The Difference between Self Storage Units and Container Storage

The Difference between Self Storage Units and Container Storage

Becoming Increasingly Popular

Self Storage is becoming increasingly popular for a whole host of reasons. From domestic house moves through to the storage of business stock and anything imaginable in-between. Even vehicles and caravans can be stored at some facilities.
Self storage however, is just one of those things which you probably have never even thought about unless you are in a position of needing some space.
The two main types of storage for general use which most people searching this avenue of feasibility will come across are; “Self Storage Units” and “Container Storage”. But what are the differences?

Self Storage Units

Self storage units are almost always (but not exclusively) indoors. Individual storage rooms, within a specialist built or purposely converted building. Storage units can be as small as a 3’ x 3’ x 3’ locker, ideal for a few boxes of personal items and increase in size, in stages, so you can choose a size for your own needs, up to about 300 square foot of space as standard or even larger.

There are slight variations in construction – either corrugated or flat walled – but generally are made from Aluminium-zinc, with individual hinged or roller doors, with ceiling heights of between 6 to 10 feet.
These individual units located inside the larger facility have the benefit of being inside a secure building.
Features of self storage facilities vary from company to company however they usually include, 24 hour CCTV, Intruder alarms, secure entry systems, secure perimeter fenced building, fire alarms, 24/7 access, covered loading/unloading area and trolleys & sack barrows to move goods from vehicle to unit.

Container Storage

Container storage is the use of an empty shipping container which has been placed in a permanent location for use as a rented storage space. Containers can also be rented or bought and delivered to you, if you have the hard standing area on your own land or premises.

Standard shipping containers are made from steel and prefabricated into 10’, 20’, or 40 foot lengths as standard.
The containers are located externally in a compound or hard standing area.
Features of container storage companies again vary between companies offering the service. They can include CCTV, fenced compound area and 24 hour lighting.

What is best for you?

How do you decide what type of storage is best for you?
If you are unsure as to what storage is best for your needs, our best advice would be to go and have a look. This way you can compare different types of storage or different companies. Bear in mind that these items being stored are your personal items and are obviously of value to you. Be aware of your own gut feelings. Do you like the staff and would you be happy to store your items at this location with this company.

The main things to think about…

  • Location – Is the facility located in an area suitable for you to get to? Is it near your home? Is it located out of town near a main road with easy access. Or is it in the centre of town, on a busy road with heavy traffic?
  • Access – Can you access the storage unit/container at any time i.e. 24 hours a day? Or is access limited to certain times of the day?
  • Security – Is there secure access? Is there CCTV? Is the building or area contained within its own fencing or open so members of the public can wander in? Are there intruder alarms? Is there secure entry?
  • Will your goods be kept dry and clean? – Would you want to store them in possible damp or moisture retentive conditions? – Check that the storage units are dry and that the ambient temperature is constant (are there fluctuations in temperature – hot to cold – over a 24 hour period) Is there air movement or are the units air tight? – Air tight units mean that goods cannot breath this can cause condensation and damp and in the worst cases possible mould over a longer period of time.
  • Do you mind loading and unloading in the open or would it be best to be undercover? – If you are storing soft furnishing in November and it is raining on your storing day, do you really want to unload them in the open air?
  • Budget? – Again you need to check out all options and speak to the self storage company, they may have options available for short periods of time e.g. 1 week as opposed to having to pay for a whole month, or special offers.