(this is an excerpt from my book: The Spartan RV)
One of the options that RVers might consider for downsizing their life is storage.
Their logic is that for a nominal monthly fee, they can keep their stuff in storage, and then when they end their adventures, they simply buy an empty house, fill it up with stuff and shazzam, they are back in business just like they left it.
Personally I don’t like this option.
However, it does avoid RE-purchasing furniture which is usually done at retail prices, while selling furniture is done at Craigslist fire-sale prices.
But in exchange for avoiding the RE-purchase it also allows everything you own to deteriorate in storage while you travel. Some of your stuff may be so hopelessly out of date when you return that you don’t want it. I’m thinking about TVs & VCRs which might have been pretty useful going in, but the HDTV and DVD revolution killed them.
Also, it seems very silly to spend $50-$150 / month in storage costs to keep your stuff. After two or three years in storage, you could easily be down three, four, or five thousand dollars in storage costs. I don’t get understand people would do that? My theory has to do with an idea that it is hard to “let go” for people.
If your stuff was SUPER valuable, like Picasso paintings that might make sense – but if you have that kind of juice, you really don’t need to downsize because you can afford to simply add RVing onto your life. You would keep you home in the Hamptons, right?
But the really, really big reason that you should avoid storage is that it is very unhealthy for you.
Storage is unhealthy for two reasons.
1) You leave a little piece of you behind inside your storage shed. That may not be much, but if your goal is to truly live and travel with complete freedom, total experiential immersion and 100% presence, then you can’t leave pieces of you scattered around.
2) This is related to #1, but just slightly different in an important and subtle way. If materialism is an illness in modern North American society, then perhaps absence of materials is an antidote. If you could learn to live without, learn to live light, clearly define your true needs and stay within those boundaries… then maybe just maybe when you return from RVing you might be surprised that you are the most mentally healthy and well adjusted person that you know. So not having storage might teach you that you simply don’t need those things, even when you have the space for them. That might be a very freeing thing indeed.