The longer one stays in a place, the more material goods one tends to acquire: everything from clothing to furniture to photo albums. One problem with this is that it inhibits a person from taking advantage of distant opportunities, particularly those that are temporary and ill-paying.
One may to reduce the extent to which possessions are anchors would be to have a company that specializes in managing the personal possessions of mobile people. Say you were leaving a city where you had worked for a few years, in order to try something new elsewhere. You could box up all the things which you did not expect to need immediately and put them in the keeping of the company. They would keep track of your boxes along with those of thousands of others, and could send you things as requested. Similarly, you could submit additional materials to be added to your archive.
This would save you the bother of setting up storage space in various cities – which can be hard to administer from afar. It also reduces the burden of moving. You may not need your Ottawa winter clothes for a temporary position in San Francisco, but you can pretty easily set them aside somewhere safe for later access if needed. The same goes for books, furniture, art materials, etc. Customers could produce electronic records of what was inside of standard storage containers, then request them when they were needed. Rather than having to travel halfway around the world to pick up some desired books and a photographic enlarger, you could just request that the appropriate boxes be shipped from the storage site where they have been kept.
Another advantage to this system is that it would allow people to invest in higher quality possessions. Rather than buying terrible pots and pans (probably soldered with cadmium) in each new city, people could purchase a decent set and have it shipped whenever they expected to be in one place for a long time. In the event that a person’s possessions became unwanted, the storage company could auction them off and retain a portion of the revenues.
The service would also be useful for people who want to travel. You could spend six months or a year exploring the world, without having to sell off all your possessions beforehand and buy replacements after.
Because the firm would specialize in storing and shipping personal possessions, it could operate at a lower cost than individuals trying to undertake these tasks themselves. There would also be opportunities for diversification – for instance, coordinating the subletting of apartments, or even the exchange of pets between those who are moving into circumstances that are not pet-friendly.