The Woe and Why of Off-Site Storage

Plenty has been written about the enormous increase of storage facilities in urban and suburban neighborhoods. Obviously, it is a money-making business! has published this recently (read the full report in the link if you are interested):

  • The self storage industry has been one of the fastest-growing sectors of the United States commercial real estate industry over the period of the last 40 years
  • There are now over 48,500 “primary” self storage facilities in the U.S.; another 4,000 are “secondary” facilities
  • The average revenue per square foot varies: $1.25 PSF for a non-climate controlled 10 x 10 unit and $1.60 PSF for a climate controlled 10 x 10 unit.
  • Fact, about 9.5% of all American households currently rent a self storage unit
  • About 13% of all self storage renters say they will rent for less than 3 months; 18% for 3-6 months; 18% for 7-12 months; 22% for 1-2 years; and 30% for more than 2 years. (Ed. Note: I will elaborate on this below.)

Considering what I have personally witnessed what gets put into storage units, I think these facilities are profiting quite nicely from households that seem to want to hold onto things they will probably never use again.

Now, I’m not saying that everything in storage units isn’t worth saving for one reason or another, but if it is really worth something to you or your family shouldn’t it be where you live and be a part of your lives? Could that piece of furniture be of use to anybody? Will you ever read any of the books boxed up and costing money to store? Or the “art?” What is in there that would be necessary to have access to? Memorabiia? Give it the honor it deserves.

If you spend money on storage rental, make it a point to visit it soon and remind yourself what rests there. Spend some time to make decisions about the contents and give back the key!

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