When you hear the words “self storage”, what do you think of? A treasure chest of goodies to buy at auction? A hoarder’s paradise? An emblem of the world’s growing “obsession” with stuff? Whatever your current perception, our mission is to debunk common myths and reveal the truth about self storage.
Adopting the approach of popular TV show, Mythbusters. It’s time to find out which myths are plausible and which are busted!
Myth 1: Self storage companies typically cater to hoarders who use the space as an extension of their own over-crowded homes.
It’s true that today’s generation loves to shop. From toys and clothes to furniture and electronics, “we’ve got, by weight six times as much stuff” as the previous generation (Professor Danny Dorling, University of Oxford, BBC2- Real Storage Wars featuring Storemates UK).
In one year:
- Women buy half their body weight in clothes (Daily Mail).
- Parents spend an average of £639.60 on toys for children aged 0-5 (Aviva).
- London residents spend an average of £5,781 on decorating and new furnishings (Ideal Home).
Dubbed “the generation that wants more everything”, it’s undeniable that millennials have got an obsession with things. But do they deserve such a bad reputation? You bet they don’t. They may have more stuff, but they use more stuff, too. And when they don’t want their stuff any more, they tend to head to sites such as eBay, vinted and musicmagpie to recycle their hard-earned cash.
Around half of all storage space is used by people who are at a point of transition in their lives. What do you do with your things when you want to move house, redecorate or make room for a new or visiting family member? Introducing your “new spare room”: a self storage unit!
Add this to the fact that a whopping 42% of all self storage space is used to boost the economy – yes – that is right – nearly half of all space is utilised by business. Whether it’s used by large companies as a drop off point for sales reps to pick up materials or a small business to keep stock or records, self storage space is a cost effective, secure and flexible place for businesses of all shapes and sizes to flourish. And this fact won’t be a secret for long – last year alone, the SSA estimated that more than 10,000 new enterprises were launched in self storage facilities.
Myth 2: Self storage companies in the UK operate just like an episode of Storage Wars.
Many of us have enjoyed an episode or two of Storage Wars. But how authentic is it? Are abandoned storage units really auctioned off to the highest bidder in a free-for-all where buyers have no clue what’s in the unit? The answer is, of course, no, they are not. Not only is this practice illegal in the UK, but, in a revealing exposé of the show, it was found to be largely fabricated to create the entertainment factor. To find out just how real Storage Wars is, read the article, “Is Storage Hunters UK Real or Fake?”
Fabricated or not, you won’t find any storage wars-esque behaviour here. All leading self storage operators in the UK follow best practice guidelines supplied by the Self Storage Association UK. This means that the company will take every measure to try and contact you if your unit falls into arrears before accessing your goods. If the customer cannot be contacted or has abandoned his/her unit then the unit may have to be sold to recoup the outstanding debt. To start this process, a full inventory of the contents is made. Once the storage facility has a better understanding of what’s inside the unit, any items of value are sold to specific purchasers that deal in those goods such as antique dealers and second hand furniture stores.
Myth 3: The majority of people aren’t aware of storage companies.
While this may seem shocking considering that there are the same number of self storage sites in the UK as there are McDonalds (the SSA UK estimates that there are now over 1430 self storage sites in the UK), more than 66% of people cannot name a self storage brand.
But this is beginning to change….
Over the past few months, the Self Storage Association UK has been busy raising awareness of the value of self storage throughout the UK. To kick-start this campaign, self storage operators focused on regional stories that make a real difference to people’s lives.