Compare Self Storage and Portable Storage Companies
Self-storage and portable storage units give people more flexible moving and storage options. Services that can deliver a container to your home or specified location can alleviate stress should any plans fall through.
Self-storage and portable storage units are available in multiple sizes and are designed to store the contents of multiple rooms. They are most commonly used for moving and temporary or seasonal storage.
Top 10 Best Rated Self Storage and Portable Storage Companies
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PODS is a moving and storage company that has been in operation since 1998. The company has several locations across the United States, allows you to move and store as long as your need, and does the driving for you.
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U-Haul started in 1945 with a handful of second-hand trailers. Today, it provides U-Box portable storage containers for a more flexible moving and storage option. U-Box is U-Haul’s portable storage container branch.
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1-800-PACK-RAT is a portable storage and moving company that started in North Carolina in 2003. It quickly expanded to provide long distance moving across the United States and Canada.
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With locations in ten states across the United States, iStorage Self Storage is a self-storage company offering consumers storage space with upgraded amenities, such as free Wi-Fi and top-of-the-line security.
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Simply Safe Storage offers a wide array of self-storage solutions. Depending on the need and budget, consumers can choose from various unit sizes including mini storage, outdoor RV and boat storage.
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Public Storage built its first self-storage unit in 1972. Today, it is a publicly-traded company operating in both the United States and Europe.
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Extra Space Storage got its start in 1977 and is the second largest operator of self-storage facilities in the United States. It is a publicly-traded company focused on increasing shareholder value.
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SMARTBOX is a portable moving and storage company that has been around since 2002 and focuses on customer service. Along with providing moving services, their flexible plans allow for small scale storage.
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Door-to-Door is family owned and was founded in 1996 in Seattle, Washington. Now in Kent, Wash, they focus on portable moving and storage solutions for numerous cities nationwide.
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United Mayflower offers portable moving and storage containers in more than 50 markets in the United States. They offer access to moving and storage experts seven days a week.
The ConsumerAffairs Research Team believes everyone deserves to make smart decisions. We aim to provide readers with the most up-to-date information available about today's consumer products and services.
Storage features to consider
Rates vary depending on the storage company and whether the unit is being used for moving or storing. Price can fluctuate based on location and other factors such as fees for fuel and long distance moves. Because the industry of portable and self-storage has expanded it’s important to compare prices and look into any additional fees that could arise.
- Rates: Depending on the company, container size and whether you’re moving or storing, your rates can vary. You can rent containers by the day, week or month.
- Container size: Some companies have multiple container sizes that differ in price, and some have a standard size with a flat rental rate. The majority of portable storage companies allow you to pay for only the storage containers you use.
- Fees: When comparing final prices, be sure to inquire about any additional fees such as fuel charges, delivery and additional monthly fees. Even how often you need to access your container in storage can affect the final price.
One of the biggest benefits self-storage and portable storage units have over regular moving service companies is the flexibility they offer. Flexibility allows you to work around unexpected events without adding stress.
- Remodels: A popular use for portable storage units are home remodels. Containers can be dropped off at your home and you can call for a pickup once your project is finished.
- Military and college students: Military members and college students move often. Whether you’re moving to and from your school once a year or you have been re-assigned to another military base, portable storage units can be a convenient option.
- Relocating: Sometimes closing dates fall through or construction deadlines run over. With the convenience of a container on site, you can keep your personal belongings or office supplies safe until you need them.
Most self-storage and portable storage unit companies give you the option of storing your container in one of their storage facility locations. Once you have your container packed, simply call and schedule to have it delivered to the closest facility near you.
- Security: Be sure to check out all security features each facility offers. Controlled access, 24/7 video surveillance and additional locks are key security features that come with storage facilities.
- Climate controlled: Some self-storage and portable storage companies offer climate controlled storage facilities. Consumers with wooden or leather furniture, appliances, instruments, artwork or photos should consider using climate controlled storage. If you need climate controlled storage, be sure to check with each company specifically to get the best unit for your needs.
- Facility access: If you need to access to your container, most storage facilities require you to call and schedule a time 24-48 hours in advance. This helps with security and allows them to locate and move your container into an easily accessible area.
Container sizes typically range from 7-feet long up to 20-feet long. Consumers can choose their size based on necessity. Generally, companies with one, standard size container will allow you to only pay for containers used.
- Small: A small container is great for storing the contents of one room or walk-in closet. They typically range from 5 feet wide and 8 feet long to 7 feet wide and 8 feet long.
- Medium: Normally, a medium container holds the contents of two to three rooms. Medium containers are usually 8 feet wide and 12 feet long or 8 feet wide and 16 feet long.
- Large: Most large containers are comparable to the size of a rental truck. Each can hold the contents of three to four rooms, though large container dimensions vary depending on each company. Consumers will typically see dimensions of 10 feet wide and 35 feet long or 8 feet wide and 40 feet long.
