy Greene

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