Real Estate

Storage Options When Moving: 3 Methods Compared

The Methods of Storing Your Belongings When Moving Reviewed

Storage Options When Moving

Are you wondering what the storage options are for an upcoming move? There is lots to do when it comes to moving, from changing your address to hiring movers to renting storage space.

If you are planning a move that will require storing some of your possessions, you have a few options. You can choose from portable storage containers, self-storage units, and full-service storage. Each storage option has its advantages as well as reasons why it might not be the best option for you.

Let’s take a look at different storage methods so that it’s easier for you to choose which option is best. We will take an in-depth look at the following:

  • Portable Storage
  • Self-Storage
  • Full Storage

By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have a much better handle on which storage solution will be the right choice for you. You might not even realize there are multiple storage services to compare for long-distance moves or local moves.

Portable Storage

The first of the storage solutions we’ll take a look at is portable moving and storage.

Portable storage is a service that will bring the container to your home, allowing you to fill it up in your own time. With the container right outside your front door, it will be easy to pack your stuff inside the portable storage units. You can move at your own pace without a set schedule.

You’ll have peace of mind knowing all of your things will be right at your fingertips.

The company can return to transport the container to your new home or their secure storage facility when you are done.

Portable storage has become one of the most popular methods when buying or selling a home.

The Pros and Cons of Using Portable Storage

The advantages of using portable storage might be right for your situation. Let’s take a look to help you find out:


Easy access makes portable moving containers an excellent choice. With the container placed right outside your home, it only means a short walk to put your stuff inside.

If you need to retrieve something from your container, it’s also going to be very easy unless it’s right at the bottom of a big pile of your stuff.

You won’t have to worry about transporting your stuff to a storage facility and checking their opening hours so you can access your items. Your storage needs can be satisfied from the comfort of your own property.


If you need some extra space for a short while, the costs of a portable storage unit should be very competitive. The storage company will charge by the month and collect the portable container and move it to a new location. So you’ll need to factor this into your calculations.

Most portable storage companies will provide a free estimate.

It isn’t all good news; however, there are some negatives:

Restrictions on Storage Containers

Depending on where you live, some rules could prevent you from using portable storage containers on your property. If you have an HOA for your neighborhood, you should check with them first.

Even if you can keep a moving container on or near your property, you might have to buy a permit.

Typically, these containers also require more room than you would expect. When they are delivered, the truck needs extra space to maneuver, normally requiring 3 parking spots. There will be height restrictions as well, so low tree branches over the area where you want the container positioned could be a problem.

A Lack of Temperature Controls

While it might not be a problem for the short term, a lack of climate controls in the container could damage your possessions if they are stored longer. If you need temperature-controlled storage, either self-storage or full-service storage will be a better option.

Keep in mind PODS moving containers are made with a steel frame, so the temperature can be an issue.

We will discuss this further.

Popular Portable Storage Companies

What to Know About Portable Storage

Who are some of the portable storage options?


PODS is the company that popularized storage containers is available in almost every state. They are the largest portable storage solution in the United States, with more locations than anyone else.

PODS has three sizes of storage containers to choose from, and these containers are known for their strong construction.

You can get a free quote from them by visiting their website.

You can also speak to a sales representative by giving them a call at 877-770-7637.

The company has a reputation for good customer service and reasonable prices. Take a look at everything to know about moving with PODS.

You can also see a detailed overview of how much PODS costs in this review.

One of my recent clients in Ashland Massachusetts used PODS before selling their home and loved the experience.


If you are unsure how many containers you will require, U-Pack might make a good choice. Instead of charging you for the storage containers they deliver, they only charge you for the containers you actually fill.

Their prices are very competitive as well, although they only let you store the containers at one of their facilities.

It will also be worthwhile to look at this complete review of the top six moving container companies. You’ll see a few other companies worth checking out besides PODS and U-Pack by reading the review.

The moving company you choose is bound to have different container sizes, so you will want to give that some thought along with the number of containers you’ll require.

When you have short-term storage needs, this is a good option to consider.

Self Storage

What to Know About Self-Storage

If you need to free up space in your home or help with a move, self-storage might be the obvious choice.

The storage unit will be secure, offer environmental controls, and give you a range of different units sizes to choose from.

The first step in going with self-storage will be finding a company nearby.

One of the best ways is to do a quick Google search for renting storage units near me. You should see the nearest storage facilities to your current location.

The Pros and Cons of Using Self Storage

Before you decide if self-storage is the right choice, you should be aware of the pros and cons. With every storage solution, there will be advantages and disadvantages.

Security is Better

Self-storage units are a very safe place for your stuff. These security measures will vary between facilities, though you can normally expect security cameras, limited access, and an on-site manager.

Climate Controls Might Be Needed

Most facilities will offer climate-controlled units so that your possessions aren’t affected by mold or mildew. Temperature changes could otherwise damage many items you might want to store in the unit.

Climate-controlled storage is a necessity for many who are moving and have much of the possessions in their home coming with them. Numerous items need climate control, so it will be worth checking out the article reviewing what needs a specific temperature.

You Have Flexibility

You can rent your storage unit on a month-to-month basis or rent for a set amount of time. If you know exactly how long you’ll need it, agreeing to rent the unit for a longer amount of time upfront will normally give you a discount.

It would help if you also considered the downsides before you pick this storage option:

Transporting Your Stuff

If you rent a storage unit, it will be entirely your responsibility to move your items to the facility. You might be able to fit much of the stuff into your vehicle, but it could require renting a truck for larger items.

If you want to store furniture, you’ll likely need some help from friends or family. Two of the better DIY truck rental companies are U-Haul and Home Depot. Check out the comprehensive review to know about the moving services of each of these companies.

