It seems like there’s a national “holiday” for everything.
From National Dog Day (and National Cat Day), to National Donut Day, National Earmuff Day, and National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work Day (October 5, for anyone else who likes to live the cozy life) — it’s clear that anything can be celebrated with a special day.
But one National Day was missing from the calendar, and it’s something we believe should be celebrated: Self storage. We wanted a National Self Storage Day — a reason to celebrate our favorite industry and reflect on the past, present, and future of self storage.
But National Self Storage Day couldn’t fall on just any day of the year. We wanted to make sure it was the right one.
National Self Storage Day Is the Last Saturday in July
In 2021, National Self Storage Day will be on July 31. In future years, it’ll fall on the last Saturday in July.
To pick that date, we analyzed Google trends data for searches for self storage. It was immediately clear that Google search interest for self storage peaks in July. May and June tie for second most popular months, with all other months trailing far behind. In the past five years, two of the top three most popular weeks for Google searches for self storage were the last week in July.
In terms of which day of the week, Saturday is by far the most popular day to search for self storage on Google. Among the top 10 most popular days to search for self storage in the past 90 days, 5 of them were a Saturday.
It makes sense, if you think about it. July is the peak of the summer moving season, when many people are relocating or downsizing their homes. It’s also in between school terms, meaning college students are leaving dorms and other temporary housing and moving around as they get ready for the fall semester. The last weekend in July is definitely primetime for self storage — and now it’s official with National Self Storage Day.
Why Should Self Storage Be Celebrated?
In 2021, self storage is on track to earn nearly $40 billion in revenue as an industry.
RELATED: Self storage industry statistics at a glance
The 2021 Self Storage Almanac estimates that there are 49,233 self storage facilities operating in the U.S. today. That amounts to 1.9 billion square feet of storage space, or about 5.9 square feet for every single person in the U.S.
What’s even better is that the self storage industry is fueled by small business owners. According to the Self Storage Almanac, only 31% of storage space (by rentable square footage) is owned by big, public companies. 16% is owned by the next 94 largest operators. But more than half of all self storage space — 52% of it — is owned by small operators.
Self storage is also a widely utilized service. The Self Storage Association’s 2020 Demand Study showed that an estimated 11% of households in the U.S. currently rent a self storage unit of some kind. That comes out to 13.5 million households.
Self storage is pandemic- and recession-proof
If the last year has shown us anything, it’s how resilient the self storage industry is in the face of a major crisis.
A study by Trepp showed that from 2010 through 2020, business loans for self storage facilities had a far lower delinquency rate than those for other types of real estate, indicating that revenue for the industry stayed strong during the pandemic, which battered many other parts of the U.S. economy.
Experts estimate that one reason the self storage industry seems to be so able to withstand a recession (even one fueled by a global pandemic) is because of increased urbanization in the U.S. When renters’ spaces get smaller, they need a place to store belongings that don’t fit in their homes. The same goes for those who move in with family, or who transition to a more nomadic lifestyle — two trends that certainly rose during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The future of self storage
As we celebrate self storage today, we’re also looking toward what the future of the industry may hold. A big key to answering that question? Technology.
Technology is the driving force behind a number of growing trends in the self storage industry. These are just a few that we expect to see growing and helping shape the industry in the coming years.
If you’ve ever used a traditional storage unit, you know that keeping track of a key or access card can be a pain. That’s why more and more self storage facilities are catering to their newly tech-savvy customer bases and offering mobile apps for access, payments, communication, and more.
“As Millennials are starting to become a larger percentage of those using self storage, they want to interact with operators using technology, specifically smartphones and apps or responsive mobile websites,” Terry Bagley, Vice President of Business Development for Janus International Group, told Inside Self Storage. “They expect to be able to accomplish most, if not all, of the rental and ongoing interaction via their smartphones.”
Climate controlled self storage is necessary for many customers, who need to store items that they can’t leave out in harsh temperatures or elements. But when it comes to HVAC maintenance and ensuring each unit’s heating and cooling systems stay in working order? It’s a major struggle for self storage facility owners.
That’s why remote monitoring (and, in many cases, automated systems to deploy a technician in the event of a system failure) is gaining popularity in the industry.
Just like self storage renters want easier access and communications, they’re turning to technology to make their storage spaces more secure. Fingerprint and Face ID access are on the rise, and we expect them to continue gaining popularity as technology in the self storage space keeps getting more advanced.
Peer-to-peer self storage
When most people think about self storage, they think of sprawling facilities full of storage units. But technology is changing that, too — today’s self storage facilities can be any unused space. That includes spaces inside people’s homes.
Peer-to-peer self storage is on the rise via platforms like Neighbor, which allows users to list extra space in their homes, garages, offices, and more. Neighbor connects hosts with renters in their community who need space to store their belongings. The result is a safe, affordable, and community-building alternative to traditional self storage.
How Do You Celebrate National Self Storage Day?
Now that the last Saturday in July has been named National Self Storage Day, this year it’s on the 31st, it’s time to celebrate! Here are some ways you can celebrate this fun new holiday.
Ditch Your Old Dusty Self Storage Unit
More than 10% of American’s are currently renting a storage unit. Most of those are outdated, old, dusty, inconvenient and expensive. Are you one of those people? Celebrate National Self Storage day by switching to a Neighbor unit, it’s closer, cheaper, more convenient and you’re building friendships with those in your community.
Declutter or downsize some (or all) of your home
Get into the self storage spirit by decluttering your home. Another option, if you don’t have the time or need to clean out the whole house: Focus on cleaning and decluttering just one space, like a basement, garage, or bedroom.
Rent out your extra space as self storage for a neighbor
If you have extra space, take advantage of that room — become your own mini self storage facility, rent space out to a neighbor to use as self storage for their belongings, and then treat yourself on Self Storage Day!
For All Your Self Storage Needs, Neighbor Has You Covered
Neighbor has all your self storage needs covered. You can store your belongings, boat, vehicles, moving boxes, and more.