8 Unusual Uses for Self Storage

Jon Fesmire |

So, you have important things to do, and not enough space in your home to do them. We feel your pain! This is frequently a problem for creative types, entrepreneurs, and just about everyone else. To solve it, you just might be able to turn to self storage. Here are 8 unusual uses for storage space, and based on these, you may think of others.

Keep in mind that most self storage facilities will not allow many of these uses. For example, many facilities don’t allow loitering or using electricity for anything other than lighting while storing.

If you want to use a self storage unit for an unusual purpose, you’ll have to find a facility willing to allow it. Call facilities in your area and ask to speak to the facility manager. If a particular place doesn’t allow what you want, ask if they know of a storage business that does. Do your best to find a unit in an ideal location. A good band rehearsal space might be in an industrial area, where few people will mind the loud music. A good business office or art studio might be in an urban area where you can step out to grab a cup of coffee and a bagel.

No facilities will allow you to live in your storage space. So, basically, after you’ve used the unit for its intended purpose, clean up and go. (Of course, your intended purpose may include kicking back and reading for part of the day.)

We recommend climate control whenever you use a unit for one of these purposes. Not only will it protect your belongings, it will keep you comfortable.

A Band Rehearsal Space

While most facilities won’t allow this sort of use of storage space, some are happy to do so. You’ll have to ask around. Having band practice in a garage often bothers neighbors. A self storage facility will generally cover half a block or so, placing you farther away from residences. Your musical act, be it a string quartet or rock band, can set up your equipment the way you like it—drums and amps toward the back, microphone stands to the front, stools for sitting wherever you want them—in whatever way works best for you. When you make it to rehearsal, you just have to tune your instruments and go.

A Recording Studio

This is very similar to band rehearsal space, except its primary purpose is to record music, audiobooks, podcasts, or video. Maybe you’re a YouTuber and need to create a small studio for recording your videos. A medium-sized storage unit can work great.

This can be much quieter than most band rehearsal spaces. Today’s recording equipment can add effects directly to guitar and other instrument input, making amplifiers unnecessary.

A Small Business Office

Do you run an online business, or a quiet, creative business where you simply need a good space to work? A self storage unit that opens to the outside can make a pleasant working environment. Many units have electrical outlets, so if you’ll be working primarily on a computer, this could work for you. A 10x10 unit with a roll-up or other door that opens to the outside world can accommodate a desk, your computer setup, and some shelves. Add a few family pictures, and you’ll feel like you’re working from a home office.

An Arts and Crafts Studio

Are you a visual artist who works with physical materials? Do you paint, draw in charcoal, or craft items from cloth, cardboard, and more? Then a self storage unit might make a good work space for you. Like using a unit as office space, you’ll want one that opens to the outdoors, for the sake of fresh air.

Art spaces can get messy. In a self storage unit, you can put down some newspapers when painting, and have your materials out in what might seem a disorganized fashion to the uninitiated, without cluttering up your house.

An Exercise Space

This can work well for an individual or several people who like to workout together. Rent a climate controlled unit big enough for everyone to exercise in. Bring in some mats, some weights, and some exercise equipment. Arrange everything in a way that works for you. Head over to your unit three or four times a week for an hour or so, and exercise! It can be tough to find a good place to work out in private, and gyms can be expensive. You can actually save money this way, especially if the space is for you and a friend or two.

A Multimedia Theater

Don’t have the space for a game room or home theater in your apartment? A self storage unit might work well for you, saving you hundreds of dollars on moving to a larger place. A 10x10 or 10x15 unit could work well for this. Set up your screen, be it an Ultra HD TV or a flat, white screen with a projector at the back of the unit, hook up your video player and game system, add a few comfortable chairs, and while away the hours watching your favorite movies and playing your most exciting video games.

Personal Space

Maybe you live with several other people and you just need a space to call your own. You have no intention of sleeping there (against self storage rules universally), but you need somewhere you can draw, read, and maybe do a combination of the other suggestions on this list. Write a blog post in private. Relax on a futon and watch your latest Blu-ray acquisitions. As long as the facility allows you to spend some personal time in your unit, this can work well.

An Art Gallery

Few facilities will allow this use, but it is a possibility. If you’d like to open an art gallery but aren’t sure what the demand will be to visit, you may be able to turn a self storage unit into a gallery. Find great local artists who want to participate, rent the unit, display the art on the walls, and possibly on moveable walls placed in the middle of the unit, and hold viewing parties.

If you want to use self storage for one of these reasons, or others you may have come up with, finding the right facility can be a dream come true. We wish you luck, a space you can call your own, and much productivity!