For those with too much stuff and not enough space to store it, renting storage units is routine. IBIS World estimates that the self storage market in Australia to be $1.2 billion. While major players Kennards, Storage King and National Storage dominate about a third of the industry, there are hundreds of smaller players. And as the population becomes more urban and the Baby Boomer generation downsizes to smaller places, the market could be poised for significant growth.
But anyone who’s used self storage units knows it’s generally a bit of a pain in the ass. Assuming you find a storage space near you, you then need to lug your stuff to and from the unit.
However this may soon change. Clutter goes against self-storage industry conventions, and that’s completely the point. It aims to provide storage “on-demand” and is designed to simplify the whole storage / moving process. Things like Christmas decorations and seasonal clothes can be put in bins that Clutter provides. Clutter then photographs and catalogs everything it stores to help customers when they need to have items retrieved. Workers can then pick the items from storage and deliver them directly to your doorstep.
It also deals with pricing in a way that makes more sense to the consumer. Customers pay a flat fee of $150 to $250 USD per month depending on how much they need stored. Customers can then have access to their belongings within 24 – 48 hours and better yet, don’t pay extra for deliveries and packing because it’s already included in this fee.
But what really sets Clutter apart is the way it handles the back-end of its business. Instead of spending huge amounts of capital on leasing entire warehouses, Clutter signs deal with pre-existing cheap realestate (e.g warehouses) for just a section of the space within the building. It is also working on developing algorithms to predict which items people will want to retrieve first so it can determine how it utilises it’s space. Say for example a bicycle near the city and a piano far away where storage space is cheaper.
Clutter’s ultimate goal is to transform the way people manage their physical belongings. Although it’s only beginning to rollout over the US, if Clutter proves popular it has the very real potential to disrupt players in the self storage space.