Storage Solutions, a Winchester, Va.-based self-storage operator, has launched a Web-application service called Itimizit that enables customers to rent only the space they need, manage stored belongings online and request valet pickup and delivery service for individual items. The company is hoping to franchise the service to other storage operators, officials said in a press release.
Through the application, residential and business customers can rent as little as 1 cubic foot of space, manage their belongings online and schedule pickups and deliveries through their desktop computer, tablet or smartphone. Noah White, CEO of White Properties Inc., the parent company of Storage Solutions, calls the service “microstorage” because of its space flexibility.
“Microstorage allows my customers to rent only the space they need, even if it is just 1 cubic foot,” he said. “As a storage operator, this is a great thing because it allows us to maximize the profitability and flexibility of our existing space.”
White came up with the idea after watching tenants struggle to locate specific items they had stored in their units. “I think any storage-unit operator has had the experience of watching a family of four pick through an entire unit just to find one item,” he said. “Whether they use self-storage or not, people just don't know what items they have or where to find them. I realized there is real value in helping people not only store but manage the whereabouts of their possessions."
Each item stored through the Itimizit system is given a unique, scannable code to make locating and tracking it easy through the app, according to the company’s website. Customers can bring belongings they wish to store to the facility themselves or schedule a pickup. When an item needs to be retrieved, customers can use the app to schedule an in-person pickup or have it delivered.
The service is targeted at customers who wish to store mostly seasonal items as well as those who may frequently relocate, such as military families, senior citizens and students. There are different minimum monthly storing prices for residential and business customers, as well as fees for preparing items for in-person pickup, placing items into storage and pickup/delivery services. When customers sign up for Itimizit, they receive three standard storage boxes delivered to their door at no cost, according to the website.
In addition, multiple users are allowed on a single account and are given individual logins. Customers can also use multiple pickup and delivery-destination addresses.
White and independent software developer Jason Wilkinson spent 18 months building the Web application. “Right away we knew that other storage operations would want to use Itimizit, so we built it from the ground up as a ‘franchiseable’ product,” White explained. “Suddenly, Itimizit went from something we would offer to our local customers to a true tech startup that would actively seek storage partners all over the country."
Founded in 1985, White Properties operates seven self-storage facilities in Virginia under the Storage Solutions brand name. The company’s portfolio is comprised of more than 200,000 square feet of self-storage space and 50,000 cubic feet of records storage. It also offers document-shredding, pack-and-ship, and e-cycle services.