When Brian Thomas couldn’t find an old book of Calvin and Hobbes comics in his storage unit, he decided to come up with a way to make the process easier.

“Why am I paying for storage if I don’t know what I have and can’t find it?” he said he asked himself.

With the help of angel investors, Thomas founded Clutter in 2013. The full-service self-storage company sends employees to pack and photograph customers’ items, creating an account on site to log the location of stored items, which are then delivered to a secure warehouse. Clutter charges a fee for pickup and delivery.

In 2014, Thomas collaborated with Venice accelerator Amplify.LA, where he was matched with Tony Sziklai, who became Clutter’s co-founder and chief technology officer. Sziklai implemented the digital technology that has aided Clutter’s expansion.

The first storage site was in Venice and Clutter earlier this month opened a second, in Orange County. Thomas said he ultimately plans to take the company nationwide.

While he said this year has been all about growth, Thomas still remembers the struggles of the business’s beginnings.

“As we first started expanding we were experimenting with different ways of handling the labor,” he said. “My back is still sore from the early days.”

– Nicole Piper

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