27.2 billion dollars.
That’s how much Americans spent on self-storage units in 2014. Let me repeat that number:
27.2 BILLION dollars.
A quick internet search rendered at least 20 mini-storage businesses within 10 miles of my home. According to the Self-Storage Association, the self-storage industry is one of the fastest growing segment of commercial real estate over the last 40 years.
As if this trend wasn’t alarming enough, new homes are getting bigger as well.
Credit card debt is on the rise.
More stuff. Bigger houses. Ever growing debt. Increasing waistlines. What’s happening?
Our lives have become unmanageable. We build bigger houses so we can have more room for our stuff. We buy that stuff online with our credit cards. We have too much stuff so we pay monthly for storage. We eat more to feel, what, happy? Satisfied? Fulfilled?
What desire are we trying to satiate? Is it security? Happiness? I don’t know and only each of us can figure out what’s going on for ourselves.
I can tell you this:
I am happier now than in the days when I was very active in my food addiction.
More food = more unhappiness.
I am happier now that my husband and I are actively paying down our debt and doing without.
Increasing debt = increasing anxiety.
I am happier now in our one bedroom apartment, with ZERO need for a self-storage unit, than ever. The apartment is relatively easy to maintain because we have a lot less stuff than we did even a year ago.
More stuff = more stuff to clean, more stuff to worry about (or conversely, ignore), more stuff to look at, more stuff to get rid of, more stuff to pack away, more house, more taxes (because we need a bigger place to go with all that stuff) and more debt.
More stuff = less happiness.
Less stuff = more happiness.