Do you have storage? If so, there are four possible reasons you might be shelling out for space in which to stow your stuff.

  1. You live in a teeny-tiny home and genuinely need to fish stuff out on a regular basis. In which case you are forgiven.
  2. You are moving house and need a place to stow your furniture. In which case, your storage arrangements are no doubt temporary.
  3. You are a criminal and need somewhere anonymous to stash your AK47s, ill-gotten gains and victims. In which case, stop it.
  4. 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.

And finally…

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.

Dog between delphiniums, a perfect choice on a hot day.

Meanwhile, stay safe. And pass this on.

41 thoughts on “STORAGE

  1. Totally agree. And they employ very very few people for the area they take up


  2. Thanks for this Dillie

    Sadly by sister passed away in March and, without my permission and due to a lack of communication, her belongings were put into storage. Outside the UK but guessing it mirrors what you’re saying and couldn’t agree with you more. Finally managed to get them out of storage and en route to UK – hopefully!

    Also know exactly what you mean about Piper. I have a 13 year old Lhasa who has definitely got used to me being around far too much – but also using my treadmill as a bed and picnic table (sometimes at the same time). Have to say that Maisie, and the memory of seeing FA in Southend pre-Covid, have honestly helped to see me through.

    Thanks and all good wishes for the post-Covid tour xx


    • Hi Chris, I’m so sorry to hear about your sister. What a loss, that’s awful. Yes, I suppose there are other reasons for storage and that sounds like a fair enough reason. Meanwhile, I was very touched about what you said about seeing FA in Southend. We’re listening to the edited recording right now and hope to be able to release the live recording shortly. But nothing will really satisfy me till I feel the wheels beneath me again, taking me to a theatre somewhere to do a gig with the girls. All best wishes, Dillie.


  3. Poor Pipes might be even more upset if she knew there were people all over the country sharing the secret hope of seeing you when you start touring again.


  4. I have a ‘Piper’ who’s equally thrilled that I can’t travel. I call her ‘Mom’…


  5. So how do I deal with a wife who has compulsive hoarding syndrome? (And this isn’t meant to be funny, it’s deadly serious).


    • Thanks Dillie for your support. Yes, we’ve suggested CBT. We’re over the first huge hump in that she recognises she’s got it but it’s like walking on eggshells as we try and gradually work our way to getting her to throw stuff out.


  6. For ten years I worked as an EFL teacher in several countries. In 2012 alone I lived in four countries on three continents. I got used to flying from one home to the next, always with a 20 kilo baggage limit. I called myself the 20 kilo man. Every time I went shopping it was with this in mind. I lived for ten years with possessions weighing no more than 20 kilos. The habit remains today. It can be done! And, as a close friend of mine says, ‘don’t collect possessions, collect experiences’.

    Dillie, I’m one of the lucky ones that saw Fascinating Aïda in London just after Christmas last year. That was an experience! Love you gals.


    • I’m a bit of a hoarder, though I am getting better in my old age. However, I went round the world as a present to myself for my 65th birthday. I had to pack for winter and summer plus bring show clothes (high heels, make up, hair things etc.) as I was doing y show in Adelaide, plus DVDs to give to people. I did 5 weeks on one 20k suitcase, one small backpack and a bum belt. Everything had to earn its place and while I got thoroughly sick of my clothes, I was very proud of myself. And since then, life has got a lot lighter! It can be done, Gary, just as you say. Meanwhile, thanks for getting in touch and lets hope we get back on tour next year…


  7. It meant that I could stride out in the airport once I’d checked in my suitcase, hands free. It was incredibly liberating. I’ve not looked back. Handbags are a thing of the past except for weddings!


    • Dillie please do a show in Hamburg! There’s a grand piano in the airport lounge, available to anyone who wants to play it. You could practice your show and draw an audience of hundreds, all mesmerised and missing their flights 🙂 I’ll even hold your bum (trying very hard not to accidentally press ‘send’) bag for you!


