If you live for having it all, what you have is never enough.
— Vicki Robin
From the Things that Should Not Be department — Self Storage! What a fantastic idea!
When you’ve loaded up on so much unnecessary crap that you can’t even fit it all in your house, and you can’t afford a bigger house to store it all, because, you know, you’re up to your eyeballs in debt from buying all that crap, you can spend even more money renting out a glorified tin shack to store it all! That way you can get back to your patriotic duty of racking up more debt by accumulating even more crap!
Self Storage is a booming industry in this country. A few fun facts from SelfStorage.org, an industry trade group:
- One in ten U.S. households now rent at least one storage unit.
- Of the roughly 58,500 self storage facilities in world-wide, approximately 49,000 are in the U.S.
- The industry reports revenues of over $22 billion per year.
- There are over 2.3 billion square feet of self storage in this country. Just to put this in perspective:
- That’s enough to cover the entire island of Manhattan with crap, three times over.
- It’s more than enough room for every man, woman, and child in the country to stand in a storage unit, all at the same time (assuming you moved out all those mountains of crap, first).
Yes, I know there are at least a few legitimate uses for storage. Military deployments overseas come to mind, for example. (According to SelfStorage.org, they account for about 4% of total units in use.)
Moving is another potentially reasonable justification, but here you’re starting to get on shakier ground. If you need to stow all of your stuff for a month or two while you’re house hunting in a new city, ok, fine. But if you’re storing piles of crap indefinitely because you downsized your residence — paying to store crap you can’t possibly need in a climate controlled facility, you might as well light your money on fire. At least that would put less carbon in the atmosphere than air-conditioning the lawn furniture you can’t use because you’ve moved into a condo, and the wardrobe you can’t fit into any more because you’ve gained 40 pounds.
Give it up. It’s only stuff.