Whether moving to a new house or just needing to clean out the garage, there are times when a self-storage unit comes in handy. But then comes the hassles of finding a buddy with a truck and hauling load after load of boxed-up books, garbage bags of unwanted clothes and tired Christmas decorations.
Local businessmen Kyle Bainter and Dan Slaven believe they have found to way to make that process a little easier with their company, Callbox Storage.
They come to you, inventory your stuff — using barcodes and photographs — and move it to their secured storage facility in Grapevine. All the lifting is done for free, including bringing up to five items per month back to the client.
“We’ve set out to make a difficult process simple,” said Bainter, 38. “Because of us, there’s no work, no lifting, no hassle.”
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And while Bainter acknowledges their price-per-unit cost isn’t the cheapest around, it is certainly in the ballpark. He said a 10-by-10 climate-controlled unit at Callbox Storage goes for $178 per month. A quick check shows that other 10-by-10 storage units in Northeast Tarrant County are in the $120 to $125 range, but the client does all of the heavy lifting.
“We’re the only local dog in this fight,” Bainter said. “And our biggest hurdle is to educate people on this model because it is very counter-intuitive to what people think self-storage is.”
They started the business in July 2016 and said demand appears to be on the rise.
“Real estate prices are going up, home values are going up, which means the space people can afford is going down, so this type of option becomes very valuable to them because we can be that extra closet, we can be that extra garage so people can live in smaller quarters and have more space,” Bainter said.
Jon Hutto, chairman/national director of the national Self Storage Association, said one out of every 10 American households rent off-site storage.
“It’s just amazing how people get used to self storage and come back to it once they are aware how easy it is to use it,” Hutto said. “Once they become aware of the convenience, they’re likely to use it over and over again.”
But Bainter said the standard convenience of storage is is not without hassle.
There’s loading, hauling and keeping track of everything from trash to treasures. And the headache of trying to retrieve something can be frustrating.
“So that’s how we began,” said Slaven, 40. “… We set out to solve that issue and said that if we can provide a service that can come to the customer and eliminate a lot of the hassles of what people deal with in storage and then photo inventory what people have, then that will accomplish our goal.”
‘A centralized location’
Slaven said they chose Grapevine because it was “a centralized location.” Their secured, climate-controlled storage facility is north of Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.
Bainter said he came up with the concept when he and his wife, Lauren, were remodeling their Dallas home to make room for a new arrival.
“About a year ago my wife and I had our first child, July,” Bainter said. “Three to four months prior to that we were getting ready for her, getting the baby room ready and all that ... and we had stuff everywhere. ... I had a garage full worth of stuff.”
Bainter said he did what most others would do. He called around to different facilities, got pricing and realized that the process was very inefficient.
“I was going to have to go rent a truck, spend my Saturday loading up and have to get friends and family to help me load it, take it to storage and so on,” Bainter said. “It’s just a difficult process, and I’m a young and able guy.”
The father-to-be realized there had to be a better way to do storage.
“So Dan and I put our heads together, and we came up with Callbox Storage,” Bainter said.
Easy to retrieve
The concept is not overly complicated.
After calling Callbox, workers come to your house and inventory, load and haul away items.
“Our biggest goal was to make a difficult process simple, so another pain point a lot of people have is they don’t know what size storage unit they need,” Bainter said. “They think they need a 10-by-10 or they think they need a 10-by-15 or whatever. A lot of times all they need is a 5-by-10, but they’re so worried that they’re not going to have enough room that they get the bigger size.”
That can mean another $100 a month thrown away for wasted space, he said.
Plans start as low as $18 a month for the cubby plan, which is enough to store a few totes of winter clothes or similar items. Their most popular plan is for an approximately 5-by-10 space at a cost of $97.50 a month.
A top-selling feature is that customers have a digital photo inventory of their stuff and can get it back easily by logging into their account and clicking on the items that they want to be delivered to their home.
“Probably my favorite part is the ability to retrieve those items by picking up your cellphone and then clicking on those items,” Slaven said. “If you think about Christmas decorations, or your golf clubs, or furniture or whatever items it is that you’re wanting back, we provide that service.”