Some self-storage and portable storage companies offer discounts for college students and military members. Many also run various promotions and discounts for storage.
- Military: Most self-storage and portable storage companies offer discounts to active military. If you choose to do a personally procured move (PPM), you can be reimbursed by the government for 95 percent of your moving expenses.
- College students: Some companies offer college student discounts. Students currently attending a college or university can save money and work around class schedules when moving in or out of their homes or apartments.
- Promotions: Check for promo codes, bundles and other special offers when pricing various companies online.
Moving require supplies and resources you may not have or know you need. Many companies sell add-ons, which can be delivered with your container.
- Supplies: Some companies offer moving supplies such as wardrobe kits, moving boxes, bubble wrap, straps and tape.
- Moving labor: If you do not want to worry about loading and unloading your containers, or if you are unable to do so, some portable storage companies partner with moving labor companies to assist with any labor needs you may have.
- Modifications: Check for different modifications you might find beneficial such as shelving, lockboxes and roll-up doors.
Types of storage companies
Portable storage unit companies deliver containers to a specified location, allowing consumers the flexibility to load their contents at their own pace. Once ready, they pick up and deliver the container to a predetermined location. Most portable storage unit companies can accommodate long distance moves as well making them a popular choice for consumers moving out of state.
Some portable storage unit companies offer a self-service option in which consumers move their own containers. This option will typically be the cheapest.
Typically, portable storage units are a cheap, flexible option for temporary storage. On-site delivery allows for convenient seasonal storage, storage for renovations or storage while relocating an office.
Moving internationally can be a daunting task. Certain self-storage and portable storage companies have relationships with various freight and barge ships to move your belongings across major bodies of water.
People who use storage companies
People or businesses looking to move
Often self-storage and portable storage units compare with normal moving services and, depending on the move, can be cheaper. They can also be a more flexible option for individuals or businesses looking to relocate.
Individuals or businesses with temporary storage needs
Whether someone is looking for seasonal storage, relocating their business or even renovating their house, self-storage and portable storage units are great for temporary storage needs.
Moving in and out of college can be a hassle, especially for out-of-state students. Self-storage and portable storage unit companies can provide flexible, hassle-free moving. Many companies even offer discounts for college students.
Military members move often depending on their assignments. Self-storage and portable storage unit companies can help with family relocations, local and long distance moves and even temporary storage upon deployment.
Storage company expert reviews
U-Haul is a self-move and self-storage company that launched in 1945. Along with trailers and trucks, they rent U-Box containers that allow consumers to pack a room's contents for safe moving or storage through various delivery and pick-up solutions.
Smartbox began in 2002 and has over 60 million customers nationwide. They focus on moving and storage as well as temporary storage needs. They offer convenience and flexibility with a focus on customer service.
- Moving services: Smartbox offers local, long distance/interstate, residential, commercial, military and DIY moves. They also offer consumers moving advice/tips, packing guides and services to home staging and moving checklists.
- Storage: Smartbox offers a variety of storage options including long-term, on-site, seasonal, temporary, residential, business and military storage. Common uses include remodeling and renovations, retailer seasonal storage, temporary event storage and home staging. Their price includes up to 30 days of free storage.
- Dimensions: Smartbox container dimensions are 8 feet long, 7 feet tall and 5 feet wide. Each container can hold up to 3,000 pounds. Consumers can find a simple calculator online to determine how many containers will be needed.
- Service areas: Online, consumers can find cities and states where Smartbox operates. They provide a customer service number should any moving or storage questions arise.
- Discounts: Recognizing military members and college students move a lot, Smartbox offers active military and college student discounts. Active military discounts are good towards storing and moving services including deployments, family relocations, basic training, local and long distance moves.
- Best for: Consumers needing to move and store locally, as well as active military and college students.
Door-to-Door Storage is family owned and began in 1996 in Seattle, Washington. Today they service cities across the United States.
- Customer service: With a goal of providing excellent customer care, Door-to-Door offers many of its services online, 24/7. Consumers can go online to complete several tasks, including checking availability and scheduling a delivery. Consumers can call and schedule to speak with a consultant to help determine their storage needs.
- Moving services: Upon scheduling a move, Door-to-Door will set up a personalized moving plan with the consumer. Once the container has been delivered, the consumer has seven days to load it. Upon delivery to a predetermined location, the consumer has an additional seven days to unload it.
- Storage: Consumers can call and schedule to speak with a consultant to help determine their storage needs. Once the container has been delivered, the consumer has seven days to load it. The container is stored in a 24/7 storage center making scheduling access easy and secure.
- Service areas: Door-to-Door offers services in a wide range of cities nationwide. Consumers can find a full list online.
