42% of Consumers Prefer Valet Storage over Self-storage

Survey: 42% of Consumers Prefer Valet Storage over Self-Storage

While most men are still willing to lug their items to a self-storage unit, women, millennials and urban dwellers of all ages would prefer to have a valet storage company do the heavy lifting for them, according to a new survey released today.

With property and rental prices rising in major cities such as Seattle, living spaces are getting smaller and urban residents are on the lookout for convenient and affordable offsite storage. So it’s no surprise that 42% of consumers surveyed indicated they would rather use valet storage over self-storage. This and other compelling feedback was shared today from a national survey that asked more than 500 consumers about their need for, preferences using and past experiences with off-site storage.

What is Valet Storage?

Valet storage is a growing alternative to renting a traditional self-storage unit. It fills a void for consumers who don’t need large amounts of storage space but have seasonal or infrequently used items that clutter their homes. Seasonal items that are taking quite some considerable living space – such as skis, luggage, bikes, winter clothes, – may now be stored outside from your home but are always available right at your fingertips when you need them. Livible, a leading valet storage provider, does not only store your items but also includes pickup and delivery directly to your door and bill only for items stored, which makes valet storage a viable option against traditional self-storage.

No wonder consumers are quickly embracing valet storage. 42 percent of all respondents said they would rather use valet storage over self-storage if both were available to them; the number jumps to more than 50% among women, urban dwellers and millennials. Moreover, the surveys shows that valet storage appeals the most among people who have never used self-storage with 65% of those consumers saying they prefer valet storage.

“The survey results validate the huge opportunity for valet storage start-ups like us,” said Livible CEO and founder Terry Drayton. “Do-it-for-me is what a growing number of consumers who need off site storage want, especially those who haven’t or won’t use traditional self-storage. There is no question we’re growing the overall market by giving them a new option.”

Why They Prefer Valet Storage?

The survey shows that consumers are demanding more convenient and affordable off site storage options. Convenience was cited as the number one reason for considering valet storage (53 percent of respondents ages 18-44 and 62 percent among respondents 45-59). Among respondents who prefer valet storage, 69 percent cited time savings as a main reason, while 57 percent cited ‘no need to have a car or truck.’ Affordibility was second overall with nearly half of respondents appreciating that they only pay for what they actually stored instead of whatever size the self-storage unit was. About the same percentage cited the ability to rent a smaller unit with many comments indicating that even the smallest self-storage unit was much bigger and more expensive than they needed.

“Consumers who said they’d prefer using valet storage – and namely women, millennials and urban dwellers – expressed that convenience was the number one reason,” said Drayton.“ Affordability, as they only pay for what they store, was second. Our customers are paying an average of $25 a month to store five boxes and a bike or snowboard. That’s affordable for everyone in contrast to the more than $180 a month average for self-storage. In urban environments even the smallest unit is over $100 a month.”

What They Store?

Decorations for holidays and other events was the top item mentioned by over half of respondents followed by stuff that needs to be stored temporarily while moving. Next were seldom used items such as tools and luggage and seasonal items like clothing and sports equipment. Valet storage cater to almost anything that you want out of your home. A few examples are listed below.

  • Seasonal Clothing (winter coats, bulky sweaters, ski wear or summer dresses)
  • Decorations (for holidays from Christmas to Halloween)
  • Sporting goods (camping equipment, boots, balls)
  • Household items (extra kitchen items, linens, for students away at college)
  • Keepsakes (children’s art, family heirlooms, photographs)
  • Tools and equipment
  • Personal and business records (tax records, correspondence, accounting files)
  • Excess clutter and possessions (junk drawer contents, duplicate housewares, possessions stuffed under the bed, items to re-gift, and other things that you just can’t part with)
  • Bulky items such as bicycles, golf clubs, skis, snow boards, and more.

