Unless you work in the self storage industry, you probably don't think about storage units on a daily basis. The term probably only comes into mind when you actually need one to store your things for the summer or during a move.
Let's shift that 180 degrees and think about it from another perspective.
What if you used a storage unit as a supplement to your work place?
Many local businesses accumulate a lot of things after the years. Slowly, the closet or upstairs attic will begin to pile up with past promotional items, pictures, or equipment etc. that need to be moved. Times like these are when it is a good idea to start thinking about renting a storage unit. It would clear the unnecessary clutter from the workplace and open up space for the more essential items that are needed on a daily basis. Renting a storage unit also allows you to store the seasonal items such as Christmas or Halloween decorations that only see the light once a year.
Many businesses are often start-ups that begin with one person who is self employed. As the business grows, there will naturally be more office supplies or equipment that need to be stored in a safe environment. While taking the items home and storing them there is a good idea at first, it isn't a long term solution. The clutter will slowly start to take over the living space or garage and you won't be able to tell the difference between the office and home.
Things you can put in storage
Think of a storage unit as your own personal space. Put whatever you would like in there. All sorts of supplies can be kept in there. It can be used as space to put extra inventory, supplies for decorations or promotional events, or a secure place for business documents. The smartest move to do is to use it as an extra office room. With the spare drawers and cabinets, move them around so when you open the storage unit, they are neatly lined up against the wall and ready to be used for documents. This way you can efficiently cut your time spent at the storage unit and use it to grow your business. Having an organized storage unit is key to using your unit efficiently. The best part is, when you decided to rent one for the office, it is easy to organize because you don't have to move things around first. It gives you a second chance to organize your products/supplies.
Choosing the right kind of storage unit for your supplies is important for multiple reasons. If you live in a location where the climate is extreme during the winter or summer, it may not be the best idea to rent an outside storage unit. Documents are extremely fragile and can be destroyed by the hot summer temperatures. Consider investing in a climate controlled unit that keeps the temperature at a constant and provides additional protection.
Storage facilities accept packages for you
If you decide to use your storage unit as a place to store inventory, an additional benefit from your storage unit is that they may allow deliveries to be made to their location. Each facility has their own guidelines about accepting packages, but they will either hold them at the location office or place them into storage until you come and pick it up. There are fees for this extra service, but they are minuscule compared to the trouble you have to go through if they delivered to your business and you had no place to put them. It also saves a bunch of transport costs and time.
What if you actually use your storage unit as an office?
Freelancers, telecommuters, and self employed entrepreneurs have the flexibility manage their own work schedule. While many people may choose to head over to their local Starbucks to get their work done, some might be inclined to work in a secluded environment that isn't home. Places like coffee houses or even your own home often have distractions that deter you from finishing your work. Regular at home habits will jeopardize your established work day routine unless you are well disciplined. This is known as the Couch Potato Syndrome and is unwanted for hard working people.
People don't have to always use their unit for storage or as an office; there is also the option of turning it into a studio. Independent artists need a peaceful and secure place to work on their pieces. Renting out a storage unit for this is a cheap alternative when the other choices include overpriced studios or noisy neighbors. A storage unit offers a quiet environment, 24 hour access, and somewhere to store your belongings when you aren't working on them.
Final Answers and Conclusion
Try thinking outside the "unit" once in a while and you will discover new uses for storage units. The conventional use for a storage unit is no doubt handy during moves or for plain old storage, but there are always repurposing opportunities. A storage unit can be used as a supplement for your business or even as an office if the opportunity comes up. However, before you go out and rent a storage unit make sure you're aware of the limitations of working from your new "office".
Images taken from here