MakeSpace: Like Dropbox, but for your physical stuff

Might the future of storage be green boxes? Maybe!

Couchsurfers, subletters, moms with tattoos in Williamsburg lend us your ears. Moving sucks, right? Especially if you do it a lot and have to deal with the stress of storing things on top of your moving. Bad enough you have to part with your stuff, going to pick up it is a goddamn production all its own. But now there’s MakeSpace, a startup trying to take some of pain out of moving by dragging the world of self-storage on to the internet and dragging picking up your stuff for you. So if this ends up settling the storage question, all you’ll have to worry about is Brooklyn’s ever-escalating rent.

As someone who’s moved three times in the past three years any company that vows to make moving or self-storage easier is doing God’s work as far as I’m concerned. So, how does it work? MakeSpace drops off storage bins, which you get at $25 per month, at your place. Then you pack ’em up and MakeSpace hauls them away to their storage facility.

But things go a little further than that too. When they pick up your stuff, MakeSpace employees take pictures of your belongings to create a “visual catalog,” which sounds pretty helpful, considering the minute you put stuff away in boxes their contents are a mystery. No amount of “Kitchen Stuff,” or “Bedroom” labels will jog your memory that your Thighmaster is in this box and your Vampire Weekend posters are in another. This visual catalog will then serve as your online inventory.

And now because you can actually keep track of your stuff if you need something out of the bins, or a whole bin itself, you can arrange for them to deliver it to you within a day, for just $29. It’s almost like Dropbox for the physical world, allowing you to upload and download your stuff.  With any luck, this could end the pattern of: Schlep to a self-storage unit, find your unit among the maze that is EVERY storage unit, fiddle around with the tons of other boxes you stored, opening up every box in your unit because it’s always the last box and narrowly avoiding getting crushed by the other boxes you haphazardly threw in there. Or as I like to call it the experience, Indiana Jones and the Storage of Doom

But this is Brokelyn and startup doesn’t always mean cheap (we see you, Uber surge pricing). So how does this compare to traditional storage units? Like we said, MakeSpace will run you $25 a month for 4 bins, which are 12″ inches and 27″ x 17″ wide. Then it’s $6.25 for each extra bin. That’s around 12 pair of shoes, or 70 books according to their website, but we know you’ve gotten good at moving, so you can probably stuff those bins tight. If you’re looking to store something that doesn’t fit in the bin, like Betty, your electric guitar, you’ll be charged by the cubic foot, so call for a quote.

On the other hand, the smallest unit we found around these parts in traditional self-storage places hover around $60 for a 3′ x 4′ ladder unit all the way up to $109 for a 5′ x 5′ unit. So if you’re all you’re doing is storing your comic collection or other important personal libraries, MakeSpace might be the way to go. They’re definitely cheaper if you’re looking to store belongings, but definitely find the best quote you can if you’re looking to store your couch.

MakeSpace services several neighborhoods in Brooklyn like Sunset Park, Gowanus and Flatbush. Check their locations to see if they do pickups in your ‘hood. Sorry Parkwanus, RAMBO and Bedwick, we don’t seem to see you there. Here’s to having a place to put away all your winter gear for ya know, the day that spring FINALLY comes.

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