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Self Storage Fitness Fanatics – Guest post by Art Drecker

Guest post by Art Decker, Division Manager, Self Storage Co.

Exercise is one of the greatest stress busters I know, but it also creates stress — the stress of finding time to do it, and the stress of keeping track of exercise-related belongings such as bicycles, balance balls, treadmills, skis and skates, basketballs, weights, and all manner of fitness-related gear and paraphernalia. As a self storage manager, I have been amazed to see some tenants using their self storage units as a way to defuse that stress. Here are a few of the creative ideas that my tenants have tried:

The Cycling Fiends

A cycling group has rented a self storage unit together. They charge each member a small yearly membership fee, and it more than covers the cost of the unit that they share. Every few days, this group meets at the self storage unit, warm up a little together, don helmets and stow water bottles on their bicycles, and head out for a long ride. On weekends they usually do a century ride — 100 miles.

When they come back, they stow their bicycles in the unit, where these (rather expensive) touring bikes are quite secure. The club members usually leave their helmets and other gear with their bikes as well, but not their cycling wear — that usually needs to go home with them for a trip through the washing machine. I am so impressed with these group members. They use the power of the group to motivate each other and help each other to stay focused on their cycling goals. I have seen them go out for at least a short ride even when it is pouring down rain and when it is well below freezing.

The Yogaholics

We have a yoga group that meets in one of our units. I don’t usually encourage groups to spend a lot of time meeting in units, because I don’t want to disturb our other tenants with a lot of traffic, but this group is very quiet. They keep the unit stocked with yoga mats, yoga blankets, yoga blocks, and other yoga accessories. In some places they have added equipment to help members hang upside down from the ceiling on what looks like (but they tell me isn’t) a trapeze. They use soft music to set the mood for the yoga class and come out beaming afterward. I did have to draw the line at burning candles, though. Now they use reeds stuck into glass bottles of scented oil to add aromatherapy scents to the air.

The Aspiring Athletes

Several Little League teams store their team equipment in our units. Sometimes they rent a unit for one team, but often they cut a deal with each other and share. They divide the space in the unit, one team taking one side and one the other, or sometimes each team piles its own equipment on a dolly or rolling cart. It’s a great solution to the problem of rotating volunteer coaches — the coaches can each be given a copy of the combination to the unit, rather than having to hand off heavy bags of equipment to each other after the games. We’re lucky that this particular facility is close to a soccer field.

The Dancer

I haven’t seen this myself, but other managers tell me they have heard of dancers using self-storage units as practice studios for individual work. In big cities where professional dancers live, studio space is expensive to rent. They put up their own mirrors and ballet barres in their units, and practice everything but jumping — our concrete floors aren’t kind to the joints if you do a lot of jumping on them. On the other hand, concrete floors are a bit more porous than hard wood, and I’m told that dancers are far less likely to slip and fall when they work out on concrete.

The Outdoor Enthusiasts

Hikers, climbers, backpackers, and campers make extremely extensive use of our storage solutions. If they have canoes or kayaks, we can make room for those too. A number of them store their supplies for upcoming trips which allows them to stockpile their rations and prepare their equipment a bit at a time so it is set to go when they depart. I’ve had several spouses of avid climbers come in and tell me that our self-storage units saved their marriages — sometimes non-climbers are not that thrilled to have carabiners, tent poles, and smelly backpacks sitting around their living rooms, consuming their garages or piled in the back of a car. I’m always happy to save a marriage when we can!

About the author:

Art Decker, is a manager with Self Storage Co. He leads a busy life traveling from one self storage site to another but greatly enjoys the opportunity to meet a diverse group of people from all walks of life.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • jean sampson August 13, 2010, 8:06 am

    What creative uses for a storage unit. Amazing what people will think of to make things easier or make them work better.

  • ellen August 13, 2010, 9:42 am

    That’s really cool. It surprises me that storage unit managers are okay with people dancing in units and with yoga classes being held there. I wonder if I could get some storage unit office space or an art studio.
    A very intriguing guest post.

  • Piers McCarney August 14, 2010, 6:06 am

    It’s funny, this is exactly the kind of thing I’ve been thinking about lately.
    I don’t have a shed or room in my garage at my house, but a quick google reveals both business and private leasers willing to put up room for a small gym (single client type stuff) for a very reasonable price.
    $1000 or so of gear and $50/week to rent the venue and you’ve got your own customised gym to train people in. Beautiful! (Now if only insurance requirements in Australia weren’t so ironclad…)

  • Todd August 14, 2010, 7:37 am

    When I was coaching a youth soccer team, the association used a storage unit to secure all of the equipment. Brilliant. Much more secure than the cargo unit that was once kept at the field, and kept getting broken into.
    Love the cycle group idea. That is very creative thinking. And what a beautiful way to store a bike.
    The yoga and dance “studio” is probably a bad business choice, as I’m not sure how the insurance would be handled if somebody were injured. If I owned a storage facility, I’d have to put the kibosh on those.

  • Jenn August 15, 2010, 9:38 am

    This is a really unique enjoyable post. I have never thought of one could use a storage unit to diffuse stress in a positive way. I have only thought of storage units as a way to ignore stressors, i.e., have too much stress! Bravo to creative people!

  • Matt August 19, 2010, 4:04 pm

    This is really neat. The wheels are in motion in my head, trying to think of what else one might do with a storage unit.

    I notice now that a lot of old, cheap movie theaters are going out of business as fancy megaplexes come to town. I wonder what one might do with one of those…

    • Josh Hanagarne August 19, 2010, 6:06 pm

      Matt, I’ve been thinking the same thing (about the storage, not the theaters). The possibilities would be endless with a theater. I think you should do it. I’ll run your concession stand.