Survey Information

Over the past two years, valet storage start-ups have opened shop in a number of major cities across the U.S. with a specific focus on markets with substantial millennial and urban populations including Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, Washington DC, New York and Chicago. Livible polled 567 consumers in these cities to gauge their opinions about self-storage and valet storage. The online poll, administered by SurveyMonkey, was conducted between May 13 – 15, 2015 and involved a wide-range of consumers between the ages of 22-69, gender was equally split with approximately 43 percent living in apartments and 57 percent in detached single-family homes.

Shared-Economy Business Model

Unlike all of its valet storage competitors, Livible uses a ‘shared economy’ business model that partners with traditional self-storage companies and Uber-like independent contractors for pickup and delivery. Livible provides the vans and handles all the technology and logistics including pickup, delivery and billing. Livible rents units in self-storage facilities adding its racking and proprietary app-based technology to maximize space utilization and tracking of customer items. Self-storage partners add the valet storage option to their traditional business to increase the number of new customers they sign and decrease cancellations. If the self-storage partner helps them fill the unit Livible will also pay them double the regular rent so they make more money.

“By partnering with Livible now, traditional self-storage operators will be able to leverage their existing infrastructure and customer flows so they are well positioned to grow revenues and profits from valet storage,” said Drayton. “It’s a business model where everyone wins: customers, self-storage partners and us.”

6 Things Better Kept in Storage when Selling your Home

When you place an ad for selling your home, you need to see what
elements does a prospective buyer needs to see in your house which means you have to let go emotional attachment and create a new ‘show home’. To make it appealing, here is a list of six things that are better kept in a temporary storage rather than on display when selling your home.

Selling your Home

 

The old armchair

In almost every home is one scruffy, old armchair. These armchairs take up some considerable space and gather an awkward position in the room. It is important to create space that can be lived in but all unnecessary items should be put away, including your old armchair.

 

Old clothes

Buyers like to snoop around the house to see how tidy the seller is. The
problem when selling your home is we all leave clothes hanging in our cupboards that we do not wear and never even plan of wearing again. We think that a complete evacuation is unnecessary, but for the time your property is on the market you will not need more than 50% of the clothes hanging in your cupboard.

 

Personal Pictures and Souvenirs

To make the place feel welcoming, a few carefully hung pictures or artwork can be put around. However, the buyer might not be interested in seeing your old family photos or pictures of your trips. Instead, clear your place with these items and perhaps replace it with a potted plant or
candles.

 

Some kitchen appliances

There are appliances in the kitchen that are used infrequently and just
keep lying. To give your kitchen some perspective, it is better to have an
uninterrupted working area with only few useful items. It would be ideal
not to stuff your kitchen with unused appliances as the buyer can snoop in
it and may think that the kitchen lacks space.

 

Tools

The type of tools lying around the house depends on the type of household
you live in. Whether it is a well maintained house or not, the fact is that
if there are still things that need to be fixed in your house, then it shouldn’t be on the market. Put away the tools somewhere safe and instead project a spacious and well maintained house.

Selling your Home

 

Bikes

Seattle has ever since opened up its streets to people biking and having
one in your house is logical. But having your bike lurking around when a
potential buyer scans your house may not necessarily leave a good
impression. Never let your bike be the first sight that catches the buyer.
Find some place keep your bike to make space in your home’s entrance.

To sum things up, focus on eliminating distractions to make your house more appealing to interested buyers. Put stuff in boxes or garbage bags and stash them under the bed. Or better yet, let Livible help you temporarily store your bulky stuff in an indoor, locked and climate-controlled unit, plus, we’ll get all your items conveniently delivered to your new home.

4 Quick Tips to Spring Cleaning your Closet

Spring is officially here – it’s time to clean the closets. Wardrobes
and closets are always messy with useless things and with the passage of
time they get ever messier because of us not paying any attention to them.
So as we welcome spring, let’s us sort all the mess out of our closets.
Here are a few tips to spring cleaning your closet:

1. Do It All At Once

The only reason we don’t get our closets cleaned in time is because
procrastination gets the best of us. We try to clean our closets little by
little, which is highly ineffective. Schedule a good time to do it all at
once and tidy it all in one huge haul.

