This is one of a series of stories we are sharing to show what's inside CubeSmart. You not only get a peek inside our customer's storage unit, but also a peek inside what is important to them. Thank you to Peter, customer of our CubeSmart store in Hoboken, for sharing his story with us.
Peter Sandor Gardos, Ph.D., has only been at CubeSmart's Hoboken location for a day and already he's thrilled with his choice, how convenient and comfortable the facility has made the process of organizing his vast haul of personal belongings. Peter is getting ready to discard the 50 years of possessions that once filled a San Francisco mansion, a Manhattan penthouse and multiple other storage units, all in preparation for an upcoming move to Israel.
"I have a friend that said, ‘Every year you start a new chapter.' I said, ‘I think I'm ready for a new book now,'" Peter says.
Peter has always embraced change and new challenges. Trained as a clinical psychologist and sex therapist, Peter was a fellow at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, conducted research at the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies and ran a private practice in New York before moving to San Francisco during the dot-com boom. There he was charged with heading up a Time Warner/AOL website, which in turn lead to many years as a successful digital entrepreneur with an underlying mission of "improving lives and making the world a better place." Along the way, he continued to see patients.
"I've had a lot of different lives but they are all connected in some way by the idea of helping people," he says. "I started one of the earliest websites to help people learn more about sexuality. Along the way, I've kept to my values and interests, always trying to do things with some level of style and aplomb."
Peter knew he wanted to be a psychologist from the age of 15, and he later gravitated toward the topic of sexuality, which he finds "endlessly fascinating," because it lies at the nexus of disparate yet important topics like politics, history, art and interpersonal relationships. A noted expert, he has authored over 100 texts and has been featured widely in the national media.
"It's not about intercourse. It's about the fact that no matter who you are, whether or not you're having sex, whether you've taken a vow of celibacy, you have sexuality. It's life energy, it's what drives us forward and it's why we're all here. But it's so powerful that it scares people and bad things tend to happen when we try to control it. The idea is how much better the world would be, how much unnecessary misery we could avoid if we didn't try to twist and control people because of what they feel."
Born in Hungary, and later schooled in New Jersey and New York, Peter says he is more culturally Jewish than religious per se, but he is now looking forward to a reboot in Israel. He'll be seeking out new opportunities to integrate his business, clinical, research and computer skills, possibly in the area of disaster preparation.
Before he can leave, however, he must find ways to unload thousands of books, high-end furniture, antiques, artwork and a large vinyl record collection. He's already worked late into his first night at the unit, wearing a Darth Vader onesie and slippers for comfort, listening to music and contemplating the objects and memories he will leave behind.
"This is an exercise in non-attachment, like the sand mandalas Tibetan monks make and then sweep into the sea," he says. "I'm ready to simplify my life."
We’d love to hear how self storage has positively impacted your life. Share your #HumansofSelfStorage story in the comments.