It’s Time to Tell the Truth about the Storage Industry
According to this article at Bloomberg.com, the U.S. Storage Industry raked in $32.7 billion in revenues last year, more than Hollywood’s 2016 box office gross profits. In fact, the storage industry has grown so rapidly that Real Estate professionals, who specialize in commercial real estate, are opting to invest in storage facilities over retail business enterprises.
“The issue with retail is that everyone’s going online, so the brick and mortar stores are suffering,” explains Jay Meyers, a Real Estate expert and freelance writer. “You can even see this in New York City. Look at the Upper East Side and you’ll see deserted and soon to be deserted retail stores.”
As a former part-time real estate investor, I find it interesting to witness the metamorphosis currently underway. If New York City is the center of the world, as some people say, what happens here is a microcosm of what’s happening elsewhere in the United States of America.
Spending Billions to Store Junk
We have so much junk that we’re spending $32.7 billion dollars a year to store it all. That’s depressing to know that that-amount-of-money is being used to store items that, for the most part, we have little use for.
What I Saw as a Mover
Years ago, I worked at a moving company in Burlington, Vermont. Seeing firsthand the amount of stuff that people have that they do not use was a real wake up call for me. I remember going through my items at the end of the week and asking myself “do I really need this?” I went through a shift in my thinking. I sold and gave away my unnecessary possessions. I became a minimalist.
How Did I End Up with So Much Stuff
A few days ago, I considered the amount of items I’ve accumulated over the last two years. For a New Yorker, even a Brooklynite, it’s an enormous pile of stuff. How did I end up with so much stuff?
Ebay and Amazon: The Addiction of Shopping Online
Both Ebay and Amazon are completely addictive. I used both to buy things that I needed at the time. Ending up with a mountain of stuff … A chrome toaster from England, ordered from Amazon.com last year, when I ran an AirBnB out of my loft room. A chrome coffeemaker, vintage, I purchased from a thrift store near the Jefferson Street L stop, that I used to make delicious coffee for the AirBnB guests, and for myself. (This coffeemaker really boils the water!) The epic collection of clothes collected over the years, necessary for “different looks” on my journey as a BackGround (BG) actor aka “extra” for film and television. (Being a BG actor is a story in itself, and I have plans, some time in the future, to compile my experiences and publish them as a novella – “Extra Confidential” – confessions of a BackGround Actor in New York City). And a mountain of high quality shoes, carefully organized in a shelf constructed of milk crates. And more.
Realizing that I’m going to be looking for a new place to live and …
Concluding that I’m going to be selling or giving these items away, in order to make an easier transition to moving into a new place …
An idea popped into my head.
An Idea for a New App
The Lendr app. Like “lender” but without the “e”. Lendr. LendR.
Here’s how the LendR app would work …
The LendR app would allow you to …
Lend items (clothes, electronics, furniture, etc) to friends and they hold the items for you. At some future point, when you have room for the items, you contact your friends, ask for the items, and they return the items to you.
In the meantime, while your friend is holding the items, he has permission to use the items as he wishes. He is not liable for the condition of the item. The agreement between the lender and the borrower is that the borrower (who is storing the item for you) would not be liable for the item in any way. (No liability or risk would be involved. As no money is changing hands, this is the agreement and the understanding between both parties.)
To join LendR …
You would log in with your email, your Google + account, your Twitter account, or your Facebook account, and sign up for a free account.
LendR “lenders” and “borrowers” would both have a rating score, allowing you to determine their trustworthiness, communication, reliability.
Ideas for LendR slogan
like storage, except free
fill the space
personal storage, free
for the space between us
the future of storage
benefits closet space
shared closet space
you had me at closet space
closet space: the final frontier
GIF created by illustrator/animator Lily Padula
The LendR App
That’s the LendR App idea. Let’s put it together, help people save money on storage fees, enable people to keep their favorite things at zero cost while simultaneously allowing their friends to use these things as well, and more. Interested in building this into a real app? Reach out to me at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org