Self storage is evolving from your standard metal garage type buildings to much, much more. The differences in storage, how it works, pricing, amenities, etc. can be seen much more in larger cities like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Pheonix, Las Vegas & other major metropolitan areas.
Cities grow out, then up. The same is holding true for self storage. It is not uncommon to find new multi-story self storage facilities popping up around the US. Chicago Self Storage, Atlanta Self Storage, Los Angeles Self Storage, Dallas Self Storage and self storage in many other major metropolitan areas are taking on a whole new look. These facilities don't offer the standard drive-up to your roll-up door and unload your possessions type of storage. Here you will use a freight elevator to get to a storage unit or storage locker that can be as small as 2' x 3' and offer as little as 30 cubic feet of total storage (compared to an average sized unit in a traditional self storage facility that will be near 1,000 cubic feet).
New Consumer Demands Change Storage Marketplace
As you can see from the photos above, there are many different types of storage facilities operating today. Changes in consumer behavior, especially in larger markets, have influenced the self storage industry greatly. Storage owners have had to change inventory (more varied sizes and many more smaller units for people who just aren't buying as much), amenities, hours, services, etc.
It is not uncommon for self storage facilities in larger markets to operate almost as your logistics partner. Moving & Storage is technically logistics and you will find that facilities offer most things you need to make visiting your storage unit a productive part of your day. You will find internet access, shipping services, conference rooms, docks, forklifts and more at some storage faciltiies. Look at the photos below of a Chicago self storage facility called Life Storage Centers found at USstoragesearch.com. This company has several of their self storage facilities in Chicago on USstoragesearch.com and other sites around the internet. Their description on the site is:
Life Storage is a Chicago-land based full service self-storage center serving families and businesses since 1985. We help you simplify your life and business with the right self storage solutions. Clean, secure, convenient and affordable, we provide the right size storage unit along with all the amenities you need, and most importantly, peace of mind.
The differences in services will also result in a difference in pricing. Make sure when you are searching for self storage facilities and checking prices that you are comparing apples to apples. A 5x5 storage unit that is $87 at one location and $140 at another surely is missing some of the amenities. Don't overpay for what you don't need either. If you don't need all the amenities of a full service type of self storage facility then you can save a lot of money by choosing one without all the bells and whistles. You can also save a lot of money by driving a little bit further but with gas prices these days be sure to factor in your time and fuel into your costs.
When thinking of self storage don't think just of the metal garage type buildings on the edge of town. Start to think of them as more of a full service storage, shipping, moving solution. Most people can now have a logistics partner - their self storage facility - especially in larger cities.