There are a lot of good reasons not to have a car these days. Perhaps you’re a teleworker, almost everything you need is nearby, and you can order everything online anyway. Maybe you live in a city where traffic is often backed-up, it’s tough to find parking, and the public transit is good. Or, perhaps you’re just environmentally conscious and waiting for electric cars to become more affordable.
So, what happens when you decide you could sure use a little extra room in your house or apartment? The first step is always to declutter and get rid of things you don’t need by selling, donating, or recycling them. However, maybe you’ve done that and you still feel like there’s just too much in your space.
That’s when most people would rent a self storage unit. However, without a car, it’s tough to transport boxes to storage. You could get a friend to help, but that’s inconvenient.
This is where valet storage comes in.
The Valet Storage Industry
The valet storage industry has been growing quickly since the mid-2010s. Back in 2015 we covered this burgeoning trend and reported on 31 valet storage companies. All but two, MakeSpace and Storageo, were in very specific areas around the globe. Those two could be found nationwide in the U.S., but not everywhere.
Now, if you live in or near any large, chances are there’s a valet storage option in your area, and if there’s not, one may be coming soon. That’s because valet storage offers a viable alternative to traditional self storage for those who need it.
How Valet Storage Works
The valet storage business model is pretty simple. You sign up for the service you want to use online or via telephone. You let them know how many boxes you will need to pack away what you plan to store, and they will bring those boxes to you. In most cases, this is free of charge. You’ll pack the boxes and take photos of the contents, which you can then upload to your account on their website.
Next, you’ll contact the company when you’re ready for them to pick the boxes up. They’ll transport them to their warehouse and store them safely. You’ll pay a small amount per stored box every month.
When you need something you packed away, you’ll check your account on their website and select the box you need to be returned. That’s why most valet storage companies have you take photos of your open boxes, so you can easily have a look at what you packed. You will probably have to pay a fee for them to bring the box out. When you’ve retrieved what you needed, they’ll transport it back to their warehouse.
Yes, the valet company will provide you with boxes. That’s because each one has an organizational system and using their proprietary boxes is part of that. And yes, they typically provide these free of charge.
How Much You Need to Store
Besides saving you a trip to a storage facility and being especially convenient if you don’t have a car, valet storage works great if you don’t have much to put in storage. Maybe you have only two or three boxes worth of stuff. A standard 5x5 storage unit, or even a 2 1/2x5 storage locker, would be too big. You’d be paying for space you’re not using. Valet storage can save you money since you’ll only pay for the space you use.
As the trend of teleworking continues, we expect to see more people deciding they don’t need a vehicle, especially in cities with great public transportation. That’s going to make valet storage all the more needed in those areas. If you can’t find a valet storage company now, keep an eye out. You may also want to ask your local self storage companies if they have added valet storage as a component of their business.