It may seem surprising but rented self-storage can play a bigger role in people’s relationships than we might expect.
When two people in a relationship decide to move in together it may be that each, having lived independently for some years, has accumulated furniture as well as other, personal possessions.
How do they decide what stays and what goes? Perhaps one of the couple has responsibility for much-loved family heirlooms such as antique furniture. The other prefers the modern and minimalist and clearly, their two styles may be difficult to reconcile.
Nowadays, when modern homes are generally smaller and with hardly any storage space, a new young couple may not be able to afford a first home large enough for everything they separately possess.
If the relationship is to develop happily something has to give and it may be that the solution is that some of their combined property can happily be stored.
A growing family
Over time, the couple becomes a family. That means the children’s “stuff” adds to the accumulated family possessions.
What happens if someone in the family develops a hobby that takes up space – it could be anything from collecting doll’s houses to home brewing to a model railway.
For a time, the hobby may have stayed confined to the garage, assuming the family has one, but most hobbies – especially ones involving collections – eventually outgrow their confined space.
Some of these collections are ordinary, others less so. Plenty of avid readers use a unit for their own personal library. Then there are collections of antique clothing built up over decades, or collections of hundreds of LPs.
We’ve come across other, more bizarre collections including stuffed sheep, airline sickbags (unused!), traffic signs and even handcuffs!
For the partner inclined to minimalism living with someone deeply wedded to their hobby or collection it can be a recipe for disagreements that escalate into full-scale rows and even perhaps to the destruction of the relationship.
A solution and aid to marital harmony could be renting a self-storage unit, where the collection can be stored. Or the storage unit can be used as a “hobby room”. Apparently, marriages have been saved by this solution.
Sadly, however, one in four marriages doesn’t last. That means the household will have to split up and many couples who are desperate to separate cannot wait to free themselves of every material reminder of the relationship down to the last toothbrush.
Often it results in one partner’s belongings being packed up and left on the doorstep but why not put it all into a self-store unit and send their owner the bill?
Finally comes old age, and the couple who have made it this far may find themselves less able to manage a large family house or perhaps need to move into a smaller space modified to be easier to navigate by a person who has become increasingly frail.
However, they may not want to get rid of a lifetime of treasured possessions, many of which bring back memories of a happy family event. They may also have promised to leave items to family members in their will.