Tapping Columbia Countys lowered real estate market makes for attractive out-of-towner storage option

by: DARRYL SWAN - Junk it Store its plan for active storage is to pick up, catalogue and store items in one of its recently constructed warehouses. When needed, clients can request specific items for delivery to their homes. Its never been done before, said business owner Wayde Elliot.Though steadily rebounding, Columbia County’s behind-the-curve real estate market, especially when weighed against the higher cost of living in the more-immediate Portland area, potentially holds ahead-of-the-curve value for Wayde Elliot and his new business venture.

Elliot and his company—Junk it Store it – are launching a service coined “active storage” that factors the lower cost of real estate in St. Helens as a place where an increasing population of Portland’s retiring and downsizing Baby Boomers can store non-essentials at lower rates than in their own neighborhood.

And here’s the juicy part: Those who use the service can tap into the Internet for a full cataloguing of their stored goods, place an order for delivery of in-demand objects and enjoy the comfort of their own residence as one of Junk it Store it’s employees makes the St. Helens-to-Portland jaunt for delivery.

“The concept, the idea, is something that hasn’t been done before,” said Elliot, a Columbia County resident who also works as a dentist and has his hands in several other entrepreneurial endeavors.

In addition to a simple fee for the initial pick up and cataloguing of the items, Elliot said he anticipates pricing a single delivery at $35, a fee-for-service rate he said would still be less expensive for his clients.

“When we researched our competition, we found our active storage model costs less even when including five pick ups and drop offs each year,” he said in flyer explaining the service. He said his calculation includes the savings to his clients in the time and energy conserved by their not having to leave home to retrieve their property.

An example, as Elliot explains, is the case of Christmas decorations. For those living in smaller quarters with limited storage, they can be a bulky burden. By using active storage, Christmas decorations can be out of the way and delivered when needed, and then picked up for a return to storage after the fact.

“We see a great opportunity for people to store their Christmas items in January and get their ski gear delivered at the start of the season,” Elliot said. “Or get their summer lawn items delivered in the summer and put it all away again in the fall.”

And it’s not just for Portlanders, Elliot explained. Anyone who is looking to build more home space and enjoy the convenience of delivery and pick up can take advantage of active storage.

Junk it Store it started operations in March 2012 as an eco-friendly and sustainable junk removal and self-storage operation.

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