The Storage Unit

(Image courtesy of Robin S. Taylor – CC BY-SA 4.0)

There are only so many places a man can put things. Some may call it “junk,” like my wife, but during a man’s life, he just accumulates things.

As a music lover, I’ve accumulated over 200 albums and duplicated many of them during the great CD migration of the late ‘80s. Who knew that 35 years later, music streaming services would make CDs obsolete? Although 2022 marked the first time since 1987 that vinyl record sales outpaced CDs, I’m not buying another copy of “The White Album” under any circumstances. I don’t even own a turntable anymore.

Come to think of it; I don’t have a CD player either. But I have over 250 CDs sitting in a cabinet.

Although I donated most of my DVD collection to the Armed Forces a few years ago, I still possess three versions of Star Wars. I’ve kept my boxed sets of the Rocky films, Die Hard, and Back to the Future. To be honest, if the Blu-Ray player is hooked up to the TV, I’m not sure I know how to use it.

If I knew that someday you could watch virtually anything using your remote control, I might have saved money and been driving a Porsche today.

This past holiday season, the back room in our basement was packed with so much crap that it was a considerable effort to reach the decorations, much less drag them out of their hiding space. Large plastic tote containers holding the kid’s old schoolwork and Beanie Babies blocked empty suitcases waiting to go on vacation again. The floor was littered with boxes of things I hadn’t looked at in years.

Without the luxury of an attic or a garage, something had to give. We can’t live this way. In another year or so, you might find us on an episode of Hoarders.

So, I broke down and rented a storage unit.

After doing some research, I found that many Long Islanders seem to need a storage unit outside their home. Some places had waiting lists, others just tiny rooms available. I finally secured a 5 x 10 unit that was so spacious and clean; I almost wept while signing the contract. This piece of real estate was now mine to do with what I pleased.

But how do I make decisions on what stays and what goes? It certainly doesn’t make any sense to haul junk from one place to another, right? Of course, therein lies the rub. The very definition of junk varies wildly between spouses. After almost 40 years of marriage, I’ve found that my wife considers everything located in the back room, without exception, junk.

Surely there must be room in our lives for the box of beer mugs I procured from the many different bars I’ve been to throughout my lifetime. Why would she insist I trash over 30 years of paperwork from my Fantasy Football league? Plenty of outdated electronics without power cords are taking up space down there, but I can’t bring myself to throw them out.

After a couple of trips to the new storage room, we are making progress. I can see the floor again, so that’s a start. You wouldn’t believe how much you can cram into a 5 x 10 storage room. We still have a long way to go, but we’re taking this one day at a time.

“Maybe,” my wife said, “If you spent time going through all that junk and threw most of it out, we wouldn’t need a storage room.”

Oh, the horror!

How dare she call my box full of old hockey jerseys I no longer fit into junk! Maybe someday I’ll need that calculus textbook with all the necessary items highlighted. What about all of her junk?

After thoroughly reviewing all the items taking up space in the basement, I can honestly report that none belonged to my wife.

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