What Is Self-Storage?

Self-storage is a convenient storage facility that allows tenants to safely and securely storage their belongings in a convenient manner. Typically granted with an access code that allows entry through the storage facility gate, the tenants can choose their storage unit. With a lock, they can move in and storage furniture, boxes, and other miscellaneous items they wouldn’t normally want to store in their garage or attic.

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Self-storage tenants include both individuals and businesses. Self-storage is a shorthand for “self-service storage,” — this is an entire industry in which storage space (such as rooms, lockers, containers, or outdoor space), also known as “storage units” are rented to tenants, usually on a short-term basis (often month-to-month).

Whether you need to store extra items that will no longer fit in your garage, attic, spare bedroom, office supplies or need to store additional vehicles, self-storage is a great option.

Self-Storage History

Self-storage facilities generally rent their storage units on a short-term basis, most rent month-to-month, few will have contracts that lock you into a certain period. Throughout history, the first self-storage facility chains opened in Texas and did not begin to appear until the late 1960s. This was believed to be helped by the fact that most homes in Texas do not have basements, which often is used for storage.

Self-storage facilities near you will lease a variety of unit sizes for both residential and business tenants. Popular self-storage unit sizes (expressed in feet, with width shown first and depth as shown second) include, but are not limited to:

  • 5×10, about the size of a large walk-in closet,
  • 10×10, about the size of a child’s bedroom (most common),
  • 10×20, about the size of a one-car garage,
  • 15×20, about the size of a large master bedroom, and
  • 20×20, about the size of a two-car garage.

Self-storage units generally will not have any windows and will vary between temperature-controlled (climate-controlled) and outdoor, drive-up access units.

Types Of Self-Storage

In the more rural and suburban areas, most self-storage facilities contain multiple single-story buildings with mostly drive-up units that have natural ventilation but again are not considered climate-controlled units. These buildings are referred to as “traditional” self-storage facilities. 

Climate-controlled interior units are becoming more popular in suburban areas. In urban areas, many self-storage facilities have multi-story buildings using elevators or freight lifts to move them to the upper floors. These facilities are often climate-controlled since they are comprised mostly, if not totally, of interior units. Warehouses or grocery stores are sometimes converted into self-storage facilities.

  1. Climate-Controlled Self-Storage
  2. Non-Climate Controlled Self-Storage
  3. Portable Container Storage
  4. Information Management Service

Self-Storage Associations

Self-Storage Associations are entities that have been created throughout the modern world to support the growth of the self-storage industry. These Self-Storage Associations offer support in information, education, networking, referrals, events, standardized agreements, data collection, marketing, advocacy, and publications for current and potential facility owners, managers, suppliers, and investors.

The Texas Self Storage Association, for example, or TSSA, was founded in 1986. The TSSA mission is to provide opportunities for all self-storage owners and operators to learn, share, and improve both their businesses and the entire self-storage industry. Today, the TSSA has nearly 4,000 member facilities and is steadily growing along with the self-storage industry.

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Posted by on July 18, 2001