If there was ever a poster child for modern society’s affluenza of over-consumption, it would have to be self storage garages, right? People have SO much stuff that they can’t fit it into their homes – despite the average living space doubling over the last 40 years.
A friend and I met for lunch recently at a wickedly greasy steak place and he talked about a storage garage he had rented to store stuff while they put their house up for sale. It is a 5′ x 10′ space that rents for an incredible $75 per month. I was shocked at how much it cost, although it has security, 24 hour access, and climate control. You could store a boat for a lot less than that somewhere, but you wouldn’t have all of the niceties.
A quick Google search revealed these amazing statistics: Almost 9% of Americans have a storage garage rented at any given time. It’s a $22B industry in the US with 58,000 rental facilities averaging 586 units each. That’s twice as many storage garage facilities as there are chain drug stores – which seem like they are on every block.
I think it’s interesting that 65% of storage garage renters have a garage, 47% have an attic, and 33% have a basement. Still, people have much more stuff than they have space. The storage industry has grown an amazing 75% over the last 10 years.
Self storage garages are so ubiquitous and so many people have abandoned their units that a whole industry has popped up around buying the crap that people leave in them. There are now dozens of websites where you can bid for garage contents online. Annually about 150K storage units get sold at auction with an average bid of $425.
My brother and I split a storage garage for a couple years when we were moving between places after college, but we’ve never had one since. While I’m sure they make a lot of sense for someone on the move (like military) or someone that needs to store things for a business, looking at the garages that are being auctioned on TV it just looks like a lot of extra crap that people didn’t have a place for.
Do you keep a self storage garage? Is it temporary, or have you had it a long time?