Little Boxes

@SaintAnne (5453)
United States
September 17, 2008 10:20pm CST
I was 14 when I was introduced to the concept of public self-storage facilities. Within a week of arriving in California, I noticed them. At first I thought they were car garages. That they could be really small apartments even crossed my mind. Growing up in the Philippines, I have never come across somebody who rents a storage space where he/she could put away some of their possessions or other goods. Consumerism is given as one of the main causes of this enterprise. Some say that the houses/apartments are not big enough for all their things. Some use these storage spaces while they're on the process of moving or for business purposes. Have you ever rented a mini-storage? Why? And are there other countries besides the US where you can find these self-storage facilities used so much and frequently? What do you think these represent?
3 people like this
6 responses
• United States
18 Sep 08
My brother had remained in California long after the rest of us had moved to the east coast. When my kids and I were in New England looking for the town we wanted to live in winter arrived before we found it. We decided to spend the winter snorkeling in Key West but after a few weeks we got bored and decided to pay a surprise visit to my brother in California. As it turned out he was finally ready to join us all on the east coast and wanted me to wait for him to sort through his stuff and then he would drive back with us. Well, I think I've told you about my brother's pack rat tendencies. He is always wheeling and dealing and trading this for that, etc., but he lived in a small apartment with 2 other people and there was nowhere to put his stuff so he had rented 3 storage spaces... two of them were the self-storage units you have described and one of them was a warehouse! So... I waited and waited and waited, getting harassed constantly by the cops because they did not like us to park our motor home in the streets and sleep in it. Finally I had to tell my brother he was gonna have to make the drive on his own because I couldn't wait any longer... winter was already long gone and we were supposed to be back in New England! (We never made it by the way.) Anyway, finally about 6 months later he came straggling into town with a huge truck full of the stuff he could not bear to get rid of... he even had stuff strapped to the top and the back!! So the bottom line is it took him about 1 year to go through all his storage bins full of stuff. I have used them before myself when we were traveling, but I don't like to do it because if you miss your payments they hold your stuff hostage, and sometimes even auction it off... and my income has never been too stable! I'm just babbling because I am sick of mowing and I've still got almost an acre of grass that is growing even as I sit here typing. Oh well, back to work I guess.
1 person likes this
@SaintAnne (5453)
• United States
18 Sep 08
I don't think you've mentioned your brother as a pack rat but you did your mother and sister. So where did you go when you didn't make it to New England? And snorkeling in winter? I know someone who wants to go to Key West and live there but he always says that will only happen if he finds three jobs to work while there in order to keep up with the standard of living over there. And I've heard of these facilities auctioning off the stuff in your space if you don't pay them. They could change the locks so you won't be able to take your stuff out after missing payments. So you're mowing more than an acre of grass? I hope it's not too hot out there and that you're drinking lots of water, wearing a hat/cap and sunscreen.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Sep 08
Oh yeah, my brother is a pack rat. He had to buy this place that I am living in so that he could have a place to put his stuff because he had already p!ssed off my sister and his wife with all his stuff taking up their space. This place is 3 large apartments and a storefront and it is packed to the rafters with stuff. It used to really annoy me that there were 9 lawn mowers around the place and not one of them worked except the one I had brought with me. My mother and my brother are the worst. They never throw anything away. My brother was saving laundry detergent bottles for some reason obscure to the rest of us and he had like 3 or 4 shelves of them down in the basement of my sisters house, so when she ran out of laundry detergent one day she threw the container away thinking he surely didn't need anymore of them. Well, that just happened to be the day my brother came over to her house to water all the plants he had stored there because his wife wouldn't let him bring anymore home. He found the empty container in the trash. My sister said he almost didn't talk to her again for having thrown it away. My sister who saves all the condiments is actually not so bad, but my other sister has inherited the dysfunction too. She has been wanting to go through her stuff for 3 years now, but she can't muster up the energy to confront it. But that has not curtailed her shopping habits. It is astonishing the stuff she comes home with almost on a daily basis. She cannot pass a thrift shop without going in and then coming out with bags and bags of stuff. They criticize me all the time because I get rid of stuff... although I actually have the disease myself, I just move around too much to be toting a bunch of sh!t with me all over the place, so I have learned to unload anything that I don't love and use regularly. Almost. I still have 6 or 7 dictionaries that I cannot bring myself to get rid of even though I never use them anymore because I use dictionary.com. There is more, but I think I have rambled on enough.
