The self-storage industry is booming, the Christian Science Monitor reports:
"It's a $17 billion-a-year business devoted entirely to finding a place to store our abundance," says Daniel Pink, an author and culture watcher. "It's bigger than the motion picture production industry."
But what's any trend without gratuitous social critique?
"Storage units are a symptom of a much deeper malaise," says Peter Whybrow, director of the Neuro- psychiatric Institute at UCLA and author of "American Mania: When More Is Not Enough."
"Where there's no clearly defined social hierarchy other than money, the acquisitive nature gets maximized by the need to create one's own social standing," he says. "[So] you keep what you want to flaunt and you put the rest away—because you can't bear to give it away."