Access to Your Belongings

Some storage facilities will offer around-the-clock access to your unit, but not all will. And even if they do, there could be extra charges or all special permission required. So if you think you’ll need to get access to your possessions at any time of the day or night, this might not be the best option.

Industry Leaders in Self Storage

Who offers self-storage options?

Public Storage

With more facilities and more available space than anyone else, Public Storage has been operating for more than 40 years, so they should know what they’re doing. You can choose between at least 12 different sized units at their facilities, and because of the available space, you shouldn’t have any problem getting the right unit for you.

You can do an online search for Public Storage near me to find the closest location nearby.

Extra Space Storage

If security is a priority, Extra Space Storage has self-storage units that are alarmed, as well as coded access gates and surveillance cameras. They also have on-site managers and have partnered with Budget truck rental to get you a discount should you need a vehicle to transport your stuff.

You can also do a Google search for Extra Space Storage near me to find them close by.

Here is a complete list for your review of the best self-storage companies. Take a look at some of the other self-storage facilities in this comprehensive overview. Some others are on the list besides Public Storage and Extra Space storage that could be viable options.

Full-Service Storage

What to Know About Full Service Storage

One of the best storage options for those who want to do less work is full-service storage.

If storing a container on your property is going to be an issue, or if you don’t want the hassle of having to transport your stuff to a storage unit, there is another option. Full-service storage is similar to self-storage but offers a valet-type service on top.

Full-service storage companies will collect your possessions and take them to storage. Then if you need some items returned, you just have to request it. These on-demand services can be requested online or via an app.

To find the closest full-service storage facility near your location, you can search full-service storage near me.

The Pros and Cons of Using Full Service Storage

There are some clear advantages to using this type of on-demand service. Let’s take a look:

Less work For You

The full-service storage company will often pack up your belongings before transporting them to their storage facility. You can then request items returned as and when you need them. Doing so means a lot less work for you, particularly during a busy and stressful move.

Have a bad back? You can avoid some of the heavy lifting involved in the moving process.

It is a popular choice when money is less of an issue, and you would like to avoid dealing with a portable moving container or having to do all the work associated with self-storage.

Inventory is Photographed

The storage company will photograph your items, which you can view online. This makes it easy to request items to be returned to you.

There can be some negatives with these types of services, however:

Fees Are Higher

You will likely have to pay to have your items picked up as well as delivered. This will be on top of the fees to actually store your items, and you might find that they have minimum storage terms as well.

Access is Limited

You cannot simply go and collect your items when you want them. Instead, you need to schedule a delivery. This could potentially mean a longer wait than you would ideally like. Depending on the company, the delivery window could be between 1 and 6 hours, requiring you to wait around for your stuff to arrive.

Here is an excellent review of everything to know about full-service storage.

Market Leaders in Full-Service Storage Solutions

What companies offer full-service storage options?


If you live in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, or DC, MakeSpace could be worth considering. They provide their customers with bins and wardrobe boxes to pack their possessions into. These can then be collected and taken to their secure storage facilities.

Larger items can also be stored, and photographs are taken of all items. Pick up, and delivery can be scheduled online or through their app.


Available in a few more cities than MakeSpace, Clutter offers a choice of 6 storage plans to customers. These are based on space requirements, and customers are given packing materials once a plan has been chosen.

Items are photographed and have barcodes stuck on them to make it even easier to choose items that need to be returned.

Bringing Down The Cost of Storage

Whatever method of storing your belongings you choose, there is a couple of easy ways to reduce your costs. Many folks don’t realize that as they get older, they become pack rats, keeping things they don’t really need.

Don’t be one of them! When you’re moving, it is a great time to de-clutter and get rid of things that have little use in your life. It would be best if you started by hiring one of the best junk removal companies.

Once all of your junk is hauled away, you can get more valuable items donated to charity. Many of these companies will pick up your donations right at your property.

By disposing of many of these items before you move, your overall storage costs will be reduced. If you are going to be using professional movers, the costs will be lowered even further.

Wrapping Up

If you need somewhere to store your stuff, there might be more options than you imagined. Instead of simply renting a self-storage unit, there may be better and more convenient choices.

If you want to have someone else deal with most of your storage requirements, full-service companies will make things as easy as possible. They might even pack your items as well as transporting them to their secure facility.

If you’d like more convenience but prefer to pack and load yourself, portable storage could be the answer. This will normally allow you to leave the storage container outside your home to access it as you need.

Whichever storage option you choose to help your move, make sure you get multiple quotes so that you get the best deal and the right level of service to make moving less of a chore.

Final Thoughts on Storage Options

There are quite a few considerations to think about when picking the type of storage you want. There will be pros and cons to portable storage, self-storage, and full-service storage. Hopefully, after reviewing each storage method, you are now better equipped to decide for yourself and your family.

A final word to the wise – the moving industry has many shady companies. The storage companies here are very well respected in the industry. If you plan to choose another storage solution, make sure you do your homework.

Best of luck with your move!


About the author: The above Real Estate information on storage options when moving was provided by Bill Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. Bill can be reached via email at or by phone at 508-625-0191. Bill has helped people move in and out of many Metrowest towns for the last 34+ Years.

Are you thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise!

I service Real Estate Sales in the following Metrowest MA towns: Ashland, Bellingham, Douglas, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Natick, Northborough, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Sutton, Wayland, Westborough, Whitinsville, Worcester, Upton, and Uxbridge MA.


Storage Options When Moving: 3 Methods Compared

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Storage Options When Moving: 3 Methods Compared


See a comprehensive review of storage options available when moving including portable storage, self-storage, and full-service storage.


Bill Gassett

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Maximum Real Estate Exposure

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