The Service Part-Time Expats Have Been Waiting for: Closet Box Storage
Perhaps there’s no day that I dread more as a part-time expat than moving day, that day I put my personal things into storage in order to enable someone to live in my Denver apartment while I’m in Mexico.
At the last storage facility I used, chosen for its close proximity to my apartment, a man appeared to be living out of one of the units. Since he did rent it, he had the right to access the premises. He would use the bathroom, sometimes hide in there out of Denver’s cold and seemed to come in off-and-on throughout the day for several weeks until management put an end to it.
While I never feared for my safety (and maybe I should have), the storage building was within an office building, and the units created a lot of blind corners. I was always scared that he would unexpectedly pop out in front of me in the practically empty facility.
Someone once wrote that the people you encounter in storage facilities are people either on the way up or on the way down.
Often they are desolate places where hoarders extend their domain. Many a time I’ve glanced into an open unit and thought why in the world would someone pay to store that?
So imagine my excitement when I found a new company, Closet Box, that comes and picks up your boxes for you and then re-delivers them back to you for roughly the same price as doing it yourself.
Very excited indeed. The company has services in 27 cities, precisely the places where the cost of living might encourage people to consider a part-time expat life. For me, the service isn’t just a logistical life-saver, it’s an emotional one.
With Closet Box, I can avoid that whole depressing, occasionally even a bit threatening, storage facility experience.
Typically people want their storage units reasonably close to where they live. You may or may not find a well-lit, clean, well-managed facility with units available nearby.
Another factor for the part-time expat is that once a year, especially if you’re of the weaker sex, you have to ask a friend with a SUV to help you move, not the once or twice in a lifetime as in a normal friendship, but once a year. Closet Box enables me so save those valuable friend chits for real emergencies.
Closet Box charged me a flat rate of $87 a month for a 5” x 5” high-ceiling locker, which was plenty large for my 17 medium-size boxes, and one monstrous box of skis and a bicycle. They didn’t tack on any the extra charges like administration fees, insurance, and buying their lock that many storage companies hit you with after pulling you in with a low monthly rate.
I even received a coupon for $50 off the first month, then $25 for a well-deserved Yelp review. Their $87 rate was one dollar less than I paid last year for a facility that on several occasions left me and the Lucky Chosen One outside screaming into an intercom in twenty-degree weather while we waited for a remote employee to buzz us into the property.
After arranging the time to pick-up my boxes, Closet Box emailed me several times to re-confirm the time. On that morning, two cheerful people arrived at my door and whisked away my boxes ("Take then away, Jeeves!), including the eight-foot long box of skis.
Thereby saving what's already a bitter-sweet day and relieving me of that homeless feeling I always get when I have to go to a bleak storage facility and say goodbye to every physical artifact that demonstrates I ever existed.
Closet Box doesn’t own their own storage building. They work with other companies and use their available spaces. Should I unexpectedly need to retrieve something from storage before the predetermined date, I do have an address of the storage unit where my things are being kept. Or I could simply call them they bring my stuff back to me (for an extra charge, understandably).
Now and then a new company offers a service that’s too-good-to-be-true, like when Pandora internet radio first started and had no advertising, just straight music. People went crazy for it and within a year or two even doctors’ offices were piping in Pandora.
The first few years of a company are the best days to be a customer. Customer service people are bubbling over with enthusiasm to be part of something new. Unexpected costs of doing business have not yet been tabulated and passed on to the customer.
People must not have yet taken costly advantage of the company’s dewy faith that their customers, people on their way up or on their way down, are going to be reasonable, reliable people who have everything ready on time in well-labeled boxes ready to be parted with until a predetermined date.
I will admit to you right now that I am soliciting the company to advertise on this site for them. Not too many products so uniquely match the needs of a part-time expat, the only products I’d consider advertising for.
These are the customer salad days of Closet Box. Take advantage of them while you can.
Related Links: Top tips for how to sublet or rent your current Canadians or U.S. home for a worry-free expat life. - Ventanas Mexico
The surprising things you need for a long-term versus a vacation stay. - Ventanas Mexico
Most recent: These are some of the sexiest songs in the Spanish language. Don't miss out.
About the author of this blog: Hi, I'm Kerry Baker, now author of two books, "The Interactive Guide to Learning Spanish Free Online. (Check out the reviews!) and last week released, "If Only I Had A Place," the guide on how to rent in Mexico that I wish I would have had when I was first considering part-time expat life.