Why Are People Paying To Store Stuff They Never Use?

Many self storage users are making the most of their units, storing their cars, holding stock and even running businesses. However, some people seem to be simply paying for something they don’t use or need. Why are they willing to pay for space they don’t use?

Communities have always had some hoarders, but these days it seems that almost everyone is reluctant to throw out their old belongings. Maybe this is due to the fact that the recession has scared everyone into thinking anything we own is worth keeping because of the money value it might bring us one day, or maybe this is simply because we can’t let go of the past. Whatever it is, it’s a fairly new thing.Britainwasn’t the first to jump on the self storage bandwagon and it wasn’t until the 1990s that self storage facilities first arrived inLondon. In 2000 self storage began to grow in popularity in the UK and now in 2014 almost everyone knows that the option is available for them if they need it.


It is likely that we will end up like America, with over 50,000 self storage facilities already counted for and with more and more businesses recognising the benefits it really could have another wave of public recognition.

The average family household is cluttered in one way or another, whether it is just all hidden away in one room or scattered across the kitchen floor. It can be difficult to keep things in order when you’ve got high quantities of unused goods lying around the house, and although it probably would be easier to throw these things away a lot of people find it hard to part with their once-treasured possessions.

Self storage is often used by those that are making home improvements or those that are moving house. Initially self storage is just a stopgap, not a long-term investment, but this often changes. The saying ‘out of sight, out of mind’ comes to mind – people simply leave their junk in storage units for much longer than they first intended to. A clear example of this can be seen in some data produced by the UK Self Storage Association. The data shows that the average length of stay in self storage has risen from 22 weeks to 38 weeks in just three years. In those three years something has shifted in the way we use self storage, but what and more importantly why?

A very likely reason is that we are having to move into smaller homes, meaning that we have no other option but to store our possessions away from our home. The property ladder is becoming increasingly hard to get onto for young people and as a result they are living in much smaller environments than what they are used to.


It is also important to note that private business users are now staying much longer too. The same shift has been recorded in business users showing us that they stay for 56 weeks compared to individuals who stay for 38 weeks on average, and of course this number has risen dramatically in the last three years. This can also be related back to the recession as many businesses have struggled to stay afloat, meaning that they have turned to low rent self storage units instead of your typical office or walk-in shop. More and more businesses are changing their business models by taking advantage of the new pop-up shop craze and online sellers and buyers’ community, allowing them to simply store their stock in a storage unit and run their business remotely with flexibility and no tie downs such as rent or council tax.

There are many different reasons for people to use self storage, but it might simply be that people find it just too taxing to go through a closet full of clutter. People don’t like to make decisions and therefore they find it much easier to box it up and deal with it later.

Why do you use self storage? Tell us your story using the comments section below.


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