Why am I keeping this?

From my stuff’s perspective, Friday was a very scary day.

On Friday night, Hubs and I decided to go for a bike ride. We store our bikes in a storage unit on site at our apartment. When we got into the storage unit area, 4 of the 6 lockers had their locks cut, including ours. 3 of the 4 cut lock units were cleaned out.

Thankfully, our unit was untouched. A little investigation revealed that Management screwed up and our lock was cut by mistake. This was not an act of a lazy thief who saw our old bikes and didn’t bother moving them to steal what was behind them. We ‘locked’ our unit with a zip tie and made an emergency trip to Target for a new lock.

Crisis averted.

While our stuff was now safe, my mind kept turning over the idea of stuff. What did we have in there? If it was cleaned out, what would I miss? If this stuff is in a storage locker, do we really need to hold on to it? Let’s dive a little deeper.

What’s in the Storage Locker?

The storage locker is quite generous in size. My gut tells me that its about 4′ x 6′ and it’s full.

Current contents:

  • 2 adult bikes
  • 1 microwave (Living a microwave free life for 2 years! woot!)
  • 80% of our wedding gifts.
  • Fine China, given to me by my mother, given to her by her mother.
  • Christmas tree and gift wrap
  • Easter basket and eggs for the annual Easter Egg hunt 🙂
  • 1 bookshelf
  • A heap of empty boxes.
  • Other things that I can’t remember and I don’t want to dig in the unit to figure out what else is there.

All of that fills a 4′ x 6′ unit to the top. We have to store our bikes vertically and that’s a tight squeeze.  All of this stuff is not good enough to be in our everyday home.

What would I miss?

On our still stressed drive to Target to get a new lock, a few things kept rolling through my head. 1) If all it takes is a bolt cutter to steal my stuff, what’s the point of the storage unit? More importantly, 2) If everything was gone, what would I miss?

The answer: Not much.

I quick mental scan of the contents of the locker showed me that for all 24 square feet, I only cared about my mother’s china and my glorious unopened KitchenAid Stand Mixer.

The rest of it, meh. So long as my renter’s insurance kicked in, I could get a new bike (read: I want a better bike that fits my current biking needs), and while I love my wedding gifts, they are easily replaceable. Sadly, I don’t even really know what’s all in there. I know we’ve got a rice cooker, toaster and popcorn maker, but beyond that… *shoulder shrugs*… other helpful kitchen stuff that I don’t have room for in my itty bitty apartment kitchen?

So…

Why am I keeping all this?

If I’m not using it and I won’t miss it, why am I keeping it?  On the flip side, if it was stolen and I would miss it, why aren’t I using it now?

The answers/excuses for a few things are easy:

  • The bikes are too bulky to keep in our apartment. We are starting to bike more and this is simply where we keep them.
  • The Christmas and Easter stuff is seasonal. When it’s that season, it comes out.
  • The toaster and rice cooker are replacements waiting in the wings. Our current rice cooker is on suicide watch, so I’m happy to have a back up in place.
  • The bookshelf doesn’t fit in our current apartment layout, but it’s a nice bookshelf. We’ll use it again when we have a different arrangement.
  • The microwave is a release valve in case one of us snaps and suddenly demands food that’s hot on the outside and frozen on the inside.  (*whispers “hot pockets”*)

What about the stuff I don’t care about?

Why am I keeping boxes? We’ve lived in our apartment for nearly 5 years. We knew this wasn’t going to be a short stay when we arrived and don’t plan to leave any time soon. What’s with the boxes?! I don’t have a good answer.

What about the unopened wedding gifts with no anticipated use date? Am I just a hoarder? Probably. I’m sure I may find a use for them someday, but is that reason enough to keep them? One of them is a 12″x 12″ skillet that I’m sure my Momma would love at the cabin. Am I being selfish by keeping these items to myself even if I’m not using them?

What about the stuff I love?

Why am I not using the Stand Mixer or the China? I don’t have a good reason. The reasons I have are that my kitchen is tiny and I don’t want to break anything.  These don’t feel like good reasons to keep something and never use it.

Of all the wedding gifts I received, the Stand Mixer is my favorite. At my parents’ house, I loved to bake with the mixer all the time. Now that my kitchen is itty bitty, the mess of baking is a hassle. Even more practically, I don’t want to make cookies by myself. That sounds horribly fat and lonely.

It appears I have more questions than answers. I don’t have a solution for this extra stuff now, but maybe I will someday. As traumatic as the “omg! were we robbed?” moment was, I’m thankful to have the opportunity to evaluate my stuff.

Do you have a stand mixer? What do you use it for? Inspire me!

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10 comments

  1. Oh my gosh! The stand mixer is my favorite kitchen gadget ever! I actually bought it and didn’t use it for years! These days I use it multiple times per week. It is awesome for pizza dough and shredding chicken.

  2. I have wanted a stand mixer for approximately 20 years. During that entire time I’ve gotten by with an electric hand-held mixer I bought at Target when I was in college, for probably $20 or so, and I bake *all the time*. I’m beginning to wonder if I really do want a stand mixer. What could I do with it that I can’t do with the much more space-efficient handheld? I’m sure there is some stuff, I’m just not sure what it is.

  3. This! When we moved north a few years back, we rented a townhome. That meant we needed a storage locker and we used half our garage for storage, too. We were there a year, barely missing anything that was packed away. So why keep it?

    Some things mad sense. The townhome had a washer and dryer but our house might not. The townhome complex had a fitness center, but I’d need my treadmill when we bought a house. But most of the rest if it? It stayed in boxes in our basement or attic. And now I’m trashing it all for our next move… Obviously, we don’t need it!

  4. We have a standalone mixer. We use it fairly often. That being said, I’m a baker’s daughter. And despite Dad’s retirement, he still bakes fairly often. We also have attachments so we use it to grind meat and shred stuff too at times.

  5. We have space for our stand mixer now, and I still never use it. The hand mixer works just fine for basically everything. But I can’t bear to part with it. If our house burns down, though, I almost certainly won’t replace it! (We live in wildfire land, so “if our house burns down, would I replace it?” is my de facto question to see if I should keep something.) I’d say don’t get rid of your grandma’s china, though, unless you pass it along to another family member. That seems like the kind of thing you could regret when you get older. I have my parents’ stoneware (they didn’t get china), and once I started using it, I started using it all the time. I am so thankful to have it.

  6. I do have a stand mixer and it gets used about once a month for gf bread, pizza dough and the occasional dessert. While I love having it, the thing is heavy and takes up counter space. Hubby and I were purging this weekend and the mixer survived this round, but will likely get sold when we downsize and move. I also have a HUGE dishware set from my family as a wedding present and nearly put all but four of each thing up for sale. We’re not moving to a tiny home very soon, but again, those will be gone when we do.

  7. I don’t have a stand mixer and do just fine but I have to admit if I were offered one, I would gladly take it! Your article has got me thinking about all the junk we have stored in our storage room that we don’t use. We are working on de-cluttering and trying to make our way through it but it can be an overwhelming process! And emotional too!

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