There was a time when keeping valuables safe meant storing them under your mattress, putting them in a safety deposit box at a bank, or maybe burying them in a box out in a field. Then one day in the late 1950’s, a group in Texas decided to try renting out what were, essentially, miniature garages to those who, like so many Americans, simply had too much stuff that they were unwilling to get rid of.
But why did the idea catch on so well? Consider the alternatives: the aforementioned mattress and safety deposit box solutions worked fine for small items, assuming that your house wasn’t burglarized and your bank was secure. And as fun as the idea of buried treasure might be, the reality is usually soggy, dirty valuables and ruined documents, and that’s only if you could find your buried treasures. Storing things in your house became a problem as people began to over accumulate. Granted, storage units do not stop this latter issue, but they do keep the things you don’t need every day from lining the walls and cupboards of your home.
Storage units, then, were something of an ideal solution: a place to keep your Christmas dishes and your wedding dress and your big, fancy chop saw safe, but out of the way. Using them reduces clutter in the home without forcing people to throw out items that they are still emotionally attached to, or only need occasionally.