So far, 2011 has been a year where self storage has made its mark. It is dominating the real estate investment trusts (REITs) causing the business world to swoon, but it is also on the minds of everyday people. The popularity of reality TV shows like “Storage Wars” and “Auction Hunters” has cast a spotlight on the industry, satisfying our curiosity of what treasures and trash people choose to put in storage. And people are also simply turning to self storage because they are following the American way of acquiring more stuff or they are downsizing and need more storage space.
Our overstuffed lives are bursting at the seams and luckily self storage is there to scoop up our belongings and tuck them away. Arriving on the scene just in time to satiate our curiosity about the storage industry, a new book called Stuff It the Self Storage Industry by Gardena, Calif. resident Michael White who uses the pen name Ekim Blanco.
Having spent nearly three decades bidding on storage units that fell into default, White discusses some of the more interesting findings he has come across, such as old books and magazines from the 1960s and 1970s that depict what the future would be like. Before the popular TV shows developed a strong following beginning last fall, White and other professional bidders were alone at the auctions. But now, with more novice bidders joining the action, it’s much tougher to make money from a storage unit’s contents, White said. The competition is more intense and prices for units are being driven up.
We live in a nation of “hoarders,” he said, adding: “You got a house full of stuff, you have a garage full of stuff and then we have a storage unit full of stuff. We’re convinced that we need to consume and consume and consume and we throw it into a storage unit.” White believes people find security in possessing things and it can sometimes act like a filler for empty lives.
Self storage demand trends are strong and PhoneSmart, a self storage call center and off-site sales force, reported a record-breaking month in self storage phone volume during May, 2010 with 3,165 reservations representing about $2,278,000 in revenue. The company predicts an equally robust showing for May 2011. Coming up soon is “Crazy Tuesday” in the self storage industry. Likened to “Black Friday,” it is the day after Memorial Day and is traditionally the busiest day of the year for self storage owners and operators. This year, “Crazy Tuesday” is also the last day of May which will likely mean even more action on the busiest moving day in the country.
“Crazy Tuesday is when the season starts for self storage and when self storage owners start to see a profit,” said Tron Jordheim, StorageMart CMO and PhoneSmart Director.
El-Hasan, Muhammed. “Business Casual: Storage Units Satisfy Our Hoarding Instincts.” DailyBreeze.com. April 28, 2011.
“The Day After Memorial Day is the Self Storage Equivalent of Retail’s ‘Black Friday,’ Dubbed ‘Crazy Tuesday.” DigitalJournal.com. April 29, 2011.