Do you have storage? If so, there are four possible reasons you might be shelling out for space in which to stow your stuff.
- You live in a teeny-tiny home and genuinely need to fish stuff out on a regular basis. In which case you are forgiven.
- You are moving house and need a place to stow your furniture. In which case, your storage arrangements are no doubt temporary.
- You are a criminal and need somewhere anonymous to stash your AK47s, ill-gotten gains and victims. In which case, stop it.
- You have too much stuff.
Okay, I’ll concede – you could be someone who has to attend a huge number of fabulous social events where photographers jostle to snap you on the red carpet, and thus you need extra space to store your innumerable evening gowns. In which case, you still have too much stuff.
Let’s be clear. The kind of storage I’m talking about is
- personal storage, not work stuff that you need from time to time. And no, I’m sorry, drug-smuggling and gun-running are NOT proper jobs. Stop it right now.
- the kind of storage you pay for, not the boxes gathering dust in your loft/under your bed/at the back of the garage.
Storage drains your bank account and blights the country with horrid buildings. Endless empty spaces that contribute nothing to the wellbeing of the country. Here’s one.
Wouldn’t it be nice to stop enriching real estate developers who build these kind of excrescences?
According to their own website, Big Yellow Group, Britain’s largest storage company, has 100 sites in the UK. Their revenue for the end of year March 2020 was £129.3m. And there are plenty of other big players, such as Safestore, LoknStore, Public Storage, not to mention all the sheds, garages, farm buildings leased out to people with Too Much Stuff.
Yep, there are literally thousands of storage spaces, their owners only too willing to take your money to rent you – what? Empty space.
These buildings cover the country with yet more concrete where nothing will grow and nothing is made. Once the building has been built or adapted, maintenance costs are minimal. Jobs are few and low-status. These are businesses that produce a big fat nothing – only revenue for investors.
So while you’re stuck at home, use your Covid captivity to start going through some of your excess and popping into boxes to deliver when the charity shops open again. Empty that storage container and discontinue payment.
And please… don’t go out and replace it all with more stuff. I know the government wants us to shop our way back to economic normality, but it wouldn’t do us any harm as individuals if we were to buy less but better than rush out to fill our houses (and containers) with more tat.
Oh, just a quick request. Don’t drop off all your donations on day one of the charity shops opening, because I’ve got about 42 boxes already packed and ready to deliver that day.
Sorry for the second long silence. I’ve been loth to bombard you with my enthusiasms and obsessions when you’ve all got quite enough to think of with lockdown and Covid.
And for no reason other than sheer sentiment, here’s a picture of Piper, my constant companion, having a rest from gardening a few weeks back. She thinks Covid is MARVELLOUS because I am at home all the time instead of touring. Thus she can happily nod off in the flowerbed instead of maintaining her usual vigilance to check if I’m getting the suitcase down again.
Poor Pipes, she has no idea that I’m secretly planning to tour again. God knows when, but we must hope.
Meanwhile, stay safe. And pass this on.