2. Pull Everything Out

Pull everything out of the closet when you begin to tidy it up. Put
everything onto the floor, don’t keep anything in the closet. Once you are
done with this, cull all the useless clothes you don’t wear because you
need to make some space. Keep the ones you like to wear and throw the ones
you don’t need.

3. Divide Items into Categories

Ever heard of the proverb, “Divide and Conquer”? If yes, then this is
what you need to do with your clothes. Divide them into categories and
subcategories because this is the most efficient way of organizing your
clothes. Shirts, pants, dresses, scarves, sweaters, footwear, etc. Do this
so you can see how much of each category you have.

4. Decide Which Clothes You Want To Keep

In each category you’ve identified, decide which items you want to hold
onto and don’t forget to keep the season in mind. For spring, introduce
light colors in your wardrobe to give it a bright touch, and store the
winter clothes in a box or a suitcase (or better yet, Livible).
Once you have decided which clothes you want to keep for the season, fold
them up so they can be accessed easily.

Lessons from Tiny Homes: A New Approach to Living with Less

Around a decade ago, tiny homes revolution started and people are
downsizing the space they live in with emphasis in small spaces and
simplified living. Not only that, it also make the occupants to cut down
their belongings to only the necessities and gives them innovative ideas
for consuming every inch of the house.

Here are some insightful lessons we learn from tiny homes and discover a
new approach to living with less.

Architectural Details

Just because a house is small in size it doesn’t mean that it has to be
lacking in something. Maybe on the inside there might be no room for
fancying it, but the outside can bear all of the architectural design that
highlight it more like a traditional home, such as the ceiling, dorms,
turned posts and fences or a fancy roof.

Carefully Chosen Furnishings

People who reside in tiny homes don’t have the luxury of oversized couches
or lots of chairs and tables, so what they do have is counted. Enfolded
into a bright compartment, a simple chair can act as a solo spot for
catering guests, for reading or can act as a comfy place for doing office
work or for using the computer etc.

Indoor-Outdoor Connections

Because the interior is concise, the outdoor space becomes an important
part of a miniature house’s living area. Beachfronts and gardens help
extend the amount of usable outdoor space. Glass sliding doors which opens
to the patio provides the illusion of sufficient room.

Compatible and Folding Furniture

Furnishings that can be folded or put away when they’re not in use give
your miniature house the flexibility it requires. Portable tables, which
stand with the wall so as not to occupy the floor area folds up or down
depending on the need.

Efficient Storage

When the covered area shrinks, it’s time to get innovative, specially
people who live in scaled-down houses know it well. Every inch is like an
opportunity, such as sleek drawers for more efficient storage.

Petite Appliances

There isn’t room for full sized appliances. Instead mini versions that
don’t take space, such as this miniature kitchen.

Slimmed-Down Structural Elements

In a small house, there’s no room for a staircase, or railings etc. So
the inhabitants have to bare minimum. Like a narrow staircase tucked
against the wall gives access to the sleeping loft without using extra
space.

Lofts

Increasing space in a small house is difficult. The loft is used as a
sleeping area — some have built-in beds that are folded up to make room
during the daytime, and others have inflatable mattresses.

Reflective Surfaces

Shiny elements like mirrors help spread light, which makes a small home
seem bigger. These objects fitted into the walls amplify the light coming
from the window and prevents it from appearing cramped.

Valet Storage: A win-win approach to leverage self-storage

After more than two years of doing business in Seattle learning the ins and outs of the self-storage industry, Storrage valet storage service is now taking a page from apps-makers in the taxi industry like Flywheel who are working with cab companies rather than cutting them out of the process. So instead of competing with traditional self-storage, Storrage is partnering with premier self-storage operators in the Seattle area and beyond.

With the evolution from the standard self-storage to a valet style storage, Storrage is leveraging existing self-storage models by adding pick-up and delivery options for customers.

