Stor­age SaviourS

NEED SOME­WHERE TO STOW AWAY ALL YOUR EX­TRA CRAP? LO­CAL STARTUPS ARE CHANG­ING THE GAME

NOW Magazine - SuiteLife - - Suitelife - BY SAB­RINA MAD­DEAUX

The more stuff you ac­cu­mu­late, the smaller con­dos seem to get. There’s sim­ply never enough room for clothes, kitchen ap­pli­ances and file fold­ers – let alone sea­sonal items like skis and hol­i­day or­na­ments.

While some condo build­ings sell or rent stor­age units, many don’t. The city of Toronto doesn’t re­quire them to make stor­age space avail­able to own­ers or res­i­dents. Even if build­ings do of­fer space, it’s usu­ally with min­i­mal se­cu­rity and no in­surance. So what to do with all that stuff? En­ter a new class of stor­age start-up: small busi­nesses that pro­vide off-site stor­age so­lu­tions with­out you ever hav­ing to leave home.

Boxit (box­it­now.ca) is a stor­age-and- de­liv­ery ser­vice that drops off empty boxes at your home and picks them up once they’re packed. The company holds your goods in a se­cure stor­age lo­ca­tion and can bring them back within 24 hours no­tice.

The charge is only $7 per month per plas­tic stor­age bin. There’s a $15 plus $2 per box fee each time you want your goods re­turned from stor­age. The company rea­sons that rent­ing a 25-square-foot stor­age locker in Toronto costs an av­er­age of $80 a month, but most peo­ple are pay­ing for some­thing they’re not fully us­ing. With Boxit, you pay for ex­actly the amount of space you use.

There’s also the con­ve­nience: no need to lug heavy boxes up and down stairs or into el­e­va­tors, no need to drive any­where, and in­surance is taken care of.

Another lo­cal start-up, Hive Stor­age (hivestor­age.ca), re­cently in­tro­duced on- de­mand, 24/ 7 stor­age de­liv­ery and pickup. Rather than boxes, the company brings “hives,” 6-foot-tall, 4-foot-wide, 2-foot- deep dou­ble- door units on wheels that you can or­der by phone, email or on­line. Upon de­liv­ery, ex­tra shelv­ing or closet rods can be added to the hive to meet your needs, so all your nice dresses don’t get smooshed into a too-tight box for an in­def­i­nite pe­riod of time.

When your hive is picked up, the team pro­vides you with photo doc­u­men­ta­tion of your inventory. Then the hive is sealed us­ing in­dus­trial lock­ing clasps and stored in a cli­mate- con­trolled lo­ca­tion mon­i­tored by se­cu­rity cam­eras.

Hives go for $60 a month, plus a $30 charge per pickup. If you need ac­cess to some­thing in 24 hours or less, Hive of­fers rush ser­vice.

With more se­cu­rity, more con­ve­nience and cheaper fees, th­ese start-ups could be­come the new stor­age norm.

One of Hive Stor­ages’s

units

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