Storage companies in Ottawa say business is booming as more people downsize or run out of space in their homes.
While shows such as Storage Wars have portrayed storage units as a place to keep items for years, companies said people often come back daily or weekly as their garages, attics and basements get clogged.
Steve Creighton, senior vice-president of Ottawa storage company Dymon Group, said they plan to open eight more locations in Ottawa after their seventh sold out in about six months.
“It’s incredibly booming right now, we’re very delighted with it,” he said.
“We have very busy stores, we do record numbers of leases. In fact, most of our stores are leasing up at incredible rates never seen before in the industry."
Dymon’s, which only has locations in Ottawa, said it’s planning to expand to Toronto because of all the growth.
Baby boomers, divorcees among groups driving growth
Peter Homulos and his wife said they’d rather pay for a storage unit to keep their garden fountain for the winter rather than the alternatives.
"A couple hundred dollars a month is a lot cheaper than building an extension onto the house or going through the cost of moving," he said.
Among the types of people renting out the units are baby boomers looking to downsize and those going through a divorce.
“(I’m) trying to put a house inside a house and it doesn’t work for me,” said Brian Dament, who fits into the latter group and is renting a fully-furnished home.
“I have beautiful toys I want to give to my nephews, they're still so small so I'm waiting for them to grow up a bit and then give them the beautiful toys I kept for them," said Claire Trepanier, who said she’s planning on keeping her unit for a few years.
Companies are even using storage units to keep inventory, such as one Montreal maintenance company who recently closed their Ottawa office.
"Basically it's about saving money," said employee Eric Bedard.
"Instead of paying a hydro bill, electricity bill and having someone there all day, it's extra labour. We have a locker."