The Self Storage Association estimates it’s “physically possible that every American could stand – all at the same time – under the total canopy of self-storage roofing.” That’s a lot of space under which to develop many different storage scenarios, a point not lost on the 10% of US households renting a unit. The New York Times points out that self-storage facilities are “among our last national commons— places where nearly every conceivable kind of American still goes.”
So, what exactly are people doing with this space, besides storing stuff? One creative customer decided to make his unit the centerpiece of a debt reduction plan. The 59-year-old veteran stored his possessions in a 10 x 30 space, including a desk where he could handle any variety of tasks. Outside the unit was a truck. Having piled up credit card debt, he decided to forego an apartment, “because of my debt crisis and my marriage crisis and everything, I moved everything into storage and I just live out of my truck,” he said.
With a monthly storage tab of about $200 and no bills for rent, cable, phone and the like, he was able to pay down $30,000 of credit card debt rapidly. And because he was living out of his truck, with possessions securely stored, he could visit friends in other parts of the country, camp out, and enjoy other free or low-cost lodging scenarios.
Toward the other end of the utility spectrum are climate-controlled wine storage facilities. They’re ever-popular among oenophiles who don’t have the space for a wine cellar in their living quarters.
Or, how about storing precious metals? Armed with adequate vault security, Pacific Highway Storage in San Diego offers this option to people converting assets to precious metals. It also can prove a valuable alternative to in-home storage, where the threat of theft may be high.
There also are reports of “man caves” being set up in storage units for watching sporting events and the like, such as at All About Storage of Concord, NC. We’ve heard of self-storage art gallery spaces, a self-storage carwash, and tons of unique business uses of self-storage in Asia.
As the word spreads about the viability of self-storage to augment or replace conventional working, warehousing, and even entertainment venues, the self-storage industry is likely to enjoy its healthy growth pattern for some time to come.