Portable vs Self Storage

Published on 8/16/2022

Portable vs. Self Storage: What is the Right Choice for You?

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Do you need extra storage, but are not sure if you should use portable or self storage options? Deciding what is right for you can be a difficult decision, so we’ve made a list of the pros and cons of both options to make the choice easier. Consider what you are needing storage for. You may need a long term solution, or a temporary solution while renovating, moving, or something similar. Also consider what you will be storing, items such as electronics need to be stored differently than items such as holiday decor. Once you’ve determined what you’re needing storage for, let this list help you decide if you should use a self storage unit or a portable storage solution!

Self Storage

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The traditional type of storage solution is reserving a self storage unit. This type of storage is where a designated space is rented out, usually within a large warehouse-style building. There are many pros and cons to utilizing this style of storage. 


Self storage units are generally the best choice for long term storage solutions. They don’t take up any of your personal space, so there is no need to clear a spot in your driveway or yard like you would for a portable storage unit. You also don’t have to worry about maintenance, security, or other issues like you would with a garage or shed. Self Storage facilities often take priority in having a safe and secure facility to prevent any theft or damage to your stored items. Self storage units come in a wide variety of styles. Choose between a range of sizes, climate control options, and entrance points. These style options allow you to choose the best fit you feel your items need. 


The cons to self storage may not be an issue for you. If these drawbacks don’t seem too bad, a self storage unit may be the right choice for you. Not all storage facilities offer 24/7 access to their units, which means if you choose a self storage facility, you may have limited access to your items. If you plan on storing important items, or items you use often, limited access could be a huge issue. Another problem this leads too is that you will have to drive to your unit to get your stored items. If you need an item in a pinch, this will be a huge drawback to self-storage. Finally, in order to utilize a self-storage unit, you will have to load your items into a vehicle, unload them at the storage facility, and then load back into a vehicle when you need them again. For these reasons, self storage is not always the best choice for short term storage.

Portable Storage

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Portable storage units are a nontraditional style of personal storage. This type of storage is where a transportable unit is delivered to your destination of choice. It acts similar to a nonpermanent shed or garage. There are many pros and cons to this popular type of storage.


Portable storage is generally the best option for short term storage solutions. One of the best pros of this style of storage is that it gets delivered directly to your destination of choice. If you are moving, remodeling, or renovating, this is a convenient option. It eliminates driving back and forth from a storage facility and eliminates extra loading and unloading of your items. This style of portable storage also allows you to take your time loading and unloading your items, so you can make sure your items are packed away safely, securely, and in an organized matter. When you are done loading your stored items, portable storage also can be delivered to a new destination. This option is super convenient for moving and saves a lot more time than using a stationary storage unit.


Like self storage units, the cons for portable storage units may not be an issue to you, depending on your storage needs. If these drawbacks don’t seem too bad, a portable storage unit may be the right choice for you. Most portable storage options are not climate-controlled, which makes them undesirable for long-term storage and for items such as electronics that may get ruined in extreme hot or cold weather. Another issue is that there is often limited size options, meaning uniquely shaped items or large items such as boats or ATVs may not fit. Portable units sometimes cost more and are not always allowed at a house depending on the neighborhood or the HOA rules. While self storage facilities often have security measures in place, such as video surveillance, gated access, and lighting, a portable unit will not have these extra securities. This is another reason why portable units are not usually the best choice for long-term storage. 

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By considering the pros and cons of both self storage units and portable storage solutions, you should be able to make an educated decision about what style is the best fit for you. Here at Richmond EZ Box Storage, we always want your storage process to go smoothly. Use this guide to help you consider your options, and feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.