Shifts In The Storage Industry: To Valet Or Not?


Do you need storage but dread the idea of renting a truck and sweating as you load your belongings into it and then unloading into a storage unit? Thankfully, like a domino in today's on-demand society, traditional self-storage is falling to an easier, more convenient concept. Valet self-storage companies are beginning to set up shop all across the United States, revolutionizing the industry. If your city doesn't have one yet, it probably will soon. But is it the best choice for you?

Novel concept

The idea for valet self storage came to British banker Paul Stricker just four years ago. He took a new look at an established industry and decided to structure his company, Boxman, accordingly. The idea quickly took off and he soon opened offices in London, Hong Kong, Canada, and two cities in the United States.

Valet storage works like this:

  1. You call the company and schedule a pick up of the items you want to put into storage. A representative determines how many bins you will need for your belongings and gives you a cost estimate.

  2. A representative comes to your house with the agreed-upon number of size-appropriate bins, which you then pack with your stuff.

  3. The representative takes your bins to the storage facility, and you pay a monthly fee based on the number and size of the bins used.

  4. The company sends you an image catalog of your items.

  5. When you are ready to take some or all of your valuables out of storage, you schedule a drop off.

Most pickup and delivery trips can usually be scheduled within 24 hours of your call.

Typical costs

Traditional self storage works by charging a flat fee for an empty unit, into which you are welcome to arrange as many of your belongings as will fit. If more space is needed, the cost increases. Valet self-storage, however, is more sensitively priced. You can rent by the bin (usually $4-8/bin) or by space (a flat fee covers a prepackaged number of bins), with pickup and delivery costs ranging from $7-30 depending on the company. Logically, large bins or bulky items cost more to store than smaller ones.

Expanding business

Since its inception just a few years ago, the valet self-storage business has found niches in several major cities. Stricker's idea that began as the company Boxman has now expanded to include companies called Clutter, Box Butler, MakeSpace, Red Bin, Closetbox, MyPorter, and Boxbee. These companies do business in cities such as New York, Boston, Denver, San Antonio, Seattle, Atlanta, and southern Florida. Boxbee has even taken the concept a step further, launching into the development and implementation of mobile apps and websites that support start up valet storage businesses.

Right for you? 

Despite the growing popularity of valet self-storage, it isn't automatically the best choice for you.  First, you may not have valet storage in your city; unfortunately, there's nothing you can do about that until one of these companies opens a branch where you live.

Second, even if this service is available in your area, it may not fit your needs. For instance, if you have many items to store, valet storage may be cost prohibitive. Perhaps you need long-term storage and a traditional facility offers a more competitive rate than the valet company. Lastly, you may simply prefer to move belongings yourself rather than pay pickup or delivery fees.

Valet self-storage is a very attractive option where available, and many rental packages are quite affordable. It can be expected that this aspect of the storage business will continue to develop according to customer demand. However, traditional storage units--the standard of the industry--still offer a trustworthy choice for securing items important to you. Whether traditional or valet, moving storage businesses afford you peace of mind while your stuff is out of sight.


31 May 2016

getting your kids through your move

When you have kids, the task of moving takes on a whole new challenge. It doesn't matter if your kids are three months old or thirteen years old, having them to consider as you plan the move, pack up your things, transport it to the new place and begin unloading and rebuliding your home takes careful planning. Our blog is all about moving with kids. You will learn some things that can help you get your kids through the transition with as little stress as possible and advice for allowing the capable children help you get all of the work done.