In 2009, an estimated 46,000 facilities across the United States were dedicated to self-storage. This may not seem surprising in today's world, where temporarily storing your belongings is as common as ordering a decaffeinated hazelnut latte, but this was not always the case. Practically non-existent 50 years ago, these facilities are now present almost everywhere. Explaining how this once unheard of concept has managed to permeate modern society may go beyond its inherent yet practical applications. |
Fort Lauderdale, Florida saw the opening of the first self-storage facility in 1958. By the late 1960s, mini-storage chains were developing in Texas. In 1972, one of the biggest chains known today was created in California. Not only did the birth of the self-storage industry originate in these three states, but, as of today, they also boast the highest concentration of rentable spaces in the U.S. One reason for this may be what these sunny climes have in common: high population density coupled with a severe dearth of homes with attics or basements.
It wasn't until the 1990s that this industry experienced exponential, nationwide growth as the demand for rentable space surpassed supply. Nearly a decade later, over 30,000 companies throughout the country were renting out at least two billion square feet of storage space. This sudden change may be indicative of a few different factors.
In the late 1970s, Steven Tyler could be heard on the radio crooning the Aerosmith track "Toys In The Attic." This nostalgic concept may lose traction, as attics have disappeared over the last few decades due to the implementation of trusses in home construction. These trusses, cheaper than traditional, rafter-based roofs, take up most of the space that might have served as an attic. They also left some people looking for alternative places to store their old toys.
Consumerism may also play a role in this race for space; America spends more on goods than any other country. In addition to amassing merchandise, the average U.S. citizen will relocate 11 times in their life. Whether moving in or moving out, many people may be reluctant to part with their prized collection of "Amazing Spiderman" comic books or their VHS tapes of every episode of "I Love Lucy." Finding room for these tangible treasures after mom and dad have sold the house and moved to Florida may prove a hassle.
Aside from holding on to one's collectibles, another market on the rise is selling or auctioning collectibles online. This phenomenon has engendered its own species of personal entrepreneurs who search for niche items in hopes of realizing a profit by selling them to collectors. Regardless of how people end up with so many possessions, if they lack a basement or storefront, self-storage is the next best solution.
Until human beings embark on that final frontier of outer space, the only space left to store our vintage "Star Trek" lunch boxes in may be the self-storage unit.
When looking for self-storage, Sacramento residents should check out http://ministoragestable.com/.
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