@SaintAnne (5453)
• United States
18 Sep 08
You can ramble all you want zig. I enjoy it. I guess if your brother had to move as many times as you did, I think he would be unloading a lot of those stuff he doesn't need. Does that mean he brought all those mowers from California even though they don't work at all? When I feel like I'm least sentimental, that's when I start to go through my stuff to give or throw them away. I try not to think too much about what that item meant to me or what it reminded me of because if I do that, I would run out of space in my room.
1 person likes this
@shiloh_222 (5480)
• Philippines
18 Sep 08
hi there... well, i saw these in movies... and one movie i can really remember vividly is the blast from the past with alicia silverstone and brendan fraser. happy mylotting...
1 person likes this
@SaintAnne (5453)
• United States
18 Sep 08
I think I saw that movie but can't remember what it's about anymore. It's the one where Fraser grew up for years in a bomb shelter? Thanks shiloh!
1 person likes this
• Philippines
19 Sep 08
yeah... this is a romantic comedy... search it pls in imdb... ehehehehe
@SaintAnne (5453)
• United States
19 Sep 08
I did and I'm pretty sure I saw it on TV. Goodnight Shiloh. I'll email you soon, but not tonight, not just yet but it seems like everything is going the right direction for you, if you know what I mean.
1 person likes this
@mands61123 (2098)
18 Sep 08
i think they have them here aswell in uk but i don't know anyone that uses them i think a friend of a friend used them once when he was renovating and had alot of stuff that he didn't want trashed or damaged i do believe it cost him a fair bit like 30 a month or something to rent though. Thats like a gym membership! it would have to be pretty important for me to pay that to store something.
@SaintAnne (5453)
• United States
18 Sep 08
Thanks for this info, mands. A lot of storage facilities here have this promo that you only pay $1 for the first month and then the regular price the next months. I think for a lot of people they would pay such price to store something that they can somehow live without but can't live with for that moment.
1 person likes this
18 Sep 08
wow thats so cheap never heard of any that cheap its neither here nor there for that better than having your house cluttered and unbearable while moving etc i would definately use the facility if that price
@SaintAnne (5453)
• United States
18 Sep 08
Yes, it does sound cheap. But I wonder if that still is the price if you only need the space for just one month. I would say probably no. Thanks mands!
1 person likes this
@mimpi1911 (25479)
• India
19 Sep 08
I live in India and I have never heard of this. But from your discussion I get that it's a good thing, specially with increasing shortage of space in urban planet. But this should be associated proper rental directions or else some people might squeeze the tenants like anything. Thanks for this.
1 person likes this
@SaintAnne (5453)
• United States
19 Sep 08
They're storage spaces for possessions and other material things. I don't think people are allowed to stay in such space overnight. As usual, there's good and bad that comes with having storage spaces. It, in some way, enables us to put away our old belongings in a safe place in order to make room for our new belongings. Thanks for letting me know that you haven't heard of this in India. Take care, mimpi.
@mimpi1911 (25479)
• India
19 Sep 08
It sounds good! Must come in handy for many who wants space for stuffs... Thanks for sharing this.
@drannhh (15241)
• United States
18 Sep 08
I have rented them in the past and now I own one, although it is on the high end of mini--large enough, I mean, to store a sizable boat or a camper or a couple of automobiles. Here in the southwestern US many people conduct business out of this kind of structure and/or store business property. For example, an apartment complex bought one of the units to use for storage of their landscape equipment. We have plumbers in the complex and contractors and engineers. I don't think there is anyone renting or owning in our complex who does not have multiple properties and/or a business. People who live in condominiums can use them as a place to store and use power tools, if they did not want to kick up dust or make noise that could disturb their neighbors. Most communities prohibit residents from using tools in the common areas, so this would be an asset for avid hobbyists or people who manufacture or store something that they sell in home businesses.
1 person likes this
@SaintAnne (5453)
• United States
18 Sep 08
Thank you for sharing some more of the uses of these storage facilities. I read somewhere that people like to use these too especially when they sell stuff on ebay. It does make sense for those residents to use these areas to enjoy their power tools. I'm just imagining them right now in these boxes as if they're actually in their own garages, making something.
• India
18 Sep 08
I think this one a good concept for those who have not enough space to store things at home or at office. These are very useful and constructed in a scientific manner. The things are secure there and comfortable also. It also do not bother the people to take care of the things too.
1 person likes this
@SaintAnne (5453)
• United States
18 Sep 08
I must confess that if we aren't using our two-car garage for storage of some more of our stuff, we'd probably be renting one too. Thanks, sweethomecatring.
1 person likes this