The Psychology Behind Self Storage Usage

The Psychology Behind Self Storage Usage

A big thanks to self storage facilities, people who hoard personal and valuable items now have a safe place to keep their stuff even for long periods of time. With the growing number of these solutions being set up in various areas, individuals and families can put all their junk in one place at an affordable rate. What used to be a temporary solution has now become a permanent solution for many people.

Indeed, self storage has evolved through the years and has become so useful to a great number of consumers as well. In the U.S., the use of these facilities began in the 1960s and today, there are already more than 500.

In the U.K., on the other hand, self storage actually started in London in the 1990s. The use of this facility, however, began to gain ground only in the year 2000. Today, Britain alone has some 800 rental units much the same number as the other parts of Europe combined.

While self storage is meant to be for temporary use only, what’s been found by experts is that people are keeping their personal items in there for longer periods of time. For instance, those supposedly planning to use the unit for a month only just so they can get organized while moving to a new office or home are often enticed by the special offers that are good for two to three months.

The U.K. Self Storage Association confirms that the rent duration since 2007 has extended from 22 weeks or more than 5 months to 38 weeks or more than 9 months in 2010. It’s also been reported in the newspapers that many people have shelled out a huge sum of money for renting self storage not just for months but even for years.

There are various reasons for this increased storage time. The recent recession was just one of them. At that time, business users rented units for 56 weeks while private individuals rented self storage for only an average of 27 weeks.

Lack of storage space at home is another reason. With more people living in smaller homes that have no garages or attics, many are also facing storage space issues. So where else can they safely store their possessions? At self storage facilities only.

The minimalist style of interior design is to be blamed as well. With clean lines and less decors or accessories as the current trend, the old yet valuable items need to be kept away.

People’s love for their material possessions is yet another factor to take into account. There are just individuals and families who can’t seem to part with their personal stuff no matter how old they are. This is due to the sentimental value they’ve placed on those items making it hard for them to throw or give away those things. Psychologists refer to this as the endowment effect or putting more value to an item than its market price. This often leads people to store their personal possession instead of disposing of or selling it to buy a new one.