What Storage Options Are There?

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Different Types of Self Storage

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If you need extra space for your belongings, you may want to invest in self storage. Knowing all of your options will help you choose the right storage facility for your needs.

Outdoor/drive-up storage

Outdoor storage is the most economical and common storage option. These facilities are what people think of when they picture storage containers. They look like big garages--although only some of them are meant to contain vehicles.
  • You can usually drive right up to outdoor units and empty your car into them.
  • They are rarely climate controlled.
  • They usually have some security, but are not the most secure option for storage.
  • Bigger units can store vehicles--even boats.
  • Security is light but it also means you can access your belongings with little hassle by just unlocking the door.
  • The size of the units varies but they are usually 10' by 10' or 10' by 15'.
These facilities are your best option if you are storing things that don't need too much protection. There are sometimes climate controlled drive-up facilities, but they are not common. Cars, tractors, durable furniture, and anything that won't get damaged if left in a garage can be stored here.

Indoor storage

A variety of storage units are offered inside a dedicated building. These units can be more expensive and secure than outdoor storage.
  • Units range in size from drawer sized all the way up to large rooms that rival outdoor garages.
  • Not only are the individual units locked, but the entire building has security. You will need to pass through a checkpoint just to enter the building.
  • You can't drive to your unit so sometimes dollies are provided to carry your belongings in and out.
  • Climate controlled units are more common and more effective.
  • If you move items in or out of the unit during office hours, there may be staff available to assist you.
Indoor storage is more expensive but is good for items that need to be protected. Important documents, photos, art, musical instruments, and anything delicate and/or expensive should be kept in a climate controlled indoor unit.

Mobile storage/pods

Mobile storage units, sometimes called pods, are like train cars that the storage company drops off at your house. They come in a variety of sizes and you can rent multiple pods at once.
  • The storage company can move the pods anywhere you like.
  • You can take your time loading things in a dropped off pod. Keep it outside your home for weeks and even use the pod as a means of temporary outdoor storage.
  • They are usually not climate-controlled.
  • With the exception of the company's storage facility, pods usually aren't very secure from theft. They do lock, however.
  • Mobile units are sometimes stacked on each other at storage facilities so you may need to notify the company that you plan to access yours a few days ahead of time.
Mobile storage pods are a great alternative to a moving truck and can be versatile space creators. They are not great for long term storage due to their lack of climate control, security, higher rent rates, and inaccessibility when they are being stored with the company. You should use them for temporary storage and relocation of your items.

Although you're more likely to get all of these options when hiring a self storage company, many moving companies will offer some, if not all of the same options. Remember to choose an appropriately sized unit. It is also important to know what your items need to be protected from in storage before choosing an option. Then you can weigh the risks with the costs of each type of storage and choose the best storage option for you.

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on October 22, 2014

TopMoving.ca - Moving Expert
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