In the last two years, close to a million more households have joined the ranks of storage renters, and there is now more than two billion square feet of rental storage space in the United States, earning more than $22 billion in gross revenue in 2006.America's insane storage lifestyle.
Storage-space users have traditionally rented for short periods, Mr. Scanlon said, most commonly during life changes like divorce or relocation. But in recent years a new kind of renter has emerged, one who rents for longer periods, sometimes paying thousands of dollars a year, sometimes for units in faraway cities. These new renters seem compelled to keep trading up, from a cozy “personal closet,” say, to a garage-like room, and then to a second unit or even a third. They represent what Diane Piegza, a spokeswoman for Sovran Self Storage, which owns the Uncle Bob’s chain of storage facilities in 22 states, calls “a segment of the population that has truly embedded storage into its lifestyle.”
Peter Balis, 42, fell into ... a love-hate relationship with storage. At the time he lived in a loft in Chicago and owned a weekend house on Lake Michigan. When he sold the country place, Mr. Balis moved its contents, including a pair of bent plywood Eames chairs and an 11-foot carved totem his grandparents bought at a temple in India, into storage nearby. “If you’re predisposed to squirreling you have no reason not to put it there,” he said.Oh, once you realize it should be called squirreling, you've got to know it's insane.