Self storage – temporary solution or permanent fix?

According to an article on the BBC news website back in September of 2011, paid for self storage usage in the UK reveals some interesting statistics.

The data (lifted from a survey in 2010 carried out by the UK Self Storage Association) showed that the length of the average stay had risen from 22 weeks to 38 weeks in the period 2007 to 2010. Compare that to the most recent data available from the UK Self Storage Association and it is clear to see that growth in self storage has accelerated in the intervening period.

Another interesting statistic is the increase in the number of householders using self storage facilities as opposed to the increase in demand from business users. According to feedback in the survey from self storage Kingston firm Storage Box, they have the following to say on the subject:

…’the start to the year has seen a healthy increase in demand from householders whereas business use has levelled off. However, the first couple of months of the year always have a tendency for commercial and private occupancy of units to level off…interestingly the private demand has continued to increase month on month with no levelling, as has been seen in previous years’…

Are we a nation of hoarders?

These statistics make for interesting reading, especially where private storage is undertaken. Does it mean we are increasingly becoming a nation of hoarders? Does it mean we are running out of space in our homes, or are we too attached to our possessions that we would rather pay for storage than get rid of excess stuff?

Other potential reasons for increasing usage

There may be other demographic reasons why private usage of self storage is increasing. Interestingly, the number of people between 25 and 40 who are returning to their parents’ homes as a result of job loss, relationship breakup or illness may be seen as factors in the equation. Not wanting to dispose of their possessions they are increasingly turning to self storage as a solution until they are able to reassess and/or sort out their lives.

Also we have to take into account the number of older people downsizing their property and consequently not having sufficient space in their new homes. With an excess of cash in their bank accounts, maybe they see self storage as a solution to that dilemma, a solution which they are now able to afford with relative ease.

It may be a combination of all or some completely unrelated reason. Whatever the reasons are it would appear that the demand for additional self storage space, at least for the time being, remains unabated.