How Many Storage Units Can You Fill?

I’ve noticed that the overwhelming majority of people (and families) spend 100% their income. Very few people save. Fewer yet choose to live a lifestyle below their income level in order to be generous with their money. Many actually spend more money than they make accumulating consumer debt via credit cards. What does that say about us?

What does it say about us that when you get a raise the money is immediately spent and you want more? Imagine that 10 years ago someone promised you that you’d be making the income you are today. You might have said something like, “If I was making that much money, that’d be plenty. I wouldn’t need any more.” Now time has passed, you’ve got the income, and guess what–you want more.

I’ve asked myself these kinds of questions since I came across an article in the Tennessean. It seems that one of the wealthiest counties in the nation has seen a dramatic increase in the number of self-serve storage units.

“In the land of sprawling homes and multicar garages, Williamson County is also home to roughly three dozen self-storage facilities.


The people who operate the businesses and the clients who patronize them say it all makes perfect sense.

Ken Doran and his family moved five years ago to Brentwood, where he bought a 4,200-square-foot home. Since the move, Doran has rented as many as three storage units at one time. Some of the spaces have been for storing business files, while others have been stockpiled with furniture and electronics waiting for just the right place in his home.

And while Doran’s home may be large enough to contain his surplus assortment, his reason for moving them offsite is simple.

“I don’t want my house all junked up with stuff when I can just keep it out of sight in storage. It keeps my home a lot cleaner. I have an extra washer and dryer there, and older big-screen TV and three or four pieces of furniture I haven’t worked into the house yet.”

Michael Haugh, president of the Tennessee Self Storage Association, said Williamson County has seen more storage businesses open in the past six months than most comparably sized areas see in a full year. Since late last year, four new self-storage businesses have opened shop in Williamson County — two in Brentwood and two in Cool Springs.

“Williamson County has a growing population, and our industry has a tendency to do well in higher-income markets,” Haugh said. “If you own a large house and make a good income like many people in Williamson County do, you can afford things like Jet Skis. Or you might have a bunch of clothes and you need a place to store them.”

I think that my point is something like this: No matter what a person gets, they always want more. Will I ever learn that “stuff” never satisfies my soul?

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