More and more companies are offering a service that is common in the West — storage space for hire.
“This service is only just developing in Russia. In the United States, every 10th inhabitant uses it. There are more than 350 large storage centers in London,” said Mark Jeffrey Britten, general director of Red Box Co., who came to Russia five years ago to develop the business.
Britten believes that Russians with their cramped living conditions and habit of never throwing things away ensure that the business will be a success.
People store sports equipment, gardening tools, furniture stored during repairs, said Valery Chizhov, development director of Mobius, another company that provides storage space.
“Small firms keep their property, restaurants their summer furniture; someone keeps fabric, tools, motorcycles or snowmobiles,” Chizhov added.
In the summer, companies see skis and snowboards; in the winter — boats, bicycles and roller skates.
The companies offer different sizes of storage space — from 1 square meter to several hundred meters — and can include separate storage rooms.
The cost of rent depends on the size of the rented area, storage time and the location of the warehouse. A typical price, said Alexei Voronov, general director of Formula Pereyezda, is about 1,000 rubles (about $35) per square meter per month, or 2,800 rubles for a 2-by-2-by-2.25-meter metal container. Sometimes a deposit is taken as a precaution against delays in rent.
Experts say that if you want to work out how much space to rent, divide the area of your apartment or house by 10 and that is how much you need.
Some companies can also do the packaging and transportation.
“Our experts travel, make an inventory of assets. The brigade is engaged in packaging and labeling things,” Voronov said. “There are different types of containers, adapted for packing clothes, kitchenware, furniture — cardboard boxes of various sizes, bubble film, stretch film.”
The price for moving property from an average two-bedroom apartment to a warehouse is about 10,000 rubles. Mobius brings a 2-by-2-by-2.25-meter metal container to the apartment, and things are loaded into it on the spot.
Security in all of the companies is tight. At Red Box, the security system includes surveillance cameras, motion detectors and electronic locks, Britten said. At Mobius, things are protected like in a bank deposit box, Chizhov said.
The Red Box web site also lists the items that you are not allowed to store, such as plants, food, drugs and weapons.