Good Questions: Best Practices for Storage?

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Hello AT,

I have a question that is about apartments and therapy. We are a dual career couple with two apartments in two cities. One apartment is 615 sq. feet and the other is, oh, gigantic. In a few months I will move out of the gigantic apartment and we'll both live in the two room apartment together. You advocate living with less furniture. I'm down with that. However...

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...one day we hope to have more space and I can reasonably expect to be living separately again in another year or so

I don't want to give away all of my furniture, especially the inherited family furniture. What are the best practices for storage options? Can much harm be done to friendships when you ask "would you please store my authentic Herman Miller X and give it back to me when I'm ready?" What happens when you come back to retrieve it and it has a water stain on it? Or magic marker?

Do I just need to relax? Or fork over the rent money for one of those storage units? Please direct me to previous threads on this topic.

Monty

Dear Monty, this is a good question and we don't think we've ever been asked this in this way.

We've had a lot of experience with loaning furntiure to friends and we would avoid it if possible. It always gets complicated. If they love it, they get used to it and mourn its loss, and if they hate it, they...hate it and feel they've done you a bigger favor than you need them to feel.

The best thing to do is - after you purge all that you really don't need - to take all of your stuff and put it in ONE place that is out of the way and safe.

A parents house or attic can be a good place or a storage locker. As much as we despise storage lockers, your situation is - in our book - really perfect for one and what they were originally intended for: temporary storage.

Anyone else??

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.