Squeezed for city living space? Try on-demand storage, real estate experts say.

For someone unfamiliar with New York City housing options who is relocating here, one characteristic of the market becomes quickly apparent: starter apartments in the city are small. How small is small? Across the five boroughs, the average size of a one-bedroom apartment is just 750 square feet. Studio apartments, on average, give you just 550 scant square feet of living space. It’s just one of the prices you pay for living in one of the most desirable zip codes in the country.

How do new New Yorkers deal with the space squeeze? It’s become one of the most frequently asked questions New York Realtors get from clients, according to Candice Milano of The Corcoran Group and Malessa Rambarran of Modern Spaces, Licensed Real Estate Agents and co-founders of The MR Team.

“We have been advising our clients to explore on-demand storage,” Candice said. “It’s a fast-growing business sector in the city that offers significant advantages over traditional self-storage units.”

Long-time city residents are well acquainted with self-storage and its hassles. Once you find and rent a storage unit – somewhere – you have to get your hands on boxes or other containers to pack your unneeded stuff. Then you need to find a way to lug all your boxes down to your unit, and lug them back when you need them again. A time-consuming, sweat-inducing process.

“On-demand storage – especially with innovative, full-service companies like Zippboxx – is becoming New Yorkers’ first choice for hassle-free storage and retrieval of seasonal or bulky items that aren’t needed every day,” Malessa explained. “There’s no lifting, no hassle, and no need to ever visit a storage unit again.”

Here’s how on-demand storage works: you schedule a time for the company to drop off sealable bins. You pack and seal the bins at your leisure with items for storage. You then schedule a time for your bins to be picked up and stored in a secure warehouse location. Zippboxx adds the convenience of returning whichever items you need right to your door, or anywhere you need them, on demand.

“We have clients who live in the city and rent in the Hamptons each summer,” Candice said. “Zippboxx stores all their bulky summer sports gear and clothing and delivers whichever items are desired right to their rental. Other clients use them to store all their holiday decorations. With only one or two small closets in a typical studio or one-bedroom New York apartment, it would not make sense to utilize valuable closet space for seasonable items.”

Technology is another appeal of on-demand storage. With Zippboxx, for example, clients can manage the entire storage process via their smartphone or computer, from ordering pick-ups and deliveries to accessing a photo inventory of their items.

The MR Team specializes in emerging neighborhoods in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. “The cost of renting or purchasing will depend on location, but the size of a studio or one-bedroom won’t,” Malessa said. “That’s why counseling our clients about storage has become a regular part of our job.”

Rob Marchese
Rob Marchese is one of the founders of Zippboxx Moving and Storage. Since the start of the company it's been Rob's mission to change the way the moving industry is perceived.  The number one goal is to make the moving and storage process as stress free as possible for each and every customer. "The way we do this is by honesty, transparency, and providing a high quality of service."
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