Illinois self-storage company with ‘Amazon-esque’ facilities expanding into Milwaukee

Expects to create up to 50 jobs over next two years


Doorage Storage Solutions, a Chicago-area self-storage company that touts Amazon-esque warehousing operations, is expanding into Milwaukee.

A Doorage Storage Solutions van. (Credit: Doorage)

Sean Sandona, founder and chief executive officer of the year-old, Elk Grove Village, Illinois-based company, said it officially began operating in the Milwaukee area this week, though it received its first order last week and has about 20 to 30 orders queued up already.

“We’re bringing a fresh, new approach to storage to this great metropolitan area that is underserved because they are not viewed as epic-sized metro areas that other companies focus as their targets,” he said.

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Doorage is operating a warehouse facility on Milwaukee’s west side, though Sandona did not disclose its exact location. He said the company’s facility addresses are not listed on its website for security reasons.

The company is immediately hiring a staff of around 10 people, and “over the next couple of years we should be able to create for Milwaukee around 40 to 50 jobs,” said Sandona.

The self-storage service includes features such as eliminating the need for customers to leave their home to store belongings and charging by the exact amount of space being used.

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Doorage works by allowing customers to request storage space online. They pack their items in storage containers supplied by the company, and whatever can’t fit in those containers is wrapped up by employees. Those items are then picked up by Doorage employees and moved to one of their warehouse facilities.

These facilities are not set up like other self-storage buildings where someone pays for a room or unit. Doorage operates large open spaces and charges per cubic foot of space. Everything in these warehouses is controlled by a warehouse-management system that uses proprietary software developed by Doorage, said Sandona. He compared this set-up to Amazon’s warehouse facilities.

“There are no physical rooms or anything like that,” he said.

Customers can request specific items or everything can be returned at the same time through a user interface that keeps track of what is being stored.

Sandona said a focus in the Milwaukee area will be college students, including those enrolled in schools in Milwaukee, Waukesha and Kenosha. During the summer months, when students are most likely to need to use self-storage service, they make up between 20 and 30 percent of Doorage’s business, he said.

The company also caters to offices, who need extra space for things like excess office supplies or document storage.

Doorage will initially be able to serve about 2,500 customers. That number will increase once it adds warehouse facilities or expand its existing location.

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