A self-contained, climate-controlled, secure place for storing items is an excellent way to keep your belongings organized and safe. You can store your belongings for a few weeks or months.
With the advent of portable storage containers, the range of choices has increased considerably. Nowadays, it isn’t just a matter of comparing rental rates at local mini storage centers. Now you can compare portable storage to self service storage and get the best deals.
Portable storage units are great if you need to move quickly or don’t have the time to set up a long-term storage unit.
Portable Storage Units vs Self Storage Units
How do portable storage solutions compare to traditional storage units?
Portable storage offers convenient, on-site containers delivered to your location, while self-storage provides secure, off-site facilities for storing your items. Both options have unique advantages, such as the flexibility of portable storage and the extensive amenities of self-storage facilities.
Portable containers offer some advantages over traditional self-storage units. The most obvious advantage is in their name being “portable.” This makes them ideal for people who want to pack up their belongings and move those belongings fast.
Another major difference between portable storage containers and traditional self-storage units is security.
Traditional self-storage units require you to enter a code every time you access your property.
Portable storage containers come with locks on all doors, so no one else will be able to gain entry without your permission.
Portable storage containers can be loaded and moved from one location to another.
As expected, smaller portable units are usually cheaper than larger ones. That’s the number one rule in storage. However, portable storage units may not be as secure. If you want more security, then go with self service storage.
Portable self storage units are perfect for short term storage needs. They come in different sizes and shapes. Some are even stackable.
This means that you can put several units together to create one big space. You can also use them to store seasonal items like Christmas decorations.
Short Term Storage Compared to Long Term
If you’re looking for a quick solution to storing some of your belongings while you search for a new apartment or home, then portable storage containers may be exactly what you need. However, if you plan to leave your belongings there permanently, then you should consider renting from a traditional self-storage facility instead.
Self storage units are ideal for longer term storage needs. Also known as mini storage, these units are typically much bigger than portable self storage units. They offer more room for storing furniture, appliances, and other bulky items.
Self storage units are also very secure. Unlike portable storage units, they are locked and monitored 24/7. This makes them a good choice for storing valuables such as jewelry, artwork, and antiques.
If you plan on moving frequently, then you should consider renting a portable storage container instead of a self storage unit. Portable storage units are right there when you need them and they’re easy to transport from your starting point to your destination.
If you plan on staying in one spot for a while, then you should opt for a traditional storage unit. These units are usually conveniently located near major highways and shopping areas.
Portable storage units offer the convenience to load at your own speed.
Portable Storage Container Advantages
There are many advantages to using portable storage containers. Here are just a few of them:
1. Portability: When it comes to moving storage containers, portability is king. They are lightweight and compact making them easy to transport. The portable unit can be brought to your door. Once all your things are loaded up, the unit can be moved where you need it.
2. Security: Since storage containers are secured, they make great options for storing valuable possessions.
3. Flexibility: Storage containers allow you to customize your storage experience. For example, you can choose how large or small you want your storage container to be.
4. Space Saver: Storage containers are perfect for maximizing the amount of storage space you have available. They are also great for storing larger items like couches, tables, and even beds. These containers can also free up floor space if you need room during a renovation.
5. Convenience: Storage containers are extremely convenient. You don’t need to worry about driving to a remote facility to access your belongings. Once it is moved to a storage center, you can simply drive up to your local storage facility and request you container to be picked up and sent to a destination.
6. Cost Effective: If you’re looking for a cost effective way to store your belongings, then portable storage containers are a great choice. They are priced based on their size, shape, color, and design. Instead of renting a truck, once the belongings are ready then the unit can be picked up and moved to your new location.
7. Durable: These storage containers are very durable. They are built with heavy-duty materials that will withstand weather conditions.
8. Versatile: Storage containers are versatile. They can be used for both short term and long term storage needs.
9. Clean: Storage containers are clean. They are cleaned regularly and disinfected after each use. They are easy to wipe off and keep clean.
10. Loading Ease: It is easy to load the unit since there are no ramps. You can also load the unit at your convenience and speed.
Portable self storage containers can be dropped off at your location for convenience.
Portable Storage Container Disadvantages
Portable storage containers may not be suitable for everyone. Here are some disadvantages of using these types of storage containers:
1. Size: Portable storage containers come in many different sizes. However, they’re usually smaller than traditional self service units.
2. Weight: Portable storage containers are lightweight. They are often made out of plastic or metal. This can still make them difficult to move around.
3. Security: Portable storage containers do not offer the same level of security as traditional self storage units. They are not monitored by security cameras 24 hours a day until they are moved to a storage facility.
4. Flexibility: Portable storage containers are not as flexible as traditional self storage units because they cannot be customized.
5. Weatherproofing: Portable storage containers are less weatherproof than traditional self storage units due to their light weight.
6. Maintenance: Portable storage containers require regular maintenance. They need to be cleaned and disinfected after every use.
7. Cost: Portable storage containers can be more expensive if you decide to store for the long term.
8. Durability: Portable storage containers are durable but they are not as durable as traditional self storage units which can last for decades.
9. Insurance Coverage: Portable storage containers do have insurance coverage but this is limited compared to traditional self storage units.
