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