As real estate prices continue to rise, homeownership in Vancouver has become somewhat of a wishful thought for first-time buyers. Developers have thus introduced micro lofts as an affordable alternative. In less than 291 square feet, these tiny spaces are growing popularity amongst young professionals who would rather opt for location over square footage.
Although the price may be right, living small doesn’t come without its challenges, the most obvious one being storage. The shift towards this type of micro living is what’s prompted Rob Buchanan to introduce Vancouver’s first storage valet.
“I grew up in the Fraser Valley where space and affordability were never an issue. We had big backyard, tons of bedrooms, and a two-car garage for less than what you’d pay for a studio apartment downtown,” Buchanan says. “My friends and I moved to the city and loved being close to work, restaurants, and nightlife. But living in tight quarters was a major adjustment.”
Rob looked into storage facilities to store his snowboard, bike, and other items, and was shocked that monthly fees were upwards of $200 per month.
That’s when he realized there was a need to offer affordable storage solutions that were both convenient and easy for those in small dwellings. Alluster Storage Valet, the city’s first delivery and management service for storing your extra goods, was born. When clients sign up for an account, storage boxes will be delivered to their house. Once packed, the butlers at Alluster will pick them up and transfer them to their secure storage location. Items are tagged with a QR code in order to create a visual catalogue. At any time, clients can request delivery of single or multiple items in their storage box that will be delivered within 24 hours.
Rob says the valet service was an important component, especially as more Gen Y-ers are opting out of car ownership. He’s also been working with several small businesses that also face storage problems, particularly retail stores.
Each storage box is $7.49 per month, and can fit up to 80 t-shirts, 12 binders, or 377 DVDs. Larger items like bikes, golf clubs, and snowboards are an additional $10 per month.