Have you ever wondered where the idea of self-storage originated, which nation is known for storing the most stuff, or what unexpected things people put away in storage units? Whatever your answer is, now is your chance to find out many interesting things about the world of self-storage.
The origins of self-storage
It’s probably no surprise to anyone that the birthplace of self-storage was the United States of America. The pioneer in this field was Bekins, a company that was the first to build facilities for storing household items in the 1850s. A pair of reinforced concrete warehouses were built in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The fact that they were truly durable is evidenced by the fact that during the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906, this building was one of the few structures that did not collapse.
The concept of modern self-storage facilities came a little later – in 1958, when a self-storage building was built in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Also worthy of note is the self-service storage in Odessa, Texas, with the truly complicated name “A-1 U-Store-It U-Lock-It U-Carry the Key”. It was a self-service storage as we know it today: a rental space where no one but the tenant has access, just as we do here at Storage Port. Built in an industrial area where fishermen could store their boats and oilfield workers could store their equipment for quick access, it became successful, and gradually the concept became popular with a wide cross-section of the population.
The land of the greatest hoarders
We will stay in the US for a while. This is the country with the largest number of self-storage units in the world. There are more than 50,000 of them across the country, a number higher than the total number of all Starbucks, McDonald’s, Dunkin’, Pizza Hut and Wendy’s sites in the United States combined. Nearly 9% of American households (that’s 10.85 million people) rent storage units, and the total area of all self-storage space is more than 213 square miles!
The demand for storage is still growing
Although the numbers above are high, the demand for units to store things of all kinds is still higher. Self-storage facilities for rent are a large separate industry in the US that has been growing significantly in recent years and new locations are being added all the time.
The industry is growing at a rapid pace in other countries as well, and the Slovaks are no exception, as they are increasingly looking for temporary or long-term storage options for the things they care about. Storage Port in Bratislava at Ivanská cesta 26 offers up to 196 warehouses, where you can choose from a variety of storage sizes. Take a look at Storage Port’s self-storage units!
What do people store in self-storage?
The use of a self-storage always remains up to the individual tenant. Many people choose a storage unit as a temporary solution for storing things during a move, some store seasonal sports or garden equipment there, and others store documents and office furniture. And then some choose storage as a place to store things they don’t use but are unwilling or unprepared to get rid of permanently.
So what do people put away most often? According to the statistics, the top 5 items are furniture, seasonal decorations (the Christmas tree is a classic), electrical equipment and appliances (both working and non-functioning), collectibles (both valuable and sentimental), and books and multimedia.
What you (don’t) want to find in storage
Although storage units are a strictly private affair, where no one has access except the tenants themselves, there have been cases where the curious contents of storage units have become public knowledge. Sometimes the tenants have not come to collect the contents of the warehouse, sometimes the various bizarre things have not escaped the watchful eye of the security guards, and sometimes the police have had to intervene.
On a more positive note, self-storage facilities have been the place where original recordings of Michael Jackson’s never-published songs, Aretha Franklin’s dresses, and a rare comic book stolen from Nicolas Cage have been found. Less pleasant finds included a tin full of cockroaches or a box of snakes – both (unsurprisingly) found in Australia. Strange, but not illegal, cases include urns with ashes, a container with kidney stones, or taxidermy animals. However, a dead body has also been found in a facility in Florida and a defused grenade in Michigan.
If you have any questions about what can be stored in storage units, please contact us or see the sizes of the storage units on the Storage Port website.