Journal article

The costs of convenience: unpacking the self-storage industry

15 Jun 2014

Abstract: Increasing numbers of self-storage facilities on the urban landscape is illustrative of a culture of excessive consumption, underpinned by conventions such as ‘more is better’. This paper explores some key drivers of the growing phenomenon known as self-storage, contending that they are representative of a social malaise we would do well to address. My findings point towards a seemingly ceaseless increase in demand for these storage services, with the implications including that they will continue to facilitate our propensity to consume, and perhaps inadvertently hoard, with direct and indirect negative environmental and other impacts. Unless there is a significant shift in how we act and react in relation to our impulses and desires for goods, the dreams and material aspirations we hold today may turn into the collective global nightmare of tomorrow.

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