If there was ever going to be a year where broad speculation backed up by nothing substantial was going to be accepted it would be 2012. According to the Mayan calendar the world is going to end on December 21, 2012. Plenty of theory has been presented to back up the claim, but none of it has been widely accepted (although the movie 2012 paints a pretty bleak picture).
In honor of wild and creative theories like the 2012-end-of-the-world phenomenon, let’s consider what the modern world would be like without the self storage industry…
It’s no secret that the United States like many other countries are consumer driven. People like to buy stuff. However, what’s a consumer to do when they run out of space to store what they buy? Does this mean that we have to stop buying stuff because we no longer have room to store it or do we have to become irresponsible and thrown away perfectly good items to make room for new?
What about family heirlooms or other things of sentimental value? There are lots of things that we keep because they bring back memories of another time or of someone special. If you are pressed for space in your home, what is more likely to find its way to the trash—something you never use but reminds you of something or an item you are actually going to use often?
It is not uncommon for many families to have to take in an older relative when they are in their twilight years. When they move in with their boxes do you really want to tell them that the chair they have sat in for the last 40 years has to go because you don’t have room; I think not.
Due to the current economy, many people have found that they have been forced to downsize their living arrangements. In these cases it isn’t like they have bought more stuff; they just don’t have the space that they used to. Must they get rid of things they like and even use because there is not enough room in their homes?
There are also seasonal/part-time residents to think about. Should students be restricted from collecting more items at school than they can fit in a back pack or the trunk of a car? What about members of the military? Should they not be allowed to own anything since they may have to go overseas and leave it all behind?
Owning boats and other recreational vehicles are great, but unless you have a massive garage (which is unlikely in most neighborhoods) you have to store them in your yard or street. In many cases this would mean receiving a fine from the home owner’s association each month.
Thousands of charities across the country receive help from a number of the approximately 50,000 self storage facilities in the country. No self storage industry would likely mean reduced funding and less worthwhile work being done.
Basically, without the self storage industry the economy could be in trouble because people would quite shopping (since they have no room for new things), landfills would fill up in record time since people are throwing out items at a record pace to make room for new things, we’d become a nation of soul-less hoarders that had no respect for their elders, only the rich or those living in the country could own recreation vehicles, and/or charities would not be able to help as many people as they can.
This would all because we don’t have extra space to keep our toys, trinkets, and treasures. Lucky for us, we don’t have to worry about living in a world without self storage!
“America’s clutter problem fueled self-storage industry.” TimesUnion.com; 08 September 2009.
2011 SSA Fact Sheet; Self Storage Association.