Cloud storage, the non-digital edition: Service providers are starting to offer temporary cloud storage for physical objects.

Micro living units or so-called smartments – high-end, urban, and innovative living solutions that support our ever-increasing need for locational flexibility – have become a global metropolitan trend. For a lot of us, moving apartments, cities, or countries has become an everyday fact of life. And a style statement, of sorts: In New York, for example, micro apartments are part of a new understated cool – yet when location trumps size, those personal touches that separate homes from hotel rooms might get squeezed out.

Faced with discarding favorite touches, we might ask ourselves: Is this new, pared down lifestyle worth ditching our well-loved objects, souvenirs, or pieces of furniture? That is, all those things we might otherwise box up and relegate to the basement or attic? According to psychologists, crowded or cramped living space can cause undue stress – at least from a certain age – and thus put a damper on our mood. Yet have you ever heard of a smartment that comes with a basement, in New York or elsewhere? So, what to do with all those things that have accrued during our lives, somehow cluttering up our space?

A green box in the cloud

In line with our day and age, the internet might have the solution. In the US, companies like Makespace and Boxbee have propelled traditional storage options into the 21st century to tackle this particular phenomenon. By reaching out to the cloud. Those in need of a thorough decluttering can fill a 13 x 17 x 27 inch green box – supplied and collected by Makespace – with all those things marked for occasional or seasonal use.

To keep track of everything, all contents are catalogued and the owner is provided with digital images of everything in the box. Depending on need and use, he can even request individual items – mailed to any location, not just to the original apartment. Anywhere around the world. For an added fee, the service also accepts outsize items. And although each service comes with a cost, this might still be preferable to giving these treasures up for good – and then dealing with the emotional fallout.

Those in need of a thorough decluttering can fill a box with all those things marked for occasional or seasonal use
Those in need of a thorough decluttering can fill a box with all those things marked for occasional or seasonal use;
Photo: Boxbee
To keep track of everything, all contents are catalogued and the owner is provided with digital images of everything in the box. Depending on need and use, he can even request individual items
To keep track of everything, all contents are catalogued and the owner is provided with digital images of everything in the box. Depending on need and use, he can even request individual items;
Photo: Makespace
Although each service comes with a cost, this might still be preferable to giving these treasures up for good
Although each service comes with a cost, this might still be preferable to giving these treasures up for good;
Photo: Boxbee

Never change a winning idea

More recently, German start-up SpaceWays picked up – well, appropriated – this idea, yet decided to start with the area of Greater London. Despite obvious and pressing need for flexible storage options in cities like Berlin or Munich, the Anglosaxon realm is currently more open to such concepts than Germany or Central Europe. Yet, according to SpaceWays, their vision is “to become the No. 1 storage company worldwide that provides logistics or storage services to end users,” as stated by co-founder Rob Rebholz in an interview with Reuters. So, if you are looking to make room for the good stuff, keep your eyes peeled for these new, highly individual cloud storage options.

Header image: Illustration courtesy mir.no