The weird and wonderful world of self storage

FROM subsea diving equipment to life-size Star Wars characters, watching goods come in and out of Simply Self Storage can be an entertaining way to pass time.

A recent US trend, self storage is an increasingly popular way to live a more decluttered life.

Businesses realise that clogging up expensive office space with archived documents and large tools and equipment makes no sense.

Furthermore, recent flooding and an increasing change in dramatic weather patterns have made businesses and householders wary of storing valuable items in a leaky garage or storage container.

An interesting new trend for self storage demand is downsizing – either empty nester couples moving to smaller, more practical accommodation, or couples divorcing and taking on two single person properties.

A family’s lifetime collection of furniture, photo albums, and toys will not find space in a two-bed cottage in the countryside.

Increasingly, families will collectively rent a self storage unit between them to hold on to family belongings.

In the recent downturn, many small businesses are finding demand for their services and goods slower than would be expected.

Again self storage comes into its own here as it is a low cost and flexible option for companies who are unable to afford the upkeep of a large office but need to keep their possessions clean, warm and dry.

It’s been a few years since we have seen deep snow in Aberdeen, but the frosty mornings are still a pain for car users.

Surprisingly, some people do use their garages for cars, but at the Simply Self Storage site we have drive-in units, which are often used to store summer cars for the winter.

Ever wondered how online fashion stores can deliver goods in a matter of hours?

Pop along to Mugiemoss Road early every morning and see the hive of activity with delivery vans and cars coming in and out and you will understand.

As well as protecting valuable possessions from adverse weather, the extremes of North-east weather is another source of demand for self storage units.

From storing skis and sledges during summertime, to pop up swimming pools and left in garages or sheds.

The economic downturn may have seen a decline in activity in the oil and gas sector over the recent couple of years, but experienced and ambitious people often take the opportunity of redundancy to start up a new business.

New start-ups often begin at the kitchen table, but if large stocks are required, a small or micro business can quickly need inexpensive, flexible storage options.

One client used a whole storage unit over Christmas to store Santas.

The cute metre-long ornaments have been sold now, but the units are rapidly filling up with clients looking to renovate or do home improvements in time for spring.

Like many an American trend, the UK can take the best ideas and fit them to work within our market place.

Self storage is here to stay as businesses large and small watch over their costs carefully and require flexibility.

And any worries about illegal substances being stored are overcome by the regular visit of Police Scotland dog training team, who have great fun careering around our yellow corridors – even when their only reward is a delicious, crunchy dog biscuit.

  • Kevin Shand has over 20 years’ experience as an entrepreneur, senior manager and director. He has personally developed Simply Self Storage, his own thriving business, whilst simultaneously acting as MD of a multi million portable and modular building hire company. Kevin has invested £2.8million in a second self storage site due to open later this year in Altens. He is also a trustee of Befriend a Child, and is a business advisor to Simblox Technologies.