10. Climate Control: Climate control options are limited to just a few companies. If you want a portable unit with climate control, they can be found be you have to look harder to find them.
11. Takes Up Space: The container can take up space on your driveway or location. This could be against the rules for some homeowner’s associations.
12. Accessibility: The portable unit is not as accessible once it is moved over to a remote facility for holding. These facilities stack the units to fit more containers in their building space, so you can’t just visit your belongings as you would any time with mini storage.
13. Booking: Portable units often have to be booked in advance. If you wait too late, you may not have the unit in time.
Mini storage units come in several sizes
Traditional Self Storage Unit Advantages
Traditional self storage units offer several benefits over portable storage containers. Here’s what sets them apart:
1. Stability: Traditional self storage facilities provide stability. They are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions such as snow, rain, wind, and heat.
2. Location: Traditional self storage facilities are typically located near major roadways and shopping areas. This means that they are easily accessible for most people .
3. Reliability: Traditional self storage facilities offer reliability. They are monitored by security cameras 24/7. This ensures that your belongings remain safe and sound.
4. Safety: Traditional self storage facilities ensure safety. They are inspected regularly so that there are no issues with the facility.
5. Accessibility: Traditional self storage facilities make accessibility easier. Many are open 7 days a week at hours convenient for their customers.
6. Value: Traditional self storage facilities give you value for money. They are affordable and offer flexible payment plans. These units are a great value for long term storage.
7. Climate Control: Many traditional storage facilities offer climate controlled units for your delicate and temperature-sensitive belongings.
8. No pick up or delivery costs: You don’t have to pay for any delivery fees when you move in or out of a traditional self storage facility.
Small storage units are great for those on a budget.
Traditional Self Storage Unit Disadvantages
There are some disadvantages associated with traditional self storage units. Here are some drawbacks of using these types of facilities:
1. Cleanliness: Traditional self storage units may not be as clean as portable storage containers.
2. Size: Traditional self storage units are generally larger than portable storage containers. You might not need that much space.
3. Availability: Traditional self storage units aren’t always available. Some locations only have certain sizes of units while others are closed during specific times of the year. Although it’s often easier to find a self service storage unit compared to a portable container.
4. Flexibility: There’s not as much flexibility when it comes to packing your belongings into the unit. It might be difficult to fit everything in.
5. Delivery Options: There are no delivery options for moving your belongings. You will have to do this yourself.
6. Transporting: You have to transport your belongings to your self service unit.
Omaha Storage helps you to get the job done
The Choice is Yours
The difference between portable storage vs storage units is pretty straightforward: portable storage containers are designed to be easily transported and stored, whereas self storage units are designed to be permanent fixtures.
The main advantage of portable storage containers is inherent in their portability. They’re lightweight and compact so they can be easily carried around.
If you’re planning to move or require temporary storage, portable storage is the way to go. They’re easy to pack and convenient to deliver, which makes them ideal for moving. You can choose when to pick up your items and avoid having to drive to another location to store them.
They are also stackable which allows you to maximize the amount of storage space available. In addition, some models can be folded down into a flat position when not in use.
You do pay an added price for the convenience of portability. If you plan to move your unit to the destination soon, then you save the expense of a moving truck because the storage company moves the unit for you.
Because of these benefits, the convenience outweighs the costs. However if you plan for long term storage, then mini storage is a better option to keep costs low.
Mini storage units aren’t quite as convenient since they are located inside a storage center building. However, they are more sturdy since they are built to last. Being made out of steel and concrete makes their buildings sturdy and durable.
In addition, traditional storage centers are usually located near major roads and shopping areas. This makes them an excellent option for people who plan on living in one place for a long period of time.
Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of self storage compared to portable storage — and the costs associated with each — you’re now ready to make your own decision.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What other names are portable storage units called?
Other names for portable storage units include: Moving containers, Portable Self Storage containers, Shipping containers, Mobile storage units, Container storage, Modular storage units, Storage trailers, Storage pods, Connex boxes, Sea cans, C-can and Cargo container.
Can I use a portable self storage unit as a hobby workshop?
Yes, you can use a portable storage unit as a hobby workshop. Portable storage units are a secure, weather-resistant place for storing tools and equipment. This makes them a potential option for creating a personal workshop. Some units may even have electrical outlets and lighting inside the unit to accommodate power tools. However, the main thing is to check with the storage provider — as there can be some restrictions on using units for uses other than storage.
What is an alternative to a portable storage unit?
If you find that a portable storage unit is not for you, there are several other choices available. Those options include:
- Traditional self-storage unit
- Basement (or attic storage)
- Garage or shed rental, like in neighbors program
- Renting a commercial storage space
- Storing items with a friend or at a family member’s place
- Off-site storage rental at a warehouse
- Climate-controlled storage.
Do they make climate controlled portable storage?
Yes, there are companies that offer climate-controlled portable storage containers.
These containers can maintain a steady temperature and humidity level to protect your belongings from extremes.
They’re ideal for storing items that are sensitive to temperature changes or humidity, such as antiques, artwork, electronics and documents.
PODS has some good information on this at this link.
Climate-controlled portable storage containers may be more expensive than standard containers, but they offer added protection and peace of mind for your belongings.