Why rent a storage unit for that stuff?
There are some good reasons to rent space. "Here in Michigan, people rent storage units to store motorcycles and cars during the winter," says CFP professional Robert Schmansky of Clear Financial Advisors in Livonia, Michigan.
Another good reason: You're in transition and have too much stuff to fit in that temporary small apartment pending your move to a larger, permanent home, Schmansky says.
Or, you may not be emotionally ready to deal with furniture and other items inherited from your parents, says professional organizer Liz Taylor, marketing director of the National Organization of Professional Organizers in North Carolina.
Taylor gives her clients a year. "If you're going to be using the storage unit longer than a year, get rid of it," she says. "After a year, people should be able to deal emotionally with whatever is in there."
For some people, it seems easier to pay that money every month than come to terms with the emotions linked to those things, Taylor says.
"It's a lot of delayed decision making," Taylor says. "It's not just the things -- it's the feelings behind the things. People think, 'I don't want to deal with it, so I'll stick it over there and pay $100 a month. That's all I can do.'"
People also may have a distorted view of how much those collectables are worth or will ever be worth, Schmansky says. "We've all heard the stories: 'I wish I'd held on to that baseball card collection,'" he says. "So many things people collect these days they believe will have some kind of value."
Schmansky knows someone who collects Longaberger baskets and thinks that collection is valuable. After checking the price guides, not so much. "It's nowhere near what her perceived value of them is," he says.
Says Taylor: "I tell my clients: 'If you keep everything, then nothing has value.'"
When you look at the tradeoffs, those baskets, old furniture and photos aren't worth so much after all.