“The customers at my Saskatoon storage facility are like family,” said Della Dyck, a StorageMart manager who knows many of her customers. “Our store is a bit of an anomaly; we have quite a few long-term customers so I've gotten to know many customers pretty well."
An average self storage customer stays between six months and a year, but the average stay at Dyck’s StorageMart location is around seven years – and a few customers have been renting longer than that! Doris is a retired nurse in her late 70’s who still lives on her own. She’s been a StorageMart customer since the mid-1990’s.
“She’s the sweetest, loveliest lady you’ll ever meet,” said Dyck. “Once a month she rides the bus to her Saskatoon storage unit to pay her bill and chat with me. Usually, she shares stories from her career,” Dyck said, who looks forward to her visits.
“One month Doris didn’t show up on her regular day so I called her just to make sure everything was okay.” Fortunately, it was just bad weather that prevented her from making the three-block walk from the bus stop.
Doris doesn’t just stop at the office. She walks down to her storage unit, unlocks the door and checks on her belongings, all carefully stored in boxes. Sometimes she swaps out clothing for the coming season. Other times she just reminisces.
"You get to know people over time," Dyck said, of another customer, a marketing representative who rents a unit for her sales materials. "I first met her when she was single, then she got married, had a little boy, took maternity leave and then returned to work," said Dyck, who has been managing the store for nine years.
Another customer visited her belongings one Saturday each month – to vacuum. “She would remove the drop cloths from her furniture and vacuum – the couch, chairs and her living room furniture. Then she would unroll the carpet and vacuum that too. She wanted to make sure her things were clean when she moved into her new house.”
StorageMart managers share the same passion for cleanliness because they know that it’s important to all their customers. When Dyck’s not welcoming new customers or keeping current customers happy, she’s usually cleaning, sweeping floors, washing windows, and yes…vacuuming all the carpet in her 812-unit, 76,115 square foot facility.