Baby Boomers Fuel Demand for Self Storage Services, Survey Data Shows
Interest in self storage is greater than ever as demand comes from residential clients and businesses alike. According to a recent survey done by STORAGECafé, a nationwide storage space marketplace, baby boomers are the primary users of self storage services. Members of Generation X are a close second.
Almost a third of people living in 3,500+ square foot houses are using self storage
Having ample space at home does not necessarily temper appetites for self storage. Of the respondents, 30% living in 3,500+ square foot homes and 33% living in homes between 2,500 and 3,500 square feet are renting or have rented storage units in the past.
Other self storage users include 37% of those in homes between 1,300 and 1,800 square feet, 34% of those in homes between 1,000 and 1,300 square feet and 31% of those in homes 1,000 square feet or smaller.
Another interesting finding is that respondents in one-person households have the highest rate of self storage use at 34%. The high mobility of people in one-person households attributes for this high percentage. These people are usually younger and more likely to relocate for career opportunities.
Moving is the most popular reason for renting self storage
Almost 37% of self storage users cited moving as the reason for renting self storage. The second-most-common reason is not having enough space at home. About 22% of self storage renters find themselves in this situation. Changes in household size accounts for 8% of customers using self storage. Another 7% said that downsizing led them to get a unit.
The most popular unit sizes are 10×10 and 5×10, with about 62% of self storage customers choosing one or the other. A majority 41% of self storage users visit their unit once a month. Another 24% are dropping by their units once a week.
Women are more inclined toward self storage, while baby boomers and Gen Xers represent 77% of customers combined
Women are more interested in self storage than men. Of the survey respondents, 65% of users are women, and only 35% are men. The two categories of consumers are also using the service differently: women tend to store more clothing and home appliances than men, while men are more interested in storing furniture.
When it comes to the age of self storage customers, 39% of the survey respondents using self storage are baby boomers, 38% are Gen Xers, 16% belong to the millennial generation and 7% are 72 and older.
Baby boomers are the most likely to use self storage while downsizing when compared to other generations. Between baby boomers, Gen Xers and millennials, Gen Xers are most likely to rent because they are low on space. About 36% cited a lack of space at home as the reason for renting a storage unit.
Furniture is the most common item put in storage
Around 51% of self storage customers use self storage for extra furniture. Seasonal items are the second most popular category of items in self storage, with 22% of customers saying they keep some in their unit. Another 16% of self storage users declared they keep mostly clothing in their unit. A slim 9% are storing home appliances.
Apart from these frequently stored items, people put all sorts of things in self storage. Some are less common, and others are downright strange. Imagine coffins and cuckoo clocks, a hammered steel dog, the backseat of a Bronco, candy machines or a sword collection.
Ultimately, self storage is a service that responds to varied needs. Whether relocating for a better job, downsizing, storing office supplies or simply owning too much stuff to store in the home, we can all use some extra space. This is what keeps the sector strong and growing, even in times such as these when COVID-19 fears challenge our long-built habits and the economy.