Scattered across the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga campus are signs promising $5 monthly storage with no fees or commitments — something nomadic college students can appreciate.
As classes wrap up and students pack their bags for the summer, the lingering question is where they will put all the things they've accumulated during the year until they return in the fall. Kevin Cherrick has an answer for that with Infinite Closet, the newest micro-storage solution in town, that allows customers to pack away any items that can fit in a plastic bin that is 27 inches long, 17 inches wide and 12 inches tall.
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For more information about Infinite Closet, visit myinfinitecloset.com.
Referring to himself as a "serial entrepreneur," Cherrick said he just wanted to create an easier and cheaper way for people to store a few of their belongings and nothing big, like bicycles or large furniture, that would require a lot of labor costs.
"I have used lots of storage as a consumer over the years, and it's never been a really good experience," the 37-year-old said. "It's just trying to make storage as easy as possible for people."
Cherrick, who recently moved to the area with his family from Phoenix, said one of the main perks of Infinite Closet is customers don't have to drive to and from their unit to retrieve their things. Calling it "micro-storage on demand," Cherrick's customers can simply text him whenever they want their box and he will have it to them within 24 hours.
There are just a few rules, though. Boxes can't contain any liquids, food or perishable items, illegal substances, hazardous materials, living things such as plants and items that emit strong smells or fumes.
College students and apartment dwellers, like Will Musto, are Infinite Closet's main clientele, according to Cherrick.
Musto said he was looking for a place to store his winter clothes last October for a few months before the chilly and blistering temps would hit the Chattanooga area in January.
"I live in an apartment downtown and space is of the essence," Musto said.
With just enough stuff to fill a large box, renting a storage unit seemed like an outrageous thought and a high price to pay. Then Musto saw a sign for Infinite Closet in the elevator at his work and became Cherrick's first customer.
"I just thought that probably a lot of people who live in apartments don't have that much stuff but they have too much to keep there," Cherrick said.
Cherrick claims he's not trying to replace traditional storage units, which can vary in price but average about $40 to over $200 a month depending on the size.
Currently, the business just consists of Cherrick here in Chattanooga, a city with 15,000 apartment units, he says, and a business partner in Phoenix. Cherrick's goal is to expand the idea to Phoenix, which boasts a large college student population at Arizona State University, and Atlanta, where he said has more than 350,000 apartment units and potential customers.
Contact staff writer Allison Shirk at firstname.lastname@example.org, @Allison_Shirk or 423-757-6651.