What Is Self Storage?

25 August, 2023

Self storage has been in great demand over the last couple of decades due to a number of factors such as rising populations and smaller living spaces. But what has got self storage to the place it is today, and why do people use self storage?

Key Takeaway Table

Key Point Summary
Self Storage Evolution Self storage began in Australia in the 1970s and has grown to 2,000 facilities in Australia and New Zealand.
Definition of Self Storage Self storage is a flexible service for storing possessions securely, valuable for both individuals and businesses.
Historical Origins The concept originated in ancient China, evolving significantly with the Bekins brothers in the 20th century.
Business Storage Rise Gained popularity in the 1980s for business storage due to cost-effectiveness and efficiency.
Self Storage Evolution Modern self storage has evolved to meet diverse needs, including lifestyle changes and smaller living spaces.
Self Storage in the Modern World Adapted to modern demands, offering a variety of services for different needs like business and personal storage.
Importance of Self Storage Today It plays a crucial role in modern life, helping individuals and businesses manage space and resources.
Finding the Right Self Storage Mammoth Storage provides modern, versatile self storage solutions tailored to various needs.

Self storage has come a long way since it made its first appearance in Australia in the 1970s. Flash forward to now and Australia and New Zealand are home to approximately 2,000 self storage facilities, all with their own unique features.

What Is Self Storage, Really?

Self storage is a service that is invaluable too many individuals in the modern world. Self storage allows you to store possessions in a space like a storage unit on a flexible basis. Many people use self storage as a way to keep personal items secure while they are moving home if they have insufficient space on their property. Additionally, businesses use self storage as a means to keep items secure for a fraction of the costs of their overheads. Self storage is perfect to make people’s lives a lot easier. The benefits include the following:

  • A perfect opportunity to declutter. 
  • Provides a base for your business belongings. 
  • Helps people to downsize in the run-up to retirement. 
  • Give students a place to temporarily store belongings if they are returning home for holidays. 
  • Provides easy transition between homes.

storage facility room

A Brief History of Self storage

Approximately 2,000 years ago the initial concept of self storage. In ancient China, people started storing belongings in underground storage pits inside clay pots and were guarded to ensure nobody apart from the owner could remove them. Fast forward to the 1850s and this was when we saw the first warehouse designed specifically to hold personal items.

Self storage as a concept started in the late 19th and early 20th century when brothers Martin and John Bekins founded the Bekin Van Lines company in Omaha, Nebraska, which was the first company to use motorised methods of storage as opposed to horse-drawn carriages. In 1906, this culminated in the first concrete and steel warehouse used primarily for storage, and this is what defines what we now consider a self storage unit.

The modern self storage facility as we know it did not make an appearance until the late 1960s, when the first facility was built to use garage-style doors in Texas in 1964 by Russ Williams and Bob Munn’s company A1 U-Store-It U-Lock-It U-Carry-the-Key in Odessa, Texas. Gradually, the concept of self storage spread across the country and modern storage facilities increased throughout the 1990s, when demand was greater than the supply, causing a huge rush of new self storage developments.

The Beginnings of Business Storage

Self storage peaked in the 1980s due to expanding businesses needing places to secure documents, stock, and office equipment. The concepts that businesses were choosing for storage at a fraction of the cost in comparison to keeping it on site was a more efficient and cost-effective way to keep a business above board.

The trend of business storage has increased insurmountably since the advent of the modern small business owner and entrepreneur. With over 2.35 million small businesses (accounting for 98% of all small businesses) in Australia looking for ways to cut overheads, this is where self storage becomes invaluable to the modern entrepreneur as they have a more effective method of storing professional and confidential files and equipment.

Modern storage facilities also have a comprehensive 24/7 state-of-the-art CCTV. For many businesses, it is common sense to have self storage as an option because it allows them to keep track of their inventory while also making sure that if they are in the process of setting up a new business, they have peace of mind to keep their belongings secure. People can also run a self storage business by themselves or with a team.

storage boxes and wall

The Evolution of Self Storage

Self storage has changed so much over the last few decades. The design of a self storage unit has undergone major changes over the years. Self storage was, once upon a time, a more practical or useful part of people’s lives, but now the concept of “lifestyle storage” has become more than essential. When the self storage concept was at its zenith in the 1980s and 1990s, facilities were considered an eyesore, with little consideration for the overall practical nature of storage. It was purely a place to put items, but now the whole concept of self storage has undergone major changes.

There have been big changes, partly triggered by housing. Many people are having to live in smaller quarters to stretch their paychecks, which demands a greater need to declutter or to put items into storage. The diverse nature of the modern world has demanded a flexible approach to storage. People renting properties don’t have the space to store all of their worldly possessions, so self storage becomes a lifesaver to ensure that people still have access to the things that matter most.

This, in combination with a wider variety of services catered to the modern individual, from the student who needs temporary respite while finding accommodation to the budding entrepreneur desperate to reduce overheads, or the young couple looking to move into their dream home, self storage is a component that provides a major backdrop to everyone’s lives.

Self storage has adapted to the needs of the modern world. With storage that provides for business owners, individuals, and those that need larger storage for items like vehicles, there are a variety of methods to help you such as professional help to help move people’s items into storage.

Looking for Modern Self Storage?

The evolution of self storage, from underground pots to robust units with professional help on hand, has shown just how integral self storage is in the modern world. If you are looking for a storage facility that meets a variety of these needs with a modern and methodical approach to storage, Mammoth Storage can give you the support you need. Alternatively, if you’re asking yourself “how much self storage do I need“, our friendly team can also help you out.

storage company faciltiy