Storing our personal junk has created a BIG business...the self-storage industry!
The downsizing housing trend, rising housing costs, and moving has created a challenge for where to store all of our personal junk. SpareFoot, is a U.S. company that tracks the self-storage industry, reports that there are more than 50,000 self-storage facilities that incorporate roughly 2.311 billion square feet in the U.S. 
And there are still areas that are dramatically underserved. New York City with over 900 local facilities and an average of 3.5 square feet per resident, is considered to be “most underserved market” in the U.S. The national average is 7.2 square feet per person with one in 11 of us are paying nearly $100 every month! 
Self-storage facilities have been around for a long time. The Bekins brothers are credited with the concept back in 1891 who had established a concrete and steel warehouse network by 1906. The storage industry has seen steady growth and resilience growing 7.7 percent annually since 2012 creating a $38 billion industry in the U.S. 
Even though the industry is predominantly ‘mom-and-pop’ shops SpareFoot indicates that 144,000 are employed in it. Growth in the industry is still occurring along with changes in zoning laws that restrict where they can be located. Some abandoned shopping malls are being eyed for reconstruction to storage facilities. 
Some of the newest trends include: Valet storage where items are picked up at your home and stored in a remote secure warehouse. These services can be competitively priced because the warehouses are located away from the higher cost residential areas. There are even phone apps related to storage which might tie in with both the valet services and automation. 
1 Self-storage: How warehouses for personal junk became a $38 billion industry (https://www.curbed.com/2018/3/27/17168088/cheap-storage-warehouse-self-storage-real-estate
2 Three Trends that will reshape Self-Storage in 2018 (https://www.insideselfstorage.com/market-conditions/3-trends-will-reshape-self-storage-2018)
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