  8. My dogs have loved me being home more and have been sulking on days I have to work (HMP Healthcare).

    The other reason for too much stuff is when you have to move and point blank refuse to discard your wool stash, fabric stash, any other hobby stash and the bloody house is toooo small 🤦‍♀️😂

    So glad that we got to see you in Cambridge before the lockdown 😁


    • Ooh, yes indeed. Or when you refuse to give away/sell/burn those bits of furniture you’ve had since childhood. (Looks at self in the mirror and blushes.). Ahhh, Cambridge. Let’s hope we tour again. xx


  9. Like others, I am living on the memory of seeing FA just before lock-down, at Nottingham Royal Concert Hall. Brilliant evening!

    I too have been spending lock-down trying to de-clutter, but so frustrating to spend time sorting through stuff just to pile it in a different corner, even if it is neatly sorted and bagged!
    I find it quite a good incentive to imagine that I am someone else sorting my stuff, and thinking “Why on earth did she save this?”

    Then I find I have passed a whole morning sitting on the floor looking through a random shoe-box full of unlabelled photos……


    • Ah… I know. I have been going through old photos with the intention of getting rid of them. So of course I bought a new piece of kit to digitise them all, which simply proves that de-cluttering seems to require more clutter! Mind you, it’s a very good piece of kit and I have already promised to pass it on when I have finally finished the task.


  10. Thought provoking. I’ve known a few people whose lives have been blighted by hoarding – their own or that of others.

    We left our last home a whisker before the lock-down. Most of our ‘stuff’ is in storage, a situation we’d hoped would last no longer than two months whilst assorted tradespeople knocked seven bells out of the new place and put it back together. Five months seems more likely now, as work gets done one-trade-at-a-time. Meanwhile we’re squeezed into tiny temporary accommodation with very little stuff.

    So, if we can happily survive for five months on minimal stuff perhaps we don’t need much of what is in storage.


    • Of course there are all sorts of reason why we might get stuck with stuff in storage longer than anticipated. It happened to me after I sold my place in London which I suppose is why I suppose I feel so strongly about it. I’ll be interested as to whether you do what I did – which is take a while getting through the boxes and give most of it away!


  11. I do know someone who has a very small flat indeed, and keeps her summer clothes in storage during the winter and her winter clothes in storage during the summer (and the associated footwear and such) rather than buying new clothes every season as she would otherwise have to because there really is no room for all of it at once in her wardrobe. So I suppose she has chosen the better path, because Lud, just think of all those clothes and shoes being thrown away every year otherwise!


    • Ah yes, she fits neatly into Category 1. A very sound reason to have storage. Actually, I do that within the house. I only have a very narrow little wardrobe and a couple of drawers for clothes, so in spring and autumn I do a swap around.


  12. Hey Dillie

    So lovely to hear from you on the SYDN front. Fabulous photo of Piper 😍 I have slugs the size of your dog , so alas no delphiniums for me. But I have spent this spring reseeding my lawn, tattered as it was from years of dog adventures. I have loved spending lockdown literally watching the grass grow. And it’s given me such pleasure.

    I am childishly happy , and so is Buddy with his new play ground. It is the little things

    Keep safe and well.

    Lots of love

    Shirl xxx



    • Hi Shirl, lovely to get your message, particularly such a happy message in these troubling times. Stay well, and Piper sends woofs to Buddy.


  13. In 2012 I cleared the house my parents had lived in since 1961. There were boxes which had not been unpacked since they were filled emptying my grandparents’ house in 1977. My wife & I have promised the next generation we won’t inflict that on them, and have used lockdown to empty some of the loft. There are today NHS workers wearing Mother’s sheets. It was however entirely reasonable to get the removers to take my stock of timber off-cuts to this house from the last one, and the one before that, and …. We’re booked for Chester on 14 October after the May postponement. Fingers crossed – would be very disappointed but not surprised if we get another delay.


