October 1, 2013
Self-storage is the worst. I think this is because it creates the illusion of convenience: extra space to store my crap? 24-hour accessibility? It's only located one mile away? Um, duh, of course I'll get one; I have all of this extra crap that I can't keep in my apartment, but I don't want to necessarily sell or give away. The reality, however, is that self-storage is hell – the kind of hell that we forget exists, yet drains us of our (financial) lifeblood. Clutter hopes to disrupt the storage industry by actually offering us the reality of convenience.
Clutter is a service that aims to make storage as easy and as seamless as possible. Directed at solving the frustrations associated with self-storage, Clutter combines technology and human services to provide easy storage solutions at (literally) the flick of your finger.
As it stands currently, the self-storage industry suffers from three major problems: inadequate security, high costs, and inconvenient access. Clutter solves all three.
Security is a huge issue, especially when you're considering storing your personal belongings. Storage facilities are a mixed bag – some facilities are monitored, while some aren't; some have attendants on-site, while others don't; some units are built with solid structures, while others are made from deteriorating wood. Clutter stores everything in its own weatherproof facility that is gated and monitored 24/7. The location of the facility isn't disclosed to anyone, so people won't even know where you're physically storing your things, and access to the facility is limited to staff only. On top of this, each box stored with clutter is sealed with anti-tamper security stickers.
Self-storage is expensive. Even for a small 5′ x 5′ space (usually the smallest size offered at many storage facilities), prices can start in the $60s. At a price of $60 a month, you will have spent $720 on storage for the year. Do you guys realize that that's more than the price of this Zac Posen dress? Plus, you may be paying for more space than you actually need (what if you only need to store your Beanie Baby collection that only takes up three boxes?). Through Clutter, monthly storage fees are only $10 per box (22″ x 18.5″ x 16.8″). In this way, you only pay for the exact amount of storage room that you need.
Among everything else, the essential problem with self-storage is inconvenience. No matter how far away a facility is located, it's a hassle to drag your things in and out of storage. If and when you do manage to fight off the laziness, you'll sometimes need to spend additional time sorting through the things in the storage room itself. Ugh, what the hell, you don't have time for that! “Smarter storage is putting [items] away and actually being able to use them later on,” asserts CEO and founder, Brian Thomas. Through the iOS app, users can 1) have boxes delivered to their door (and later dropped off at the facility, 2) take pictures of each box's contents, and 3) schedule a retrieval for their boxes at a later time. No confusion, no actual travel on your behalf, and all from the convenience of your phone.
While Clutter is only available on iOS at this time, it will soon be available for Android as well as for the Web. The company hopes to expand to storing much larger items in the future. They recently presented at last month's Tech Cocktail Los Angeles Mixer & Startup Showcase.
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