This past weekend, The New York Times ran an interesting article on how the downturn in the economy is affecting the self-storage industry. Not surprisingly, it confirms what I and my fellow organizers already know: the vast majority of storage units contain mostly clutter.
Since the start of the recession, occupancies at storage facilities nationwide are down 2-3%. While not a big drop, apparently it has shaken an industry that has always thought of itself as recession-resistant, if not recession-proof.
Here are some quotes from the article:
“After a monumental building boom, the United States now has 2.3 billion square feet of self-storage space. (The Self Storage Association notes that, with more than seven square feet for every man, woman and child, it’s now “physically possible that every American could stand — all at the same time — under the total canopy of self-storage roofing.”)”
“A Self Storage Association study showed that, by 2007, the once-quintessential client — the family in the middle of a move, using storage to solve a short-term, logistical problem — had lost its majority. Fifty percent of renters were now simply storing what wouldn’t fit in their homes — even though the size of the average American house had almost doubled in the previous 50 years, to 2,300 square feet.”
“Human laziness has always been a big friend of self-storage operators,” Derek Naylor, president of the consultant group Storage Marketing Solutions, told me. “Because once they’re in, nobody likes to spend all day moving their stuff out of storage. As long as they can afford it, and feel psychologically that they can afford it, they’ll leave that stuff in there forever.”
If you rent self-storage space, I dare you to multiply what your storage space costs by the number of months you’ve been renting it. Okay, now that you’ve picked yourself up off of the floor, do you even remember what you have in storage? Think about what you could have done with that money instead of lining the pockets of the storage industry with it.
I urge you to read the entire article. It’s fascinating and may provide just the inspiration you need to go clean out your storage space! Hire an organizer to help, if you need, too, but get it done!