Self Storage and Everything Else You Need to Know

Self Storage

Self-storage is one of the largest industries in the world. It is worth $39 billion dollars. Is there something else going on for self-storage to value that much? Not really. Self-storage is also known as mini storage, where storage space is rented to tenants. These storage spaces, called storage units can range from shipping container storage to lockers, rooms and even outdoor areas. These spaces are rented to tenants on usually a month-to-month basis. Tenants usually include businesses and offices but can be accessible to home owners and individuals as well.

Where did Self Storage come from?

There are many stories as to where self storage started. There are stories of it originating in China. A man named Xiang Lu loved to collect rocks but his wife got tired of all the clutter, so he decided to store all of it in pots underground. His neighbors soon followed suit which he turned into a profit.

Other stories were about British merchants from the 18th to 19th centuries storing their valuables in banks whenever they sailed. When the bank got full their possessions would be transferred to a warehouse which seems more believable.

However, modern self storage facilities trace their roots from the Bekins brothers in the 1800s, whose business was giving temporary storage in three horse drawn buggies to movers. It was only in 1959 that self storage facilities as we know now started to appear. It was in the 1960s, that storage facilities like the ones in the US appeared in Australia. There are now about 48,000 storage facilities in America alone. 

What is Self Storage?

Self storage facilities offer space to business and individuals but are not limited to this. There are some self storage facilities that offer removal of cartons, lock, packaging, transportation and whatever other services a tenant may need.  A storage does not take possession of your stored items unless there is an issue when it comes to payments. 

What are the types of self storage?

In the case of one wanting self storage, it is also important to know that storage facilities have different options to them based on your needs. It is not just in terms of the size and shape of the facilities, and what services are offered, but what kind of self storage there is. 

Climate-Controlled Self Storage

This is one of the more expensive options, usually in the form of buildings with large space. It offers humidity and temperature control as well as access from morning to late night for your belongings. You can retrieve your objects a number of times and this type of storage is optimal for storing important items, such as family heirlooms, furniture, electronics, collectibles etc.

Non-climate controlled Self Storage
This is one of the cheaper options and is usually in the form of garages. It has the same amount of accessibility as the former storage type, but items stored in here are more susceptible to damage from changes in temperature. Heavy tools, sporting equipment and automobiles are usually recommended to be stored here.

Portable Container Storage

This is different from the two other services as a company only sends you a container for your belongings and they are the ones responsible for transporting it back and forth. With this you are not able to access your items anytime. This is ideal for storing things that you will not be needing anytime soon.

Information Management Service

This is a service dedicated to paper files. They pick up your files and store them in their climate-controlled storage. One can ask for the company to deliver files upon request and is likewise similar to portable storage in terms of accessibility.

Self Storage Craze

Self storage has boomed in many parts of the world particularly Australia and the US. However, in 2014 Europe had only 2,390 facilities which amounted to 76 million square feet of rentable space. In contrast to the United States 50,000 facilities and 1,400 facilities in Australia which combine for 277 million square feet. Recent statistics from Statista show that there are now 4,100 storage facilities available in Europe. From the 2014 statistics of 975 in the United Kingdom, 340 in France, 264 in the Netherlands, 200 in Spain, 130 in Germany and 110 in Sweden. The number has increased to 1582, 505,315,504,271, and 206 respectively.

Self Storage Today

Self-storage today has grown to a multi-billion dollar industry. In the USA alone, from the initial 235 million square feet of storage it now offers a total of 1.709 billion square feet worth of storage, almost 8 times its size since then. It has been rapidly growing with $4.99 billion dollars being used to construct more storage facilities which is a 344% increase from 2008-2018. Texas has the most storage facilities with 3,904 among any other state. However, there are estimated to be 45,000-60,000 total facilities. There are more storage facilities in the US than the combined total number of Starbucks, Wendys, McDonalds, Pizza Hut and Dunkin Donuts which total only 50,152. 

In terms of size  the popular units include 10×10, 10×20, 15×20 and 20×20. In the US storage statistics show the division between these spaces are as follows. 22.3% are 10×20 which are the size of a one-car garage, 23% is 10×10 which is the size of a small bedroom, 20×20 and 15×20 along with other sizes amount to 14.7%. 

Storage Auctions

Storage auctions are held to vacate non-paying customers according to the laws depending on each state. Storage owners must give public notice of the auction either by newspaper or internet. If you are a tenant and have a storage unit about to be auctioned, don’t fret. A tenant can pay outstanding bills to remove the unit and reclaim the items before auction starts. The auctions are open to anyone, and are sold on the day as is. If a person purchases a unit that person is responsible for all the contents that come with it. 

Self Storage Associations 

Associations have been created to support the growth of the industry. These associations provide support, information, education, marketing and other helpful tasks that can help potential owners, operators, managers, investors and suppliers.


The self storage industry is one of the biggest industries in the world, only growing bigger in recent years with the increase of storage facilities world wide this is with the help of numerous self storage associations dedicated to support the growth of the industry. Storage facilities provide short-term storage for individuals in various forms. There are four main types of storage, dedicated for certain types of items that you need stored. In the case your storage facility remains unpaid, it is subject to a public auction that can be stopped with the payment of outstanding bills. In the case that one is not able to pay, the person who bought the storage facility will be responsible for all remaining items in the unit. 



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