Storage:  Mini/ Self- Storage VS. Moving Company VS. Portable Storage Containers

Storage:  Mini/ Self- Storage VS. Moving Company VS. Portable Storage Containers

Having Storage Options and knowing the advantages (or disadvantages) to each of them is very helpful when planning a move- especially when you will need short- or long-term storage during the transition. So whether your need for storage along with your move is due to your new home not being ready/ built yet, delays in closing dates, or planned renovations at your new home- carefully consider your storage options and chose the best one for your family.

  • Mini storage/ self-storage is the option most folks think of first when needing storage. This is a great fit for items that you plan to store long term and need ongoing access to the items.  Think of holiday décor, seasonal items, etc. There are climate-controlled options – but be as you would expect; this will drive up the cost significantly and most items do not require air conditioning to be stored safely.  Other things to consider before storing your belongings in a mini or self- storage: how much space you will need, moving blankets/ furniture pads (or old bedding blankets) to protect furniture that is stacked on top of other pieces, accessibility, hours of the day, how close a truck can get, if elevators or long hallways are between you and your storage unit.  Try to choose a storage unit that is just barely large enough for your items, so you are not paying for space you don’t need.  Make sure you go through your items regularly to ensure you are not paying to store items that you no longer want or need.
  • Portable storage containers (Like PODS) are an interesting option and can be the best fit if you are able to load it yourself over time. Portable storage containers are large, garage-like metal containers that are delivered to your home. They can be stored on site for as long as you would like, stored at their facility, or delivered to a new location like your new home.  These portable storage containers can be the best solution for home renovations like flooring or if you will be doing renovations as you move into your new home, locally.  It is also a great option if you do not have a garage to use as extra space to sort things and settle into your new home.  The costs will soar, however, if you choose this option for long distance moves so keep that in mind when determining if it is the best fit. With the nature of the portable container potentially being moved, make sure you load it very securely, use furniture pads and straps within the container to minimize things falling over and sustaining damage in transport.
  • Moving Company storage facilities. Many moving companies can help you move into your mini/ self – storage of choice or into your portable storage container. Some more established movers have storage facilities of their own.  Moving companies with storage are set up a bit differently than some other Storage Options available and are the best fit if you will not need access to the items while they are stored.  Storing with a moving company can be a great option if you’re uncertain you will even need storage or the need arises last minute (like delays in closings, for example), or if you’re looking for a seamless experience that doesn’t involve you taking time off work, recruiting friends & family, or breaking your own back (or belongings) moving it into storage yourself.  Be aware, though- the pricing for storage at a moving company’s facility will be different than what you’re used to.  It is often priced by weight not space. Storage lots are individually vaulted and stored in a large warehouse.  It is not as simple as ‘How much for a 10×20’ but at the end of the day, the prices are usually comparable. Also, storing with a moving company is not usually a good fit if you will need ongoing access to the items since they are vaulted, although access can be arranged, usually at a small fee to cover warehouse labor & time.

What other storage options should we have considered when researching these pros and cons? Have you used more than one of these in the past?  What factors will help you decide between the Storage Options available?