Public interest in portable storage containers has grown, thanks in part to the popularity of hit shows like Storage Wars on A&E. Although TV has sparked peoples' interests in what's behind the doors at storage facilities, the amount of people who use them jumped long before the shows first airing, Erie Times reports.
According to the Self Storage Association, the number of families in the U.S. who use self storage units has grown 65 percent since 1995. Now, more than 10.8 million families store their valuables or extra furniture behind these safe walls.
Many people use the facilities for different reasons. Some are college kids who need to store their furniture and other belongings during the summer months, while others looking to sell their homes use the space to store excess items that realtors say makes their homes look cluttered, the news outlet reports.
"Sometimes they will pack things up and put them in storage units," Al Ames, a local realtor in Lake Erie, told the publication. "Sometimes they will put things in a corner of the basement or garage. Big box storage has also become popular."
A change in lifestyle has also made storage facilities more necessary, as the economy has forced many families to downsize.
"A few years back, people were using them while adding on to their home or for putting their toy car in," Ames told the news outlet. "Now, it seems that it's people moving out because they got evicted. It's growing out of a need."