We’re coming up on springtime and that means getting outside and connecting with neighbors. But what happens when the small talk starts to run short? Well here’s an answer – just bring up storage – because who doesn’t want to know some interesting self-storage facts?!
Whether you are looking for a storage unit or already have one, here are some fun facts about these precious extra units of space that are sure to make you the hit of the neighborhood!
- In the U.S., 65% of self-storage renters have a garage in their home, 47% have an attic, and 33% have a basement. This suggests that Americans have more things than their homes allow them.
- In 2015, 90% of self-storage units nationwide were occupied, leaving only 10% vacant.
- In 2014, there were nearly 48,500 primary self-storage facilities in the country. That’s an average of nearly 900 per state. Compare this to the 3,000 storage units in Canada and just over 1,000 in Australia.
- 52% of the nation’s self-storage facilities are located in the suburbs. 32% are in cities, and only 16% are in rural areas.
- Every American could stand under the rooftop of every self-storage facility at the same time.
- 9% of American households (10.85 million people) currently rent a self-storage unit. This number has grown from 6% in 1995. Popular renters are businesses and military personnel.
- In total, Americans store 2.3 billion square feet of stuff, which is more than 78 square miles–three times the size of Manhattan. That’s an average of 7.3 square feet of self-storage space for every person in the United States.
And, just in case you want to know what those storage units may contain, here are a few of the most interesting/valuable items found in storage:
- A Lamborghini. Matt Van Horn, vice president of Cutting Edge Self Storage Management in Port St. Lucie, FL, once had a customer store a 2-year old orange Lamborghini valued at $250,000 in a Colorado unit. He said, “Lamborghini actually came out and inspected the facility to make sure it met their criteria. I don’t know who insured it but I know the insurance cost was around $5,000 per month.”
- Remember the Beach Boys? In the late 2000s, a Florida radio station paid several hundred dollars at a blind auction for the contents of a storage locker listed as containing “Documents and Papers”. The paperwork inside was discovered to be original lyrics, contracts, musical arrangements and royalty checks belonging to the 1690s superstars. A long drawn out court battle ensued, with the Beach Boys trying to stake their claim on ownership of the documents. After eight years the archive was sold at sealed bid auction for an amount believed to be in the region of 10 million dollars.
- James Bond’s Submarine Car. In 1989, a man paid less than $100 to buy the contents of a storage unit at a facility in Long Island. When he and his brother cut the lock the next day, they found a white sports car without the wheels, and with a dented roof. As he drove home with the car tied to the bed of his truck, other drivers soon told him via CB radio that the vehicle was one of the submarine cars operated by James Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me. The man, who had never seen a James Bond film, immediately rented the movie to see what all the fuss was about. Eight versions of the car appear in the film and, until then, only seven of the eight had been accounted for. The car that he now owned was used for promotions when the film was released, but no one seemed to be able to figure out how it later ended up in a storage unit. Later, the car was purchased at auction by Tesla founder Elon Musk for almost $1 million.
Want to find your own storage fun facts – I suggest you start at the Self Storage Association where I believe many of these statistics were originally compiled and are now spread far and wide across the web.