“After two years of operations, we realize it is more efficient to leverage existing self-storage infrastructures and customer acquisition flows instead of spending heavily to build out a market. Instead of competing we are partnering and everyone wins: customers, self-storage companies and Storrage,” said Terry Drayton, Founder and CEO of Storrage Inc.

The leveraged self-storage model allows Storrage to focus on providing customers with a fundamentally better app and web-based scheduling experience with pickup and delivery while maintaining lower price point for those who may not need an entire storage unit.

“Most of our customers are space challenged, but don’t have enough to fill a typical storage unit,” Drayton explains.

Storrage’s valet storage service fills a void for customers who don’t need large amounts of storage space but have seasonal or infrequently used items that clutter their homes. With just a few clicks through your smartphone, having to haul your stuff to your self-storage unit through Storrage app is just a breeze.

Storrage’s valet storage service has always been focused on providing convenience, particularly for Seattle residents who don’t have adequate home storage. Instead of renting their own individual storage unit and paying for a considerable amount of empty space, Storrage customers only pay for the amount of the space they fill.

Storrage has accomplished a great deal in its two years of operation and now looks to share that learning to help existing storage facilities efficiently fill their space while strategically positioning itself for the long haul. The self-storage facility grow their ratio of rented units, while being able to offer customers a convenient and top-of-the-line experience. It’s a true win-win-win, situation for Seattle storage facilities, Storrage and the customers.

Rising Rents Drive Millennials to Buy Houses


Young Americans are slinking towards homeownership. Now this is not happening because of their parents, this is happening because of rising rents. In a recent Bloomberg post, millennials are now shifting to buying houses due to rising rent. They are thinking of saving up for down payments instead of spending all their money on rents.

According to a recent study millennials formed about 32 percent of the United States housing market in the previous year and have drawn ahead of the Generation X as the biggest fragment of buyers. The purchases by young Americans are likely to increase even more as millennials work the way out of their problems like debts, employment, etc. The purchases will grow gradually unlike the previous generations. We are living in an era where young people are becoming homeowners, slowly and gradually than the other generations. This is impacting the economy in a good way, there are 5.2 million renters who are expected to purchase a house by the end of this year, hence the employment rate has been increasing rapidly too. However, the mortgage and lease rates have been also increasing rapidly as the result.

The job market is basically driving the home sales for all the millennials, their employment rate is increasing and research shows that their unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent, which is quite amazing and is doing absolute wonders for the economy. The reason of why they are so keen to buy their own homes is that they are getting crushed between their low incomes and their high rents. Rents keep going up so the millennials keep getting squeezed between all their expenses and their income. This gap is extending to an implausible level, which is why the young people are being forced to buy houses because the value to pay is better.

It’s getting very expensive for people to live in big cities because of the rising rent rates so the people are inclining towards homeownership because it’s better than paying high values for rents. Millennials are trying hard to get their houses by getting more than one job at a single time. A lot of people are waiting for the decrease in the rates of houses which seems like just a dream; the market is quite competitive so there’s no chance of decline, the only way they can get their own homes is by saving for down payments and mortgages.

With the rising rent in Seattle, will you consider buying your own home?

Beat The Clutter – Marie Kondo style

We’ve been pondering over a decluttering craze by a Japanese tidying expert, Marie Kondo. Her take on the topic, briefly, is that everything that has to do with our interests and feelings should be kept in company; these objects may be furniture, utensils, books, gadgets or anything that helps. The rest is clutter and should be taken out immediately.

I want to believe in this for two reasons, the first is obvious, Marie Kondo is not a local Japanese closet organizer, but she’s a renowned guru. The second has to do with happiness and peace – a simple tidying code to help us declutter not only our small spaces but also our lives as a whole. Kondo further adds that maintaining this behavior not only nurtures harmony in you but also the inanimate things in your life; yes, and it means your bed, your spoons and your socks will also live happier.

