Does This Storage Shed Make My Future Look Big?

I once read a bit of blogger profundity that the size of a full timer’s storage facility indicates their commitment to the full timing lifestyle. If the storage unit/building/shed holds all the comforts of home, full time living on the road will not hold an equally promising future. As much as I have loved the full timing lifestyle over the past year, I hope my 8 ft X 10 ft “personal time capsule” is not indicative of the longevity of this lifestyle.

I am not the only one.   Everyone in my family has their own personal storage shed down on the farm.   The only difference is, I do not have a house to go with mine.

“Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.”

We are not a family of hoarders…..just sentimentalists. Here is my first car, a 1973 Datsun, aka “Li’l Orange.”

Immediately following my divorce in 1993, I packed up everything I could fit into an apartment the size of a postage stamp, and applied for a job transfer to Manhattan. Some would say “running away,” but I say “running to,” as I had always felt the lure of the city. Okay, well, maybe the recurrent dreams that somehow the divorce had failed – that some detail had been overlooked preventing it from being “official,” leaving me still married to the SOB may have also had something to do with it.

There were lots of fights during the time spent untangling our lives. The two biggest items we fought over were a Queen Anne Mahogany dining room suite and our camping tent. By threatening to go after his brand new bass boat, I managed to get both. The tent fell apart six months later on a 10 day camping trip through Alaska with my brother. It rained on us five nights in a row. We had little choice but to put our tents in the dryer at the Laundromat. After this kind of abuse, the tent which I had won in the war was now lost in battle, and went into the trash bin at the Anchorage airport.

The other consolation prize after 8 years of marriage, the Queen Anne dining room suite, was not so easy to release. It became like that ridiculous over-sized stuffed giraffe that you drag around all day after winning it at the County Fair. You really don’t want to haul it around with you, and you really don’t even want the toy. But at the same time, there is no way you are going to let it go after all you went through to WIN it! Too much skin in that game.

There was barely room for a kitchen table in my Manhattan mouse-house, so I spent $10,000 over the course of 10 years storing that dining room suite in a climate-controlled storage unit while living in New York. By this time, I was vested. I couldn’t let it go.

When I bought my house in Atlanta, Mom and Dad drove it out in a U-Haul, then spent the entire Thanksgiving weekend renovating the “converted carport” so I would have a room to hold it. By the time I dusted and vacuumed around it for another eight years, I was finally ready to let it go. It had become my albatross. A symbol of something dead in my life that needed to go. I told my realtor, if anyone shows the slightest interest, they can HAVE it!

Thank you, Craig’s List. I owe you one.

After the painful shedding process that took me two full years, everything I own, with the exception of what’s in the Winnie, now fits into this 8 X 10 storage shed down on my parents farm. Do these things bear any indication of my future plans for the full timing lifestyle? Nope. There are very few “creature comforts” stored here. Worse. It serves more as my own “personal time capsule” holding items with which I just can’t part yet. Barbies and Kens and their tiny outfits handmade by my Grandmother. Roller skates with pom-poms. A Magic Carpet that I dragged all over Turkey. Sketches and watercolors that I mailed home from points along the RTW tour. One day, these too may resemble the giant stuffed animal won at the County Fair, in that the effort in procuring and protecting them far outweighs their purpose in my life. Someday, the family farm will sell, and then I will be faced with liquidation versus relocation. But for now, although they are not necessarily something I would return to, I am not ready to let them go just yet…

Besides, the shed is only half full. 😉

No king-sized beds, washer and dryer, or patio pool furniture here!

10 thoughts on “Does This Storage Shed Make My Future Look Big?

  1. LOL! You are so funny! Admittedly that dining room suit is gorgeous. When I first saw the storage shed photo, my mind zoomed to the worst conclusion and my heart dropped. Thought you were going to quit the road.

    It’s good that having storage is enabling you to keep going with a peaceful mind. And it looks like Barbie has a great dream house!

    • Kim, you make me laugh. I think we are alike in that they are gonna have to pry the steering wheel out of my arthritis-stiffened hands! (I am embarrassed to admit, it is hard for me to resist opening up the Barbie box to play for awhile when I am in the “dream house.”) LOL!

  2. Well put…well written!!! And you fought so hard for the “Queen,” only to let her go to a stranger for a few alms. Wouldn’t it have been funny if it was your ex that answered that Craig’s List ad. :)
    Simplifying get’s complicated when you run it by the heart…
    Box Canyon Mark

  3. Thanks, Mark. I was living in Atlanta, whereas “All my exes live in Texas,” otherwise I might have dumped it on his front lawn, (subconsciously hoping the match wouldn’t light.)

    Love that last line. It belongs in a book somewhere. 😉

  4. Ah we call those the memory boxes and they are the hardest to get rid of and why do it if you don’t have to? Leave them for your heirs to throw away about 5 minutes after they scatter your ashes. At least during your last breath they were still there. :-) There are no rules for “full timing”. If you are on the road all the time then you qualify IMO regardless of what you own. I’m with you about the steering wheel but if others only want to do it for 2, 5, 8, 14…… years, who cares. It’s their design and I’ve got mine.

  5. Oh my God – so perfectly put! I am in the culling/disposing of stage right now – and have been for two years. Two years! What does that tell you? Waaaaay too much crap. It’s so easy to accumulate and quite a different story when it comes to getting rid of. Oy vey. Why oh why did I ever think I needed/wanted all this stuff?? Am purging to get ready to move to San Miguel, and by the time I do I want to be down to one mover’s crate. Ha! 7x7x4. Ouch! So my list keeps getting tweaked and will, I’m sure, right up until the last moment when they look at me and say, “Lady….what else stays?”.

    You’ve come such a long way. You go girl. Wish I was that far a long. But I’ll tell you the truth…had I seen that table on craigslist? Even now my first thought would have been I want it!

  6. I had a similar attachment to a dining room table set. Mine was the first piece of “investment” furniture I bought, an Italian pine table with two leaves that allowed me to host dinner parties with friends and Thanksgiving for a good portion of my family. I used it for close to twelve years and thought I would keep it forever. But the cost of paying to store it for a year or two or three and the likelihood that we will move into a smaller home once we stop traveling were points my husband hammered home. I reluctantly sold it on Craig’s List for half what I thought it was worth, but gratefully to a man with a growing family.

  7. Sherry — Once again, we are aligned in our thinking. Their short-term design means more room for us, right? 😉

    Barbara — I feel your pain. It took me almost two years too. I got down to my final garage sale with stuff I didn’t need, but couldn’t seem to part with…I had a dear friend say “You are way too attached to this stuff. Let me do this for you.” She ran the garage sale and there was nothing left in the end. haha!! You will get there, and it will feel so good! Congrats on your move to San Miguel! I have been there about 8 times now. It feels like a second home.

    Jeanne — Much of my furniture went to a young couple who had just purchased their first home. I agree, letting it go to someone who could have not otherwise afforded to furnish their new home helped ease the pain of letting it go….Thanks for the comment.

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