Tidying Up like Marie Kondo doesn’t have to mean losing your storage unit.

One of the most popular Netflix series so fat this year has been “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” a program that encourages people to take a more Buddhist approach to clutter and be thankful for the things they have. Friends asked if I was worried about the impact it might have on the self-storage business.
Not at all and here’s why:
Getting rid of clutter is not the same as getting rid of all self storage units.
Believe it or not, not everyone who has a self storage is unit is a hoarder. In fact, most of our storage units are rented by businesses and organizations, not individual people.
So who actually rents self storage units?
Businesses
From contractors who mostly work out of their trucks to restaurants who need to store seasonal decorations, most of our customers are businesses. Because of our proximity to the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks, we get a fair number of customers who need a place to store their displays for annual trade shows at the center. But we also have a DJ, a vending machine owner, several different types of contractors including plumbers, electrical and radon removal experts, large construction companies, computer equipment repair firms, a motorcycle helmet wholesaler, eBay resellers and more.
I think, at the moment, we have three restaurants who store their excess stock and decorations here and many different fleet based businesses that park their vehicles here.
Not For Profit Organizations
Another common type of customer is the non-profit sector. Whether it’s a breast cancer charity that needs a place to store their fundraising equipment of a church organization looking for a place to park their buses, we have space for organizations that don’t have a permanent location and are sick of storing things in their organization’s president’s attic.
People who are moving
A large percentage of our storage units are people who are either preparing to sell their home or waiting to buy a new one. Real Estate agents insist staging a home — getting rid of all that pesky personal stuff — helps it sell faster. But if you haven’t sold the old house yet, it can sometimes be hard to buy a new one. So what do you do with that stuff while your home is on display?
Put it in storage.
New home buyers often also have some period of time between the closing on the old house and the closing on the new one. Whether that means living in a motel, with family or just a small apartment until their new home is ready, that usually means storing things until they get the chance to move. this is especially true when people are relocating for long distances.
We also have stored things for families who are working abroad for a year or two and military members who are deployed.
People like me
My house, by most accounts, is fairly clutter-free. My spouse is well-organized and keeps the house that way. And for our day-to-day needs, the house is the perfect size. I don’t need or want anything larger.
But there isn’t a lot of storage, so I have no place to keep my luggage, cooler and Christmas decorations.
In addition, we’re gamers. Board gaming, role-playing, war gamine, we do it all. And everyone who war games knows that between storing your miniatures and your terrain, you need a lot of storage space. To think like Marie, these things bring me joy, but they also don’t belong in my living room.
So there you have it.
People who use self-storage are not all hoarders in need of an intervention. Most storage is used to make life easier and better for the people who use it.