Have you ever wondered how much cubic footage you would need if you stacked just about everything you own into one space? We just figured it out.
We are at a point now where we need to start moving things into a long-term storage facility. We plan to keep some stuff in the house we are selling for staging but eventually it will be moved to storage. Many other cruising sailors we communicate with tell us they either sold everything or have it stored with family. One couple made me laugh when they said they temporarily stored furnishings with family and when they returned from an 8-year cruise, their family wouldn’t give their stuff back. They wound up buying new stuff. Selling everything is not really an option for us as we have collected many treasures during our 30 years of marriage. Yep! 30 years, last month. We would like to keep as many of our treasures as possible. Besides, we’re not totally convinced yet this sailing thing is going to work out. We are truly hoping it will. Selling all of our stuff would be a little foolish if we cut the sailing adventure short and opted for Plan B.
With storage comes cost. We have found a reasonable expenditure for climate controlled storage is about 12½ cents per ft³ per month. Ha! That’s nothing you might say. Wait, there’s more.
We have budgeted for storage but didn’t really know how much, until now. We have systematically gone through each room in our house and measured width, height and depth of every large item we would like to keep. We added a fudge factor for miscellaneous items and air space. We put all of this into a spreadsheet. Now we have the cubic footage needed for every item on our “keep” list. I know this is extremely nerdy. I am who I am.
We added everything up and we now know what size storage unit to rent. We can also figure our cost per month for each item by using the 12½ cents rate. For example the antique mahogany desk where I am sitting as I write this is 5’ wide, 3’ tall and 2’ deep. Thus, it is 30 cubic feet. 30 ft³ per month x 12½ cents per ft³ per month is $3.75. Not much, right? But let’s suppose we go sailing for 10 years. This is very wishful thinking as we have found most cruisers swallow the anchor (quit) after 5-7 years. But, we will use 10 years since we are still young and very naive to this newly acquired lifestyle. This desk is going to cost $450 to store. Is it worth it to us to store this desk? Yes. On the other hand, a cheap set of bookshelves from Costco is being donated to charity.
The numbers on our sheet are a little scary. We need about 2,400 ft³. Using our 10 year naive scenario, this equates to $36,000. Yikes! Is it time to get yet another dumpster? Perhaps a garage sale is in order. I really hate garage sales. I am incapable of responding graciously when someone offers me a quarter for a Krugerrand. I’m calling the Salvation Army right now, “Hello, please send a few good men. And, bring the BIG truck!”