4 Unique Storage Issues in New Jersey
New Jersey is home to Atlantic City, white sand beaches, Appalachian Trail, lakes, waterfalls and farmland. With all the uniqueness that Jersey has to offer, it also comes with some unique storage challenges.
1. Storage Shortages
According to Inside Self Storage (ISS), New Jersey is underserved in the self-storage industry with a penetration rate of 4 square feet per capita. The national average is 5.8 square feet per capita.
That wasn’t much of an issue until the pandemic hit, and people started leaving big cities for more suburban areas. And it’s doubtful that the work-from-home trend will disappear once the pandemic has subsided enough.
Lack of available storage will remain a challenge since the new construction rate, especially in Northern New Jersey, which has one of the highest new construction rates in the U.S. Still, self-storage construction has not kept pace with that development. As a result, it’s a challenge for people to find a self-storage unit.
One reason self-storage availability has not kept pace with demand is that New Jersey likes their rules and regulations.
ISS states the whole state has tough zoning laws and high-priced real estate, making acquiring the land and building storage facilities challenging. What that means for consumers is the shortage isn’t an easy solution to fix.
2. Outdoor Gear
New Jersey has 130 miles of coastline on the Atlantic Ocean and 44 beaches. The Hudson River separates the state from NYC, and there are many lakes and rivers.
Whether you are a fresh or saltwater fisher, there are lots of opportunities to cast your line. Part of the Appalachian Trail runs through Jersey, too, so if hiking is more your style, the state has you covered for that. Plus, there are mountains for skiers, so Jersey has a bit of everything to play outdoors.
Outdoor fun means outdoor gear. Things like camping and hiking equipment, campers, boats, fishing gear and skis can take up a lot of space, especially when you can only use it for a few months at a time.
3. Family Living
New Jersey is home to approximately 144,000 multigenerational families, which makes up 4.42% of the state population, according to the 2018 Census data.
These family units are composed of three generations typically and extended family members such as aunts and uncles. Multi-generations means multiples of family stuff and few spots to stash it.
And, as the global pandemic caused financial hardship, many adults found themselves out of work and with no choice but to move home to their family.
If the house was already multi-generational, there was no chance an home’s worth of possessions and furniture would also fit, so the demand for self-storage increased.
4. Climate and Weather
New Jersey has hot, humid summers and cold winters and these variations that can wreak havoc on New Jerseyites’ stuff. Especially humidity, which encourages the growth of mold and mildew.
Jersey has also been hit with tropical storms and hurricanes (Hurricane Sandy destroyed the Atlantic City boardwalk in 2012) and nor’easters in the winter, which any New Jerseyite knows: those are blizzards with attitude and wind.
So, keeping things safe from weather and climate is one storage challenge folks in NJ have.
How to Tackle Unique Storage Issues in New Jersey
Limited self-storage in New Jersey means a lot of competition. If you think you need a unit or will need one in the near future, act fast. Here at Storage Post, we have several locations across New Jersey, but some of them have limited open spots.
Choose the Right Unit
Since storage space is at a premium in NJ, you want to ensure that you choose the right space for your needs. Here are a few things to consider:
- What are you going to be storing in the space? Is it sports equipment, boats or ATVs, out-of-season clothing, papers, photographs or collectibles? Things like clothing, photographs, furniture and collectibles are vulnerable to climate shifts, so a climate-controlled self-storage unit will be your best friend. Here are some reasons why a climate-controlled storage unit can be a good investment.
- Measure the size of the items you intend to store. Choosing the right size for your needs makes economic sense, and there is nothing worse than getting to the storage unit only to find out that your couch is 8 inches too long. Here are some handy tips for choosing the right-sized storage unit.
- If you are storing bigger items, such as a boat or camper, do you want it inside out of the elements, or are you okay with parking it on the lot and covering it? If you plan to store your boat, check out that link for tips.
Even if you have a climate-controlled storage unit, minimize the use of cardboard boxes, which can retain moisture. Package your valuable papers, photos and books in acid-free archival materials, and consider using plastic storage containers.
(For more, see: Collectible Storage Guide: Family Pictures.)
It’s always a good idea to use pallets or shelves to elevate your items off the floor. If you take the extra time to organize your boxes by labeling them and creating a pathway through the unit, it will make your life easier, too.
Mind the Quirky Laws
If you live in NJ, you may already know about some of the quirky laws there; for newcomers, here are some tips as you navigate your self-storage unit:
- Left turns aren’t permitted anywhere in the state, and there are strict parking rules, so you might face a couple of fines trying to get your belongings to and from the self-storage facility. Make sure you plot a route that doesn’t include left turns, or you could be driving a long way out of your way.
- FYI, if you are moving your stuff to self-storage in Newark and planning on ice cream after, make sure you finish early, or you will need a doctor’s note. It’s illegal to sell ice cream after 6 p.m. in Newark!
The Garden State is one of the most affluent states in the U.S. and is proud, unapologetic and diverse. While it has some unique self-storage challenges, the home of Springsteen, Carlo’s Bakery, Atlantic City and Princeton is worth visiting and staying in.