Valet Self-Storage: Is It Right For You?

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There's a new self-storage option on the Canadian market, one that is beginning to gain traction in other countries. It's called valet self-storage. It differs significantly from how traditional storage facilities do business, which is why it's becoming popular with a new generation of self-storers--namely, those who are technologically savvy and live for convenience. If you are considering offloading some belongings into storage, you need to know about this new service so you can decide whether or not it's the best solution to your needs.

What is valet self-storage?

Valet self-storage began in London in 2012, the brainchild of former banker Paul Stricker. Surveying an Internet-driven society, he found a way to incorporate technology into the storage market. His concept works like this:

  1. You schedule, online or via the company's app, a pickup of the goods you want to store.

  2. A representative comes to your house, bringing a container (or containers) adequate for your storage needs. You pack the container(s) with your items.

  3. The representative takes the container(s) back to the facility. You won't have access to the facility but will receive an image catalog of your belongings.

  4. You pay a monthly fee that varies based on the size and number of the containers you use.

  5. When you have need of your belongings, schedule delivery.

Valet self-storage companies currently do business in London, Hong Kong, and several major U.S. cities. The first Canadian company launched in Vancouver in April 2015, and there is also one in Toronto. With its growing popularity, valet storage may already be in your city as well.

How much does valet self-storage cost?

Although obviously prices for these services vary from company to company and city to city, here's a breakdown of average costs.

  • Monthly rental fees: $5 per filing box, $7.50 per standard bin, $20 per wardrobe box or oversize item.

  • Delivery fee: $18, plus $2 per box

  • Two months' minimum rental is required.

  • Some companies will rent at a flat fee for a certain number of boxes, or rent out a certain amount of square footage.

Most delivery requests can be accommodated within 24 hours.

Is valet self-storage right for me?

It certainly is appealing to think of someone coming to pick up your belongings so that you don't have to load up your car, drive to a storage facility, unload, and organize your rental space. However, you should consider the following factors when deciding whether or not to use traditional or valet storage.

  • How much do you have to store? While valet self-storage makes sense if you have a few boxes or oversize items--think college kid studying abroad for a semester--the cost may be prohibitive if you have a lot to offload.

  • How long do you need to store your items? If you are thinking about long-term storage, a traditional unit is the way to go. However, if you just need to clear space for a few months--think exchange students staying in college kid's room--valet might be the way to go.

  • How big are the items you need to store? While it could make financial sense to use valet storage for a number of small items, you should probably choose a traditional unit if you've got several big or cumbersome items such as beds, couches, or bookcases--think college kid decided to stay abroad and you're renting out the room.

Valet self-storage promises to revolutionize the industry. It's almost certain that companies will expand into other large Canadian cities because of the success they've had elsewhere. However, before you're carried away with their convenience, evaluate your particular storage needs and make the decision that's best for your pocketbook.

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5 August 2015

Storing Smarter--Not Harder

Do you have any idea how many storage units I have rented during my life? As an active member of the armed forces, I have found myself filling more storage units that you could imagine. For a long time, my family moved every one or two years. However, this experience taught me how to pack, move, and store effectively, which has saved me a lot of time and money over the years. On my website, you can learn from my experiences, so that you don't make a lot of the early mistakes I did. This blog might help you to rent a smaller unit or save money on your monthly rent.