Self Storage vs. Portable Storage

If you’re looking for additional storage outside of your home, it’s important to understand the differences between two of the most common options: self-storage and portable storage. No matter your reason for needing the extra space – preparing for a move, putting seasonal items away, downsizing, cleaning out a loved one’s home, storing excess business inventory or other reasons, there are many benefits of self-storage and portable storage services. Before you make your decision, read on to learn exactly what each option entails, including key features and benefits of both.

What is self-storage?

Self-storage facilities offer many options for keeping your belongings safe. You can choose a specific sized unit based on how much stuff you want to store, from small lockers to units big enough to store the furniture from a four bedroom home. You’ll have access to your unit which is secured with a lock, and a key which only you possess. There may be additional security surrounding the facility such as a gate and keypad entry. Access to units will vary facility to facility, with some available 24/7 and some limited to specific hours. Depending on your needs, you can even select a climate-controlled, drive-up or interior unit. Generally, you’ll sign a month-to-month lease and stay there for as many months as you need the storage.

What is portable storage?

Unlike self-storage units that are located at a facility, portable storage units are located on-site at your home or business for packing. You can keep these personal storage units onsite as needed, filling them up and emptying them out as you choose. Once the unit is fully packed, it is typically moved to a portable storage container facility or to a desired location like your new home. Lease options are flexible and you’ll need to inquire about costs for delivery and pick up and any interim visits you want to make once the unit has been picked up.

What are the benefits of self-storage and portable storage?

Self-storage is almost always a better long-term solution, especially if you are staying local as it is cost effective i.e, no pick up and delivery charges and no up charges each time you want to access portable storage after it has been picked up. For those planning a move across country, portable storage services may be a better option since the unit can be transported to your new home.

While portable storage can be convenient (your unit might be located just steps from your door for packing) many customers prefer a self-storage facility for several reasons. Some don’t like the eyesore of keeping a portable unit in their driveway or at their business particularly since the units only security is the lock placed on them (no cameras or security systems). They prefer packing their belongings into a unit that is out of sight. Consider how often you’ll need to gain access to your stored items, too. If you’ll need access often, self-storage might make more sense since your unit won’t be tucked away in a portable storage container facility which will charge you extra for access.

Besides aesthetics and access, safety is a major factor in deciding between the two. A storage facility offers added security benefits that you won’t get with a portable unit. In addition to gated entry ways, most facilities have security cameras and ample lighting. Many have individually alarmed units, and they may even have a resident manager onsite at all time.

In addition, if you are storing anything that might need climate control, you won’t find this option in a portable storage unit, but you can take advantage of this feature at a self-storage facility. Keep in mind that certain items require climate control and may not be suitable for self-storage or portable storage so be sure to discuss any concerns before signing your rental lease.

ezStorage currently offers self-storage units only.