Posted by: Jivani Lisa | September 6, 2011

Climate Controlled Self-Storage

When my first husband and I moved from Michigan to Hawaii in 1989, we decided to put a bunch of furniture and other items into a storage unit rather than dragging them with us.  We used one of the smaller units and paid the rental fee once a year.

Six years later when we went to retrieve our stuff, I can honestly say I was surprised by the items I found there.  I thought:  Why did we ever save these things?  We lived all these years without these items – so why do we need them now?

Lately, around the Norfolk area, I’ve noticed a proliferation of very large buildings advertising “climate controlled self-storage” units.  I understand they are “climate controlled” because extremes of temperature and humidity can ruin many stored items over time.  However….

The thing that makes no sense to me now is why we Americans have so much stuff that we need to rent space to store all of it.  While some people are spending money to store stuff (most of which ends up being useless junk if the owners are honest), there are many men and women who can’t even afford to have a roof over their own heads.

Why do cities allow contractors to build more storage units instead of building affordable housing?  I admit I don’t understand the politics or the economics of such topics – all I know it that it’s wrong to deny anybody the basics of life, including food and shelter.

The presence of climate controlled self-storage units speaks clearly:  Our society values material goods more than it values human beings, even to the point of controlling temperature and humidity for inanimate objects while many people are homeless or can’t afford heat in the winter and air-conditioning in the summer.

I pray our society gets its priorities straight before it’s too late.  This once-great nation is in decline and, I fear, headed for a serious fall.  May we open our eyes, minds and hearts to the real issues (rather than ones presented by politicians) we are facing.

May each of us curb our own tendencies toward greed, envy, grasping and hoarding so we can see the plight of our brothers and sisters.  This is not about pitying anyone or debating the merits of social programs and political agendas.  It’s about developing compassion, the hope of humanity.


  1. Thank you for a well-written piece that connects with an idea I’m wanting to convey in a message I will communicate this Sunday on the importance of being a giver. I searched on the internet for “proliferation of storage units” on a hunch I had that the past 5-10 years has seen a dramatic increase of self-storage units, and your entry helps confirm this. Let’s not be people who store more, let’s be people who GIVE MORE.

  2. Thank you for your comment! This topic had been on my mind for a couple of years and I finally got around to writing my thoughts about it. I’m very glad it was helpful to you. Happy Thanksgiving!

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