Self-storage has been around since the 1950s and is viewed, globally, as a great option for people moving house and needing more space for overflowing (or seasonal) items. But the modern storage client has a new list of requirements to add to the mix, which only a concept like full-service storage solutions seems able to satisfy.

The concept of the storage facility has been around since at least the 1950s, when British citizens, as just one example, entrusted their valuables to the bank when travelling for business or pleasure.

Before too long, however, bank owners found that their vaults were becoming overcrowded and they needed much more room to accommodate the possessions of their valued clients; so they began to rent out the storage facilities of neigbouring [the “u’ spelling is correct, UK/SA English] removal companies in which to stash client valuables.

Globally, this option worked well and, by the 1960s, the first self-storage units for both personal and business items were built as far afield as the US – often with an external design that complemented the neighbourhood in which the unit was based.

Fast-forward to the present day and the benefits of self-storage for customers around the world now include:

  • regular access;
  • climate-control for optimum preservation; and
  • digital access codes for maximum peace of mind

But there are drawbacks, too, of this type of storage solution, which stretch to:

  • keeping track of everything you’ve stored and navigating a tiny, dark unit to find one specific item;
  • the risk of not having highly valuable items with you, so you can check easily and often on their security and condition;
  • the need to transport all your items to the storage unit yourself, meaning you need a large enough vehicle – which is something most modern clients don’t have; and
  • the way the cost of storing items over a lengthy period can add up, all while you forget about whatever you have stored in your unit.

Enter the newest trend in item stashing – the concept of full-service storage, which seems set to solve many of the shortcomings customers face with self-storage units. These include:

  • packing, in which a full-service storage team will help you pack up and digitally catalogue your inventory of items;
  • collection, in which the same team will do all the heavy lifting and transporting of your items to their secured head quarters;
  • storage, in which a digital inventory of everything in your rented area will be created, for ease of staff access and retrieval; and
  • delivery, in which customers can select and receive an item back – be it a wetsuit for diving season, a heater for winter or an external drive holding company records – at their preferred location every so often.

According to the founder of GetLoft in Cape Town, Francois Calitz, the above bulleted list covers the main Ts and Cs of the concept they offer to their customers, in which a loft area from as small as 1m2 to as large as 10m2 can be rented – with the first collection free, no deposit, and one free delivery every three months.

“Two of our most desirable features are the fact that every loft package includes a free professional digital inventory of every single item stored, meaning clients never lose track of what they’ve stored in their Loft; and the fact that our storage facilities are closed to the public (i.e. there’s no regular thoroughfare), meaning stored items can only be accessed by scheduling a delivery online via our dedicated team,” he advises.

This serves to make the full-service storage concept safer and more effective in many ways than it’s forerunner, that of self storage. So be sure to tap into the full-service storage solution providers in your area when you have items to store, as you’re likely to score on costs, convenience and also peace of mind.