Capris, flats, a new bag? Perhaps it was the outdoors, a trip to the local nursery to spruce up your neglected greenery. Maybe you are the traveling type, with spring, bringing on thoughts of water, sand, passports, and airport security lines.

Remember when spring used to mean putting on last season's jeans, getting out the broom and finally facing all of that stuff you had somehow accumulated during your hibernation? What happens when you simply can't let go of the Mickey Mouse towels Aunt Madge gave you (she thinks you are still her darling 12-year-old) or the bags of too-small designer clothes given to you by your best friend after helping her clean out her closets?

Taking a tip from the House & Home section of Thursday's New York Times, how about a storage unit? Yes, we have all seen them, pseudo-garages lining our nation's highways, their signs advertising their specialties: climate-controlled, secured premises with 24-hour access, all for less than $59 per month. Blooming like mushrooms after a spring rain, storage units provide us with yet another means of hanging onto "stuff."

The benefits of storage units are many. We can streamline our living space, giving the appearance of simplicity. The increased space provides us with the opportunity to purchase a few more of life's necessities. The proverbial "quick fix," storage units remind me of the latest dieting fads. Regardless of its name, Atkins, South Beach (remember when it was a destination?), or promises, one pill a day is all you need to burn your stubborn fat; diets, like storage units, are temporary solutions.

Unfortunately for those of us unwilling to give up the ghost, diet plans and storage units both require the outlay of some bucks. The first step is to determine what it is that you will be storing. Perhaps it will be your high-end valuables; think grandma's Chippendales. Will it be stuff that can actually be used again, like the king-sized mattress you are tired of crawling over? How about all that stuff that your mom finally got tired of holding onto?Your costs will depend on a couple of factors: how much stuff, its value (monetary/sentimental), and your needs (can you really maneuver that king-sized mattress into an elevator and down a hall?). A quick trip on the Internet will locate any number of storage facilities ready to do your bidding. A 5 x 5, upstairs by the elevator, will run you about $47 a month. If drive-up access is more your style, you can rent a 10 x 10 for $143 per month. Okay, it is cheaper than buying a larger house; however, at $564 and $1,716 annually, is it really a solution?

Storage units and diets. Quick fixes. What are we avoiding? Sure, it's tough to admit that you made a mistake when you bought a king-sized bed knowing that a move was in your future. It is most definitely easier to swallow a pill (and the hype) than parking your car at the end of the lot and walking a bit more. Who has the time to go through those boxes mom has been saving from the minute the stick turned blue? Why do you have to read the label of yet another box of cereal? Why shouldn't your life, body, home, be adulation-worthy?

Like a liposuction gone bad, our homes, storage units, lives can expand only so far. Filled with stuff, we lose our newfound tidiness. Why are we so willing to settle for the temporary? What it is that prevents us from tackling life head on? If we can spend the time and energy locating and following the latest diet plan, if we are willing to gather our goods for the journey to the storage unit, could it be possible to take the next step? Let go of the "what ifs" and go ahead and display the Chippendales, tell your best friend that her clothes are too small, take the stairs, accept yourself.

Trite and true, life is a journey. No matter how many ways we try to turn it into a destination, like the blood flowing through our veins, life continues until it stops. And that storage facility? I wear a size 6.

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