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'It became an anchor for stuff I really want to keep': The stabilising weight of self-storage when moving home and away

Owen, Jennifer ORCID: 2022. 'It became an anchor for stuff I really want to keep': The stabilising weight of self-storage when moving home and away. Social and Cultural Geography 23 (7) , pp. 990-1006. 10.1080/14649365.2020.1843699

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The process and stresses of moving home are a common experience in our lives, and few find sorting and packing household possessions easy. When moves are temporary, uncertain or contingent on other factors it can be particularly difficult to know what to take with us, so renting a self-storage unit allows for movement and mobility without the need to reduce the material convoy or make premature decisions on what to keep or dispose of. Contrary to previous research, which has focused on the purchase or divestment of objects during life course transitions, house moves and experiences of mobility, this paper argues that the practice of storing objects is equally as important. The data for this paper is drawn from object-elicited interviews undertaken in the UK with three women who were motivated to rent self-storage to store their household possessions when moving to a new home temporarily or more permanently, across the country and abroad, in the pursuit of different opportunities (education, work, lifestyle change). Self-storage is seen to both accommodate materiality caught up in feelings of uncertainty and indecision, and anchor possessions which collectively stand-in for a sense of home when itself is not yet remade.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1464-9365
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 October 2020
Date of Acceptance: 25 September 2020
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2022 06:34

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