Here in Boston, not only is the cost of living high, but space is tight. And when you’re already squeezing your mattress into a tiny bedroom and maximizing those precious square feet of your urban apartment, extra room for storing stuff – out of season clothing, a set of golf clubs in the winter, ski equipment in the summer – is slim to none.
That’s why Michael Cappelletti, a Boston entrepreneur, set out to solve the space problem with an alternative to the cumbersome project of self-storage.
Cappelletti’s solution is Cubiq, a concierge service that will transport all the extra stuff you don’t have room for in your apartment to one of their warehouses. Any time you need one of your storage boxes, or “cubes,” you can request a return on an any device – smartphone, tablet or laptop – and it will be delivered to your door.
According to Cappelletti, the system was designed to help city dwellers maximize their space while keeping their belongings within (digital) reach.
“We are looking to enable better living,” said Cappelletti. “The way we want to do that is to change the way that people view storage. It’s less about putting some things away, and more about providing access to them.”
When we think of self-storage, we think of cardboard boxes, plenty of packing tape, and daunting warehouses. With Cubiq, the company takes care of the actual storing for you, and makes your stowed-away items available on command. When you sign up, you choose how many “cubes,” Cubiq’s heavy-duty, industrial storing units, you want to start with. A concierge from the Cubiq team will drop off the empty cubes, then you pack them before your concierge picks them up and stores them in one of Cubiq’s three warehouses located just outside of the city.
Cappelletti said that the pricing for Cubiq space is competitive to traditional self-storage, but that the added convenience bumps up the rates. Currently, Cubiq sells three packages: small (four cubes, $29/month), medium (eight cubes, $59/month) and large (16 cubes, $99/month). With each package, you get one, two or three free returns per month if you need anything from your unit.
Before storing, Cubiq makes a detailed inventory of the things in each cube, so locating the exact cube you want to remove from storage is made easy. Each cube is stamped with its own barcode and labeled with radio-frequency identification tags and security seals. These measures make sure the cubes can be easily located and tracked and will remain unopened while in storage. Cubiq’s system is available on any device, so when you need something picked up, all you have to do is select the cube from your inventory, and the concierge will deliver it within a turn-around time of 24 hours. After you use up your free returns for the month, a return costs $10.
Cappelletti refers to Cubiq’s system as an “on-demand delivery service,” rather than just a storage service, similar to Uber’s model.
“Uber is a great example of on demand delivery service. What Uber does is create access to a previously inaccessible service, which, for them, is car service,” said Cappelletti. “We’re providing people access to the previously inaccessible area of storage space.”
The service has been in beta mode for the last two years, and has received positive feedback from their first customers, according to Cappelletti. After receiving initial funding through private equity, Cubiq is launching in full on Tuesday, with plans to build out its presence in Boston before spreading to other cities. In order to boost their expansion in the city, Cubiq has already begun partnering with business and apartment developments, including the nationwide development company Equity Residential.
Cappelletti said Cubiq is perfect for those who “aren’t interested in traditional self-storage.” Whether that’s because of the heavy lifting, or the tendency to lose track of what’s inside the stored units, Cubiq is prepared to solve the storage space problem for a more modern generation.
Interested? Learn more about Cubiq’s service here.
Images via Cubiq