Did you know that the UK storage industry is booming? There’s loads of money to be made in storing all our stuff. But, as we move away from costly, conventional storage solutions to a friendlier, community based approach, some interesting facts have emerged.
Here are 5 of those facts!
- Can you believe that in the UK, the total turnover of the industry in 2013 was estimated at £385 million, according to the Self Service Association (SSA). The UK now has 30 million sq ft of storage to rent with 250,000 customers. Wouldn’t we rather this money benefit our neighbours and friends rather than another big storage company?
- Most of us (90%) find it difficult to get rid of our treasured possessions! This is supported by a survey of UK households by Access Self Storage. It could be because of all those memories that old schoolbooks, birthday cards, photographs, old books or clothes, have for us. Our identity has increasingly become associated with what we own and the emotional investment we have in them. If 90% of a growing population needs storage space, you can understand why the sharing economy is thriving. Danny Dorling, professor of geography at Oxford University, says we have six times more "stuff" than the generation before us.
- We know that warehouses are expensive to rent and ugly to look at. Commercial storage uses up valuable land, in prime areas of overcrowded cities, like New York and London. 66% of people surveyed stated that they became aware of self storage facilities because they were ‘directly visible’ - it’s not easy to ignore bright yellow!
- Commercial storage units could be used to ease the growing housing problem. Who knew? In the City of London alone, where the population is 8.3 million, and real estate is of prime value - 8,590,000 sq ft is taken up by commercial storage units.
- Did you know that 18-34 year olds are most likely to put their stuff in storage during those important life moments. This includes storing stuff during University holidays, travelling, moving home or working abroad. This not only costs a bomb but also means that their limited budget is hugely affected.
It’s clear that the industry is growing, year on year, but it’s also clear that we’re dealing with ‘finite resources’ and, unless we all want to be living in storage, along with our possessions, sometime in the near future…we need to look at other solutions.
Disruptive sharing start ups such as Storemates are now challenging big self storage and offer a more environmentally friendly alternative. For example, did you know that 100 lofts are the equivalent of a modest self storage warehouse and with a zero carbon foot print too.
So rent out your space or rent with a Storemate near you…
Written by Rishma Janmohamed
BBC2 Business Boomers: "Real Storage Wars"
Huffington Post - "Get Rich Quick: 8 ways you may not have thought of"
Independent on Sunday - "How to make extra cash from your home"
Evening Standard - "The real cost of owning too much stuff"