The State of Storage: OSSD Style

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ChecklistI was recently given a spreadsheet with lots and lots and lots of information on it. Normally, this type of thing would frighten a History/English teacher who moonlights as a writer.

And this time was no different.

Regardless, though, I dug in.

After numerous Google searches and frantic Facebook status posts asking friends to help me remember all the great spreadsheet tricks that I’d either forgotten or that I’d neglected to learn over the years, I am able to present to you an overview of the storage world, as it appears from this particular corner of that world.

Also, this is just data from a couple of months, so it’s just a little taste. A small spoonful, if you will.

But enough jibber-jabber. Time to list things:

Bookings by State

Which states book the most storage units? I don’t think that the answer will surprise you much:

Texas: 9.6%

Florida: 9.5%

California: 7.5%

New York: 6.3%

New Jersey: 5.8%

I feel like I’m supposed to make some sort of bridge scandal joke here, but I’m not sure that I have it in me. Instead, let’s analyze this in an incredibly simplistic way. These are five of the largest states in the country (the 2nd, 4th, 1st, 3rd, and 11th, to be exact), and they have the most bookings. Ok then. A special commendation to New Jersey for storing way above its weight here. Nice job there, for sure.

Just as interesting to me, though, is the opposite. Which states used OSSD the least in recent months?

Wyoming: 0%

Montana: 0%

South Dakota: 0%

North Dakota: 0%

Hawaii: 0.1%

Alaska: 0.1%

DC: 0.1%

What’s going on in the Mountain West? What did we ever do to you guys? You got beat out by Washington DC? On one hand, it’s possible that there’s just so much space out there that they don’t have much need for storage. On the other hand, no state has more empty space than Alaska. I got nothing.

Bookings by Population

This is where things start to get more interesting. I decided to sort the lists by the population of each state, then determine how many people there were in each state per unit booked. Then I divided the numbers to make them easier to deal with. I’m still a writer and not an accountant, after all:

New Jersey: 54.3

Vermont: 62.6

Massachusetts: 64.2

Delaware: 66.9

Florida: 71.5

Now that’s a more interesting spread. It looks like the East Coast loves us!

How’re things on the other end?

Alaska: 1593.3

Arkansas: 729

Hawaii: 453.4

Kentucky: 434

New Mexico: 343.2

Alaska… whatever happened to us? I thought we had a good thing going, you know? We paid a pretty penny for you in 1867… You made Seward’s Folly look pretty damn smart. And we love that about you. It’s not just oil, earthquakes, and ice. It’s natural beauty, and it’s… come on, Alaska… I guess it helps when you never have to store your winter clothes…

The Cities

States are so big, though… so impersonal. Even little Rhode Island seems mammoth compared to Providence. So, let’s break it down a little bit further. Which cities are the most OSSD friendly?

Houston, Texas: 1.4%

San Antonio, Texas: 0.98%

Tampa, Florida: 0.94%

Phoenix, Arizona: 0.86%

Orlando, Florida: 0.79%

Austin, Texas: 0.67%

Los Angeles, California: 0.67%

Tallahassee, Florida: 0.67%

Remember that this only includes the city itself, without any suburbs. So, Lynbrook, Hollis, Yonkers, Jamaica, and the Bronx are all highly ranked, but they’re all separate, not collected under New York City. Similarly, Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas will be separate. Plus, keep in mind that we had bookings in thousands of cities nationwide, so making up 1% or more is actually pretty impressive. No system covers all eventualities, especially if it’s a mathematical system that I come up with. On thing is sure, though: the system that we have, though, says that the South is king when it comes to booking with OSSD.

The Wrap

So, what have we learned? If I had to guess, the answer would be “not a whole lot.” Must everything have a valuable lesson attached? Do we always have to learn something that is striking and new and deep? I think not.

In this case, we learned that states with more people use storage more, and that they are led by cities with more people. We also learned that when you control for population, the answers change.

As Jeremy Clarkson would say, “and on that bombshell… good night!”


Ken is the Director of Content and Promotions for the Online Self Storage Directory blog. He loves the St. Louis Cardinals, obscure historical trivia, and the incredible beards on Civil War generals.

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