    • Another story that I think is probably repeated day in day out. When my sister-in-law died, all her things were moved to a container on the farm. They sat there for years because the family couldn’t bear to go through the boxes. Finally I did it. Like you, I found boxes that hadn’t been opened since she’d moved house some years before. I never saw such a collection of pretty gewgaws, but very little of any significant value. I sold a few nice pieces of glassware but most went to the hospice shop who couldn’t believe their luck. The whole job took two weeks… Meanwhile, fingers crossed for October 14th – though I have to be honest, I’m not holding my breath. Take care.


  14. Couldn’t agree more! Those bloody places are everywhere and why do they have to be made to look like the boxes that are stored inside them if we have to have them? Surely there could be an element of design about them? Anyway, I am missing the point somewhat with this, which was perfectly made.

    I pity the charity shops though when they do reopen, maybe these storage units should fling open their big square ugly doors and let everyone drop off charity bags to them and the charity shops can then go and pick up from there as and when they have the capacity, otherwise the doorways are going to be full of bags split open and stuff spread over the pavement on a Sunday night.

    I am glad you are having a good lockdown – beautiful dog, what breed is she/he? Stay safe and I cannot wait to hear the news that theatres are open again and we can look forward to a new tour from you. All the best and take care. Sally


    • Yes, I think the charity shops are going to have a nightmare time to start with…! My dog is a patterdale terrier, she’s a dear little thing most of the time – until she meets another dog and then she shouts the place down! And yes, here’s to the theatres reopening… Take care.


  15. When David and I bought our first home we put some stuff into a storage place (safe stores I think). Some years late, when we were particularly broke, we remembered that we were still paying out monthly for it. When we closed our account, so as to reclaim our monthly payments, we hired a van and went up to clear out the storage place. We’ found 4 boxes of rubbish, a pasta maker and an old chair. We took everything from there and put it in the dump. We’d been paying £100s of pounds year to store absolutely nothing, that we could have just thrown away in the first place.

    L xx


    • I’m sure your story is not unique. It’s sickening when you realise you’ve been paying for something for years and you needn’t have. I found that I’d been paying for a yearly guarantee on a washing machine that I’d long replaced – I’d even moved home twice…


  16. Hi Dillie….oh storage! We recently moved back to the UK, after living for 13 years in France, in a big house with a very big attic + another house which we rented out as a holiday gite & now have 2 small flats( one in the UK & one in France) with very little or no storage space at all. So you can imagine how much de cluttering we needed to do – & i hated every minute of it as I am a big “collector” & hoarder. I wept as I threw out birthday cards, new home cards, wedding cards, babycards from many moons ago & as for ditching my very out of date nursing notes & text books…oh my lord! We did it, but I still have my post card collection, our son`s star wars stuff, my paperweights & there are still a few boxes of “family treasures” which neither of my kids really want, lurking in my daughters garage! Why do we do it??? Take care x


  17. I’d second a show in Hamburg! Not that I live there, you understand, but my two daughters do, and we’re all fans, so given a bit of warning, that’s three bums on seats already…. six if we manage to drag the men along. That’s nearly the front row filled. 🙂


  18. Ah yes, the wrench of throwing out all those precious memories… but you can digitise these days and I’m in the process of doing just that. It’s much less traumatic, I do recommend it. The other thing I have done is collect the letters from various friends and send them back – they were full of references to things I’d forgotten but which would have much more relevance to the people who wrote them. Of course the problem was that I then got quite a few letters which I myself had written 40 years ago… cue for much sitting about and quietly reminiscing – and can I throw them out? Ha! No change. Good luck with the next phase – and let’s keep going! The next generation aren’t going to thank us for keeping all these mementoes! Stay safe.


  19. I’m so glad that we got to see you in Cambridge just before the lockdown!

    With regards to storage, the other problem is when you combine households, then move to a smaller house and have far too many hobbies! My hubby lost his workshop but now has a shed and I lost my sewing room/ studio 😭. I’m still trying to work out how to make everything fit … 🤷‍♀️🤦‍♀️🤬


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.