How Does Renting a Storage Container Compare To Self Storage?

Before we dive into this comparison, we’ll define what we mean when we’re talking about “self storage”. The two main types of self storage are:

1) Storage Lockers: A storage locker is usually a storage space that’s inside a building.

2) Mini-Storage: A mini-storage unit is an option that allows you to drive your vehicle up to the door of the storage unit.

When “stuff” starts to take over your home or your garage, you may feel the need to get some of it out of your house. The type of storage you choose will depend on a few things, such as:

  • What Types of Items Will You be Storing?

  • How Often Will You Need to Access Your Things?

  • How long will you need the extra storage?

  • How Important is Convenience To You?

  • Will You Have to Worry about Rodents?

  • How are you going to be transporting your belongings?

Keeping these points in mind, here is more detailed information to help you decide between self storage or renting a portable storage container, like a BigSteelBox.

What Types of Items Will You be Storing?

Self Storage - Storage LockersResidents in the lower mainland of BC (Port Coquitlam, Surrey and Vancouver) and those on Vancouver Island typically experience consistent, mild weather all year round and may not have as much reason to worry about changes in temperature. But, customers in the rest of BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario can expect a bigger fluctuation in temperature throughout the year from extreme hot to extreme cold.

If you’re considering storing valuable items that could be affected by temperature, then storage lockers and some mini storage units that offer climate-control might work best for you. Keep in mind, however, that heated storage units will come at a higher cost. So, you might be better off keeping those sensitive items in your home and storing other things, like seasonal gear or boxes of books and clothing, that will be fine at any temperature.

How Often Will You Need to Access Your Things?

1) Storage at your home:
If you rent a BigSteelBox and you’re able to keep it on your property, then this is a very handy option for you. Your things will be right outside your door. Our storage containers are extremely secure and because they’re made of 8-gauge steel, they can stand up to the harshest climates. Our Boxes are wind, water and rodent-proof, so your things will stay safe and dry inside. They also come equipped with Lock Boxes that protect your personal padlock from being accessible to bolt cutters.

Remember to look into your city or town's regulations to see if you will need to purchase a permit in order to set your container on your property or on the street in front of your home. This can vary from city to city. While it's relatively rare, it does happen, so reach out to your city office to learn more.

2) Storage at a Secure BigSteelBox Location:
If you can’t keep your container at your home and choose to store it at your BigSteelBox Store, you can still get access to it. We ask for one business day’s notice to give our yard staff enough time to bring your container to an area you can safely open it and access your belongings. We do our best to accommodate same day requests, but it can be difficult in busier times of the year. The office hours at most of our locations is Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm.

Self storage mini storage facility3) Self Storage Facilities:
Self storage facilities usually have convenient access with longer open hours. If you’re storing items that you’ll need frequent access to and you don’t mind driving to and from the storage facility, then a storage locker or mini storage unit may work better for you. Be sure to confirm the details of open hours and compare facilities before you commit.

How long will you need the extra storage?

Most mini storage and storage locker facilities operate on a month by month payment plan, but some may require you to sign a lease for a minimum amount of time. Make sure you ask about cancellation policies if you think you’ll only need storage for a short period of time.

If you’re not sure how long you’ll need extra storage, renting a BigSteelBox is a good option for you. You can pay month by month, and cancel your service at any time, without having to worry about a cancellation fee. Monthly rental prices vary by city, so check out our Locations page to find the BigSteelBox store nearest you to learn more about costs.

How Important is Convenience To You?

Portable Storage Containers:
Delivery of a portable storage container to a home - BigSteelBoxAt BigSteelBox, we bring the storage to you, and we’ll deliver your storage container on your schedule. Move things into your Box at your own pace. You can keep your container on your property as long as you need it, or we can pick it up and move it to one of our secure locations.

We also understand that your storage needs might change over time. If at any point you want to change the size of the storage container you’re renting to something bigger or smaller, it’s no problem. Just talk to your Store, and we’ll adjust your rental to suit your needs.

BigSteelBox also offers shelving brackets to help you make your container as efficient as possible. If you think shelves will be useful for your storage needs, just let us know, and we’ll be happy to have them added to your Box.

Self Storage Options:
Storing your things in a mini storage facility or storage locker will require to pack and unpack your things multiple times. You’ll need to pack your things into a truck or trailer, drive them to the facility, unload your items, then head back home, sometimes to load up again and repeat the process.

Pest-Free Storage

BigSteelBox storage containers are completely sealed, so rodents can't get inside. Most self storage options just can’t offer that same guarantee.

Mice, rats, and other pests are a common problem at many mini storage facilities and storage lockers. They’re looking for a warm place, and regardless of whether the storage facility is located in a rural field or urban area, they tend to find their way inside these types of units. Keep this in mind if you’re using a mini storage facility or storage locker, and either take the steps to pack your things so that rodents can’t get into them, or consider a rodent-proof option, like a BigSteelBox.

If you still need more information to help with your decision, we'll be happy to help! You can call and speak with one of our Storage Consultants at 1-800-373-1187.

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