January 27, 2007
Arlene Bynon, Journalist and broadcaster
Finishing Touches
At Home – TheStar.com

It’s an easy life. You love your view, your neighbourhood and your condo layout, but the downsizing stress can sometimes be downright depressing. Now condo owners with more stuff than space can rejoice, because there are some cutting-edge storage opportunities which make the job of paring down a little less drastic of a lifestyle compromise. And not only are facilities offering climate-controlled conditions and more cubic space, now they are delivering their storage business right to your front door.

One of the most exciting companies to rise to the condo challenge is a fashionista’s delight. Store Your Style (www.storeyourstyle.com) is a storage facility which can accommodate all those clothes which are crammed into your condo closet. They come right to your home, complete with rolling clothes rail, wooden hangers and breathable gusseted garment bags.

All you have to do is sift through your wardrobe and select what’s best for the season, then the rest is packed away in storage boxes which contain a potion of cedar and lavender preservatives to make sure your garments are well protected.

“Having limited closet space does not mean that you have to compromise your fashionable wardrobe,” says Courtney Whiteside, president, Store Your Style. “As a condo owner, I know that closet space is at a premium. Our service is ideal for people who only have room to store one season of clothing in their closet.”

After you have made your choices for the season, then Store Your Style transfers your clothes to a secure and climate-controlled studio. Your clothes are individually recorded, placed on custom-built storage racks and logged into a database.

The price for the service starts at $59.99 per month and includes two pick-ups or returns.

Now, because many condo owners are moving from larger homes or have parents who are scaling back, there are furniture storage solutions which also offer the same door-to-door, service.

You don’t have to sell your grandmother’s antique dining room set just because your style is all leather and chrome. Toronto Storage Stadium (www.storagestadium.com) also comes right to your door and handles the packing and care of stuff you otherwise might have to permanently unload.

Cliff Beaton, the founder of the company, says he realized there was a market for people who were agonizing over what to do with a sudden reality of less space.

“People use it for everything” says Beaton. “Let’s say you even have a whole bunch of boxes which you don’t have room for in your condo. We just bring our storage unit to you and two guys load the stuff in your storage unit and take it away.”

It costs $169 for the delivery of a 1.52-metre-wide, 2.13 metres deep and 2.44-metre-tall storage unit within Toronto city limits. You can fill it yourself or, for $30 an hour per man the company will supply two strong workers to do it for you. Then with 24 hours’ advance notice, you can have access to your valuables or arrange to have the storage unit brought back to your door. Monthly fee at Toronto Storage Stadium is $79.

With both of these storage solutions it’s about convenience, safety and security. You can watch both your clothes and your great aunt’s armoire loaded into storage and you know exactly the conditions under which it will be stashed away.

Now, maybe all the new storage options will make living in a smaller space less of a sacrifice to style.

Arlene Bynon is a home decor and design consultant.