- Best for: Consumers moving locally or needing temporary storage.
United Mayflower provides portable moving and storage container services for both local and long distance moves. They use a network of over 100 moving and storage professionals nationwide.
- Moving containers: United Mayflower offers flexibility when it comes to moving. Pack and unpack at your own pace and call for container pickup and delivery. Their containers hold the contents of a 1,500 square foot home and are waterproof.
- Storage containers: United Mayflower’s storage containers are very similar to their moving containers. Consumers can choose to store their container at their homes or at one of United Mayflower’s secured facilities. They can be kept indoors or outdoors.
- Dimensions: The moving and storage containers are 16 feet long, 8 feet wide and 8 feet high. Each comes with tie-down rings to secure belongings.
- Service areas: Consumers can find an interactive map online or search by the city nearest them to locate specific dealer locations.
- Government & military: United Mayflower provides moving and on-site storage services for government and military. They provide employers with employee and office relocation services with their business self-storage moving containers.
- Best for: Consumers looking for local and long distance moves for personal or business purposes.
Started in 1997, U-Pack offers nationwide moving services for people moving out of state. They have helped over 850,000 families move.
- Moving containers: ReloCubes are U-Pack’s moving and storage containers. They boast easy loading, unloading and great security. Consumers only pay for containers they use.
- Moving trailer: If more space is needed, U-Pack offers portable moving trailers. Consumers pay for only the space they use inside the trailer down to a 5-foot minimum.
- Storage: U-Pack will deliver a ReloCube or a trailer to the consumer’s location. They allow three business days for loading before they pick up the container and store it inside an on-site facility.
- Dimensions: U-Pack’s ReloCube is 6-feet by 7-feet by 8-feet. Their moving trailer is 28- feet by 8- feet by 9-feet.
- Service areas: U-Pack’s network is able to provide direct service to more than 98 percent of U.S. cities. It services all 50 states as well as Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.
- Best for: Consumers looking to move cross country or long distances.
1-800-PACK-RAT is a portable storage and moving company capable of local and long distance moving. It is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland.
Go Mini’s was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Simi Valley, California. Today, it has expanded into a rapidly growing portable storage and moving franchise with over 200 locations across the United States, Canada and Mexico.
- Container kits: Go Mini’s offers container kits for their 12-foot, 16-foot or 20-foot containers. Each come with various moving supplies including boxes and bubble wrap.
- Moving containers: Go Mini’s offers 12-foot, 16-foot and 20-foot moving containers. They are the only national portable storage franchise to offer a 20-foot container. Each one is ventilated to prevent mold and mildew, and they contain padded wheels to protect driveways.
- Load assistance: If consumers are unable or simply do not want to load their container, Go Mini’s has partnered with HireAHelper to provide such services. Consumers can visit HireAHelper’s site for quotes.
- Service areas: Go Mini’s services various locations throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Consumers can go online for a full list of service locations.
- Moving and packing supplies: Go Mini’s website has moving supplies for sale. Consumers can browse prices for anything from various box types to packing paper, tape and blankets.
- Best for: Consumers moving across town or across the state, as well as anyone needing temporary storage.
ModSpace was formed in 2007 by combining Resun Corporation and GE’s North American modular space business. Today, it is headquartered in Berwyn, Pa. Along with modular buildings they provide portable storage units to multiple industries.
- Portable construction storage containers: ModSpace offers 8 feet by 20 feet and 8 feet by 40 feet storage containers. Each one is made of steel, is well ventilated and is delivered by a tilt-bed truck.
- Container specs: The 8 feet by 20 feet container holds a volume of 1,169 cubic feet, with an empty weight of 4,850 pounds that can hold up to 61,289 pounds. The 8 feet by 40 feet container holds a volume of 2,385 cubic feet, with an empty weight of 8,380 pounds that can hold up to 57,759 pounds.
- Office/storage trailer: ModSpace offers an 8-foot by 28-foot trailer which provides consumers with office space and storage space in one. Some of the features include insulated walls, ceilings and floors, as well as electric heating and air.
- Instant Quote: Consumers can go online to get an instant quote from Modspace. They also have a live chat feature where consumers can ask live questions to an online representative.
- Best for: Consumers looking for storage or a storage and office space combination.
iStorage is a self-storage company that has been in business since 2011. They aim to provide excellent on-site amenities and currently have facilities in 66 locations across 10 states.
Simply Self Storage offers self-storage facilities in over 200 locations across the United States. They work with consumers on a budget offering various rate options and deals.
Extra Space Storage operates self-storage facilities across 38 states and Puerto Rico. They offer various storage unit sizes as well as storage for small to large vehicles and boats.
Public Storage is a global self-storage provider offering facilities in the United States and Europe. Along with self-storage they can accommodate business storage needs and vehicle storage needs.
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