Say, what? You are no doubt asking, “How is it possible to reduce, reuse, & recycle on Earth Day with a storage unit?” It’s a legitimate question because according to the media America has a serious problem with consumption. Even Slate weighed in to tell us how we have become a self storage nation. But the reality is that self storage is most often used to ease stress during life transitions like moving or relocating for a new job, an unexpected death of a beloved grandparent, or combining households.
Day-to-day, most of us are already doing things to reduce, reuse, and recycle. We set up recycling bins at home, install low-flow fixtures on faucets, and purchase items made from recycled materials. The appeal of living a more sustainable lifestyle is growing as millennials and baby boomers increasingly move into tiny houses and micro apartments.
All of the cleverly built-in storage spaces in these tiny dwellings will be used for consumables like toilet paper, food, and linens as well as a few outfits and pairs of shoes. Instead of dumping possessions in landfills, or buying new items every season, Earth Day and self storage are a perfect marriage for these micro dwellers.
Tiny House and Micro Apartment Dwellers
It could be said that tiny house and micro apartment dwellers celebrate Earth Day every day of the year by reducing their carbon footprint and consumption patterns when they choose to live in a micro dwelling. For the rest of us, Earth Day gives us the opportunity to hit the reboot button in case we have gotten off course with our goals to live more sustainable lifestyles.
When tiny house-themed reality shows like Tiny House Nation arrived on the scene a few years back, people were intrigued to learn if someone could possibly call 150 to 400 square feet home.
In New York City micro apartments are meeting the needs of millennials who would rather live alone in 350 square feet micro apartment than share a larger space with a roommate.
Anyone living with less than 400 square feet of space can utilize a self storage unit to store the items that simply will not fit into their homes. For example, tiny house and micro apartment outdoor enthusiasts with recreational gear like mountain bikes, ski equipment, and rock climbing ropes can rent a small or medium sized storage unit and rotate their items seasonally.
Why Baby Boomers and Millennials Need Self Storage
Millennials have a slight advantage over baby boomers when it comes to living in an extremely small footprint because they do not own things like large collections of movies, books, and music—entertainment is in the palms of their hands or on their computers.
Even so, finding enough room to store things like seasonal wardrobes and outdoor equipment will be a challenge, so millennials living in micro apartments will need to rent self storage units to maintain their lifestyles.
Baby boomers may easily part with their collections of VHS and DVD movies from the eighties and nineties as well as most of their personal possessions to downsize into a much smaller home. However, what about a library of first-edition hardback books, custom-built furniture, or other personal items they are saving for future generations?
Most baby boomers will see the value of renting a climate-controlled self storage unit to keep precious memories and valuable items in their original condition as a worthwhile trade off for no longer needing to pay for and maintain a large home.
Self Storage for Thrift Store, Vintage, & Consignment Shops
Another win-win for celebrating Earth Day and renting a self storage unit occurs when thrift store, vintage, and consignment shop owners utilize self storage for extra inventory. Every day of the year is Earth Day for these businesses because their business plan is to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
But once an item finds its way to this type of retail outlet, the next stop is most likely going to be the landfill if it is not sold. A sudden influx of donations or a big score at the local flea market might create more inventory than there is space available to merchandise it in the store.
Proprietors and community groups who run thrift stores and consignment shops can rent a standard or climate-controlled storage unit on a month-to-month basis to hold extra inventory. A self storage unit also gives these stores the ability to upsize or downsize their storage space as inventory needs fluctuate throughout the seasons.
While tiny houses are embraced by a small segment of the population, the masses will only glimpse into this extreme world by watching reality shows like HGTV’s Tiny House Hunters. Meanwhile, millennials will enjoy micro apartment living that will afford them the privacy and lifestyle they are seeking in major metropolitan cities.
Going green, downsizing, and simplifying are commonly used buzzwords because, deep down, we all want to live a more simplified life. With a little less clutter you can make a little more room to be productive.
Even though we might still be a self storage nation, it would seem that besides easing stress, the reasons for using self storage are trending towards living a more sustainable lifestyle overall.