Is Mobile Storage Better for Short-Term or Long-Term Storage?

By Molly Hammond, USstoragesearch.com

When you need a place to store your belongings, there are more options than you might realize. If packing your boxes and hauling them to a traditional storage facility doesn’t meet your needs, then it might be time to consider mobile storage.

Mobile storage is unique because it brings the storage solution right to your home and allows you to decide where it will go after that. However, while portable storage definitely boasts convenience compared to traditional storage, there’s a time and a place where this sort of storage is best used.

Short-Term Mobile Storage vs. Long-Term Mobile Storage

If you just need additional space for a month or two, then portable storage can definitely be used to your advantage, particularly if you’re moving or need a temporary place to put items where you can continue to have access to them. Here are a few short-term situations where a portable storage unit is worth renting:

  • Home Renovation: Since the unit is delivered to your home and can be kept in your driveway, it’s easy to load up items from the to-be remodeled room(s) and keep everything close to home until your project is finished.
  • College Dorm Move-Out: College students who need to haul dorm belongings home for the summer and back again in the fall can use mobile storage to avoid expensive moving truck rentals.
  • Moving to New Military Base: Active military members and their families constantly have to pick up everything and move to a new base at a moment’s notice. Again, portable storage is a better option than trying to find a moving truck that’s both available and affordable in time for a quick move.

When it comes to long-term storage, though, traditional self storage is usually the better option. Though it’s less convenient, traditional storage units cost a little less to rent each month compared to a portable storage unit.

Things to Keep in Mind Before Renting Portable Storage

  • How much space you need vs. how much space you’ll have: Like traditional storage, portable units come in a variety of sizes. If you’re packing up a whole house, you’ll need a bigger unit than you would with just an apartment. Do your research so you don’t end up paying for a mobile unit that’s too little or big for your needs.
  • Where it helps and hurts with moving: If you’re just making a move across town, then renting a traditional storage unit that provides a free moving truck (Many of them do!) might make more sense. The convenience of portable storage is still a force to be reckoned with, but it may be an unnecessary expense if you could spend less with a traditional facility and still find an easy way to pack and store your belongings.
  • How long you need it: Ask your storage provider about their rental rates and delivery fees, then draw up the timeline that makes the most sense for your move. The last thing you want is to rent a portable unit for four months when you can pack everything and move in a week.

It’s also worth noting that mobile storage units can be kept at a warehouse until you need them or determine where you’d like them sent, but many facilities will ask for 24-hours notice so they can pull your unit to the front.

The biggest benefit of mobile storage is that it comes to you and goes where you need it, but that doesn’t mean it’s the answer to every storage need. For short-term storage, mobile storage is the best bet for balancing convenience with cost. However, if you’re looking to store items on a long-term timeline, you might want to consider other storage options, especially if you’re on a tight budget.

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