With the increasing number of household goods that people tend to buy – and their reluctance to get rid of any items, no matter how unnecessary they may be – it certainly is no wonder that some people have run out of space to store goods in their homes. Or even their business premises.
With this increasing trend of lacking space, a new type of business category has arisen to cater to this need – self storage.
Self storage, also known as ‘self-service storage’ and ‘mini storage’, is a type of warehousing facility which individuals can use for storage purposes. Unlike warehouses, which are confined to business purposes, self-service storage is used for both private and business purposes. Individuals are allotted a space within the facility on a rental basis – which is usually per month – where they may store their properties. The reasons behind the increasing need for self-service storages are explained by experts under what they call are the ‘4 D’s of Life’ – death, divorce, downsizing and dislocation (i.e. moving).
The layout of a self-service storage is simple: within the building (which is usually privy of any windows) are basically spaces of different sizes. According to their personal requirements, customers can rent spaces which usually vary from small closet sized spaces to even double-sized bedrooms. Of course, by bedrooms, the size of the room is only implied – customers cannot rent self-service storage rooms for residence. In fact, most jurisdictions explicitly prohibit the use of self-service storage facilities for residential purposes. The edifice is commonly located within a residential area or a busy business district, and usually features a large parking lot for easy access.
Whilst residential usage is prohibited, this does not mean that self-service storage facilities are only simple edifices built for storing. Depending on the company, self-service storages may have facilities that range from climate control to various degrees of security measures (which in turn can range from simple security guards to CCTV cameras, door alarms and biometric access systems). Since most self-service storages are open twenty-fours a day, the majority of course include lighting and power outlets for customer usage. However, take note that most facilities do not provide locks for their rooms – customers are expected to provide their own lock and key (i.e. the company will not have access to the belongings either – which further solidifies security).
In addition to all these amenities, the company will also take steps to ensure that customers can easily move in their belongings. To this end, they may equip the facility with loading docks on the ground floors, and freight lifts (in addition to normal elevators); additionally, they may also provide carts or dollies (as in supermarkets and airports) to further help the customer.