No matter how civilized we are, if it is a family, it makes a house a “home” with the “homely mess.” Get it? Each of us is still living a disorganized and we all deserve a fair share of the struggle against that never-ending clutter tidying process. Reality check:

  • Suitcases under every bed
  • Photo frames beneath couches
  • Wires in that ‘extra’ drawer
  • Old phones and gadgets plus never-ending cables and wires

We all don’t want to live in a clutter, so why don’t we sort things out? That is solely because we have to seek the motivation to do it. To live as Kondo suggests requires a conviction in a continuing abundance and prosperity that most of us was raised not to have.

Food for thought: “A house is not built in a day; it takes hundreds and thousands of bricks to be put together in months and years.” Do not think about straightening the whole chaos in a day, even if it takes a year, it is still better than stranding, isn’t it? While this is an important tip, it is also important to understand how storage works. If something doesn’t serve its purpose anymore, throw it out. That is what Kondo’s theory teaches us. We don’t have to store things that do not contribute to our happiness anymore. Keep only the things that spark joy in your home. (But if you still have something in between, let Livible help!)

In a nutshell, the two things you have to realize are:

  1. You have to wage a war against the clutter, be slow, but announce the war.
  2. You have to find the courage to throw away that sweater your grandma gifted you on your twelfth birthday; I mean it does not even fit you anymore.

If we have the motivation to start and the courage to let go of things that are not needed, it will automatically clean the muddle. What Kondo made us realize is the possibility of throwing things away, and the knowledge that some people discard belongings more easily than we do. This is liberating. We could clean our closets if we wanted to — and maybe we will — but keeping stuff has fulfillment of its own.

Beat the clutter – Marie Kondo style. Start today.

10 Easy Ways to Enjoy Spring

Everything is brightening up and as the winter bids farewell, it’s time to get out and make the most of the much awaited spring season. Spring in Seattle means letting the sun shine into your home with rekindled spirit. So why waste time being stuck inside reorganizing your living space or making long trips to your storage unit when there is a much better way to enjoy the season? Shed your winter coats and let Livible help you store it away so you can get started on this 10 easy ways to enjoy spring!

1. Dress for spring

Prep yourself for the season by adding color and life back into your wardrobe. Bring out your spring clothes and wear some color!

2. Bring in fresh spring flowers

Add a pretty spring flair to your home with fresh tulips, daffodils or other cut spring flowers.

3. Feel the sun on your face

“Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.” said Helen Keller. Welcome the new season with renewed spirit and fresh perspective.

4. Go for a walk

Breathe some fresh air and go for a walk. Bring your loved ones to share good stories with. Sounds simple, but trust me, you’d feel a lot better.

5. Draw pictures on the sidewalk with chalk

What better way to enjoy spring outdoors than to grab some sidewalk chalk and draw!

6. Enjoy seasonal produce

Visit a farmer’s market and shop for seasonal produce, like a bunch of asparagus, spinach or sugar snap peas.

7. Get a new hairstyle

Have your hair cut, or better yet, try on a new hair color! This will surely do wonders on rock this season with a new look.

8. Open the windows

Bring the fresh spring breeze in by leaving your windows open.

9. Get your feet pretty for spring

Be prepared for the sandal season by getting a pretty pedicure! Keep your feet fab and show off your nails with your favorite flip-flops.

10. Kick off the grilling season

The grilling season is upon us! Polish up the tongs and feast with your family and friends into your favorite spring recipe!

So how do you intend to enjoy Spring?

5 New Smart Products for a Smart Home

Transforming your living space into a fancy, connected and smart home is now a reality. From security to bulbs to mattresses, there is a new tech product for all things home automation, allowing you to manage your house, whether you’re away or at home, in real-time. And before they even hit the market, check out these five new smart tech products to make your home smarter.

