Cheap rent, free utilities, and most likely, no neighbors. Sounds like the ideal living situation, right? Why spend a ton of money renting an apartment when you could just live in a storage unit at a fraction of the cost? Back in January of 2017, YouTube user, 007craft, posted his now-viral video titled “Living out of a storage locker for 2 months, in style!” It’s since amassed an incredible, if not disconcerting, several million views. It’s even been covered by major sites such as Gizmodo, Popular Mechanics, and Huffington Post. How could this video gain that much traction?
But first, there are bigger questions to ask: Where do you get water and electricity? How do you use the restroom? Most importantly, how do you not get caught? Most of these questions are answered in the video, and 007craft even goes beyond these fundamental inquiries by explaining how he was able to adapt his storage unit to allow for use of ancillary comforts such as Wi-Fi and entertainment.
Naturally, this video has inspired copycats that have aimed to replicate their progenitor’s success. We at StorAmerica, your self storage experts, have highly-trained staff at all of our facilities who can spot signs of tenants living in storage. Although we’ll admit, there’s an allure to peeking into this lifestyle. For entertainment purposes, let’s analyze the video and we’ll point out the flaws in this experiment:
1. Liability and Safety
This is the most important argument to make against living in a storage unit, and it’s the very first item that 007craft addresses in the video. “So if you’re gonna live in a storage unit, you’re gonna need to be as invisible as you possibly can be. You basically need to be a ghost,” advises our friend. There’s a reason why inhabiting a storage unit is against the rules (not to mention, against the law) at all self storage facilities. Storage units are not built for habitation, human or otherwise. They do not have proper ventilation or insulation, which makes them risky for prolonged use.
We should point out that running all of his devices through a single outlet and one highly-conspicuous extension cord seems like a disaster waiting to happen. Then consider the possibility of 007craft’s toaster oven experiencing a mishap — he could be toast, no pun intended. Also consider the risk he poses to his neighboring tenants. If his hot plate causes a fire, it can take down several of his neighbors in addition to his own storage unit. You don’t want to be that guy.
Because of the inherent risks associated with occupying a storage unit, there are specific clauses in self storage contracts and leases that prohibit this kind of activity. Our guess is that 007craft had an inside deal with an employee at the facility who allowed him to live on premises on the down low.
2. Sanitary Concerns
By keeping food and open water sources inside your storage unit, you increase the chances of attracting pests. Although 007craft seems decently hygienic, all things considered, he’s storing items that should not be stored. And let’s not dismiss the fact that he sleeps, cooks, and eats in what appears to be a 10×10 storage space with no running water. No matter how clean you are, that’s pretty gross.
Restroom usage is not specifically addressed here, but we can (hopefully) assume he uses an on-site restroom facility and an off-site facility for showering. But could you imagine how awkward it would be to bring a date over to your place? Would you like some wine? Oh wait, it’s right behind this jug of wastewater. Pardon my reach!
3. Facility Costs
Economics 101: There’s no such thing as a free lunch. While 007craft didn’t have to directly pay for his use of water and electricity, the storage facility would have to absorb the rise in costs associated with his use of utilities. What’s worse is the blatant frivolity on display with the likes of wifi, gaming console, 4k TV, and surround sound (Extra, much? We thought you said “be a ghost!?”), all of which use way more power than a typical tenant would ever come close to using.
We should also mention that any alterations to the storage unit are most likely prohibited. The latch that was installed on the inside of the unit appears to be bolted into the door, which would require patching or replacement. With the several hacks that he created, who knows what other modifications were made that would need to be addressed. And we’re willing to bet that he was the one who broke the other drinking fountain!
An epilogue to the video follows 007craft as he moves into an actual apartment, where he’s planning on installing a rock climbing wall (apartments are out of our realm of expertise, but we’re guessing that that’s a bad idea). While his experiment was informative, fascinating, and compelling, there’s no way a storage living situation could endure scrutiny for more than a few of months, even less without inside help.
StorAmerica is sympathetic to those in need and without a home. However, as we have covered, self storage units are not viable dwellings for several reasons, safety being paramount. Check with your local government and non-profit organizations to help get you situated. If you’re simply looking to reduce your cost of living, DON’T move into a self storage unit. Get some roommates, instead.
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