We own many things.
We own kitchen gadgets we do not need.
The same black shirt three times over.
And lots of useless junk we know we will never ever use.
Having rather than being
We own too many things. The simple reason is: We all just want to be liked. And it is easier to be appreciated for the material things we possess and which are highly visible to others, rather than personal qualities. It is easier to impress people by showing off a brand-new phone rather than the ability to be empathetic, caring or honest. It demands more energy and time. Out of all the things we have (the junk, the t-shirts, the gadgets), it is time and energy we lack. Thus, the pile of the things we own becomes larger, our spaces become smaller, and we can’t use any of it because we are focused on buying new things.
The art of not letting go
But why not get rid of the things we do not even use? Because each possession hides a memory. It might be the story of a happier time, a dear person we lost on the way, or, perhaps, a funny incident we will always treasure. Admittedly, it is hard to let go of something you once wanted, needed or used for help. Therefore, when your mental and physical space are bursting because of all the stories, the time has arrived to let go.
Or to store them somewhere else.
The 2 Billion Dollar Industry
The self-storage industry is booming. By 2005, 1 in 11 US- households owned self-storage space, an increase of 75% in only ten years.
As shown in the Google Trend derived charts below, the search for the keyword “storage” has steadily increased over the past five years. Moreover, the demand for storage is mostly concentrated in societies with high consumption (and hoarding) patterns.
For an individual, decluttering your apartment and mind is – realistically speaking – easy. Graham Hill, for instance, suggests three simple steps to reach “Less stuff, more happiness” without transforming into a compulsive minimalist.
But what if you need space to store stuff for a good reason?
Organizations and businesses may not be able to realistically divest themselves of needed equipment. What if a film production uses technical equipment not on a daily, but on a monthly or yearly basis? What if a cultural club owns costumes worn on specific occasions only? Let’s be honest: Sometimes you just need a place to store stuff you will actually need again in the future.
TEDxVienna is no exception. Ever wondered where the X goes after each conference?
As an NPO we choose to spend our resources wisely. This is why we store the equipment and stage décor, as well as other vital and functional things at Storebox– who are expanding rapidly as a franchise due to high demand. Fun fact: Storebox is the first storage enterprise to introduce a chatbot for customer service and cost estimates. In case you are looking for a place to sustainably store stuff that matters to you or your business, feel free to check them out.
Maybe, after decluttering in the way best suited to each individual, we finally have the time to start being rather than having.
Because eventually the things you own end up owning you.
Header image credits royalty free