Lockitron Bolt

With Lockitron, you can now unlock your door with your phone. It’s a little wireless device that slips onto a deadbolt and can be controlled by a smartphone. In addition to unlocking your doors, Lockitron lets you know if someone has knocked on your door, and it can sense if your door has been unlocked, dutifully notifying you immediately through your smartphone. Arriving in March 2015, Lockitron releases its open beta Bolt Preview which can be pre ordered for $99.

Flic

Flic is a wireless button that creates a shortcut to your favorite actions on your phone. At first peep, the Flic is a soft, nice-looking button that can be attached to several surfaces. However, once you sets up the functions for their Flic through a supplementary app, the true power of this smart button shines through. Each Flic can execute three actions – one by clicking, another by double-clicking and yet another by holding. The button will retail for about $30 and shipments are about to begin in April 2015.

Canary

Canary is a simple device packed with smart sensors that empowers you to keep your home safe and secure — controlled through your mobile device. There’s no installation needed. Simply put Canary on a shelf or table in a central area of your home, plug it in, and connect to your Wi-Fi. When Canary senses anything out of the ordinary, you receive a notification with recorded HD video of the event, as well as the option to watch live. If anything happens, you have the option to sound the siren, contact the authorities, call a neighbor, or ignore the notification—it’s up to you. Priced at $249 per unit, you can expect initial shipment by March 2015.

Misfit Bolt

A wirelessly connected smart bulb, Misfit Bolt works directly with your mobile device – no complicated hubs or setup needed. Bolt is a wirelessly-connected light bulb that lets you personalize your home lighting to create beautiful lightscapes. You can Integrate Bolt into your lifestyle with a simulated sunrise to wake you gently or soothing light and sound shows to help you fall asleep. Transform your environment with millions of colors and combinations available through the Misfit Home mobile app. You can pre-order Bolt Smart Bulb at $49.99 with expected shipping by mid-February.

Luna

Luna is the world’s first mattress cover that intelligently warms your bed, tracks sleep, and makes your bed smart. On its own, Luna learns your regular bedtime and sets your bed to a comfortable temperature to help you fall asleep faster.

Luna tracks the quality of your sleep including sleep phases, heart rate, and breathing rate, without you having to wear anything to bed. It combines this knowledge about your night with information about your day and uses those insights to recommend what works best for your sleep. You can get Luna starting at a discounted price of $199 and you can expect delivery by August 2015.

And of course, if you need an ideal solution for an off-site storage, download the Storrage app to quickly request next-day pick-up or delivery of things that eats up a considerable amount of space in your home – including seasonal items like golf clubs, ski gear and bikes. Now that’s more living space for your smart home.

Can’t bear to get rid of your old stuff?

We know the feeling. Old letters, photos of families and friends some of which you no longer speak to and haven’t seen for more than 20 years. Small ornaments and cute little vintage dolls. Clothes you don’t wear and stuff that reminds you of your first crush. Even your old little doll house. Not to mention bundles of birthday, Valentine and Christmas cards. These are only some of the old stuff you simply can’t part with.

But someday you know you will have to, especially if there is already no room in your house to store them all. And deep down you knew it’s time to make tough choices. Identifying real treasures in your home will help you create more space for more important things, appreciate the beauty in less, and even make smarter choices when buying stuff in the future.

But if you feel you can’t part with your stuff just yet, don’t set it free – store it!

Our gift to you (or your special someone) starts with delivery of one of our empty boxes to your door that’s yours to keep. You fill the box up with keepsakes or other items you don’t need underfoot like seasonal clothes, shoes or decorations. We’ll pick up your full boxes and bulky items like luggage, bikes, or skis and safely store them until you need them back. It only costs $1/box or bulky item for new customers including storage for the first month.

Parting with your old stuff is not easy, we know. Some things we don’t want to leave behind as we move into the new phase of our lives. Perhaps one day they will go where they really belong. But for now store them with Livible. Because entrusting your whole childhood worth of stuff with us means having the peace of mind in knowing that you’ve still got them – only that they’re just stored in another safe and secure location and always available when you needed them.