Mobile Storage vs. Traditional Self-Storage: How to Choose

Whether you're moving or renovating, this guide will help you understand which type of self storage you should use

What is mobile storage?

On-demand mobile storage is a convenient and flexible option for storing your belongings, without having to leave your home.

Mobile storage units are brought to your home by a truck. You then load your things into the portable container. Once you're done, the  storage provider will pick up the unit and transport it to their secure storage facility. 

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Benefits of mobile storage

There are several advantages to choosing a mobile storage provider like Kelly's or easy Storage:
  • Convenience: You can load and unload your items at your own pace.
  • Flexibility: You can access your belongings without having to travel to a storage facility.
  • Cost effective: Affordable mobile storage solutions can be cheaper when compared with traditional self-storage .
  • Security: Mobile self storage providers offer secure storage facilities to keep your belongings safe.
  • Door-to-door service: Mobile storage companies deliver the storage unit right to your doorstep, and take it back to their storage centre when you're finished.
Portable Storage Unit On Wheels

Drawbacks of mobile storage

It's important to consider the limitations of mobile self storage before you decide to use the service:
  • Limited space: Mobile storage unit sizes are limited. This can be an issue if you have a lot of items to store. Here's a helpful space calculator.
  • Higher prices for certain services: Some companies charge more for services like packing and loading.
  • Less protection against damage: Compared to traditional self-storage, mobile self storage units may be more likely to damage items because of being transported on the roads.
  • Less location flexibility: You may not have as much control over the exact location where your belongings are stored.
  • Delivery time: You'll need to wait for your things to be brought back to you when you want to access them.
Full Moving Van

What is traditional self storage?

Traditional self storage is where you rent a storage unit at a dedicated facility. You're responsible for transporting your belongings to the storage facility yourself. Usually, you can only access your items during designated hours. 

Storage unit rental contracts are usually weekly or monthly rolling contracts. Some additional costs involved in traditional self storage include a padlock and insurance.

Traditional self storage is a popular option for anyone who needs to store a large amount of things. It can also give extra piece of mind due to security measures, like on-site staff, video surveillance, and alarm systems. 

However, traditional self storage can also be less convenient and more expensive than mobile storage.


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Pros of traditional self storage

Traditional self storage offers lots of advantages:
  • Larger storage units: Traditional storage facilities offer unit sizes that are larger than mobile storage units
  • Security: Traditional self storage facilities have robust security features like CCTV, on-site staff, and alarm systems.
  • Features and amenities: Traditional storage facilities offer features like climate control, electricity, and Wi-Fi. These can be useful if you need to work on or access your belongings.
  • Access: Traditional self storage facilities usually allow you to visit your things, whereas mobile storage companies usually don't allow this.
  • Longer access hours: Some traditional self storage facilities allow you to retrieve your belongings outside of regular business hours. Some charge extra for extended access.
Hallway Of A Self Storage Facility

Cons of traditional self storage

Traditional self storage has some drawbacks that may make it less suitable in certain situations:
  • Transport: With traditional self storage, you're responsible for transporting your belongings to the storage facility. Often this means you need to pay to hire a van. You're also responsible for collecting your storage. 
  • Limited access: Some traditional self storage facilities have limited access hours and don't offer after-hours access. This can make it more difficult to access your belongings when you need to.
  • Extra costs: Most self storage sites make buying a padlock and insurance compulsory.
  • Unit sizes: Traditional self storage facilities have a large range of sizes, but can't immediately provide a different unit size if it isn't ready.


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Should I use mobile storage or traditional self storage?

Ultimately, the choice is yours. Here are some other things to consider when you're choosing which type of self storage to use:

Use a mobile storage service if
  • You don't want to transport your things to a storage facility, or access them frequently.
  • You're in the process of moving house and need a quick, short term solution.
  • You're renovating your home and need temporary storage for your belongings.
  • You have a limited amount of items to store and don't need a very large storage unit.
  • You  convenience more than price.
Use traditional self storage if
  • You need to be able to access your things regularly.
  • You're looking for a more secure storage option with on-site staff and CCTV.
  • You're looking for a wider range of unit sizes to accommodate large items or a large volume of items.
  • You need features like climate control, electricity, or Wi-Fi.
  • You're looking for a storage facility in a specific area.
  • You value price more than convenience.

We hope this guide has helped you weigh up the pros and cons of mobile storage vs traditional self storage. Take a look at the thousands of storage spaces available on Stashbee.

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Updated 13th Apr 2023

Written 27th Feb 2023