Mobile Storage Container or Self-Storage?

How Do You Know Whether a Mobile Storage Container or a Self-Storage Unit is the Right Fit for Your Needs?

I often am asked if a Mobile Storage Container makes sense for someone or if they should use a mini-warehouse self-storage facility. That is a great question, and there are times when each makes sense, so I thought I would point out a few things to consider when deciding between a Mobile Storage Container and a fixed self-storage facility. The main factors to consider are: Where do you need the storage? How often will you access it? And finally, what is your time worth?

A Mobile Storage Container Can Be at Your Location or at a Secure Warehouse

First and foremost in determining the fit of a Mobile Storage Container for your need is how you are going to use it. If you need the storage at your home, say, for a project where you will be continually moving things in and out of your house or garage, then a Mobile Storage Container is a good fit. If you are simply going to deposit a bunch of stuff on one trip and not touch it again for some time, then a self-storage facility or an Mobile Storage Container stored remotely may work. In that case, deciding between the two may be driven by how easily you can load it. If you have a big truck and trailer and can make one or two trips, then a self-storage facility may work fine. If you don’t have these and would have to make many trips, then a Mobile Storage Container may be right for you as it means you don’t need a truck.

If you are going to access the Mobile Storage Container or self-storage daily, then a Mobile Storage Container on your property or a nearby self-storage facility may work well for you. Consider, though, how frequent trips to the self-storage facility may add up to more time than you think. If you are not going to access the storage once it’s loaded, then an Mobile Storage Container is ideal as it can be taken to the warehouse and returned when you are ready for it. This is often the case with real estate staging projects, long travel periods, or home building projects where a large part of someone’s possessions need to be secured but not accessed for a lengthy period.

Consider Your Time When Deciding Whether to Use a Mobile Storage Container

Picture of sprockets showing relationship between time and money -- an important factor in deciding between mobile storage and self-storageFinally, consider the value of your own time (and perhaps that of your friends if they are helping you pack, store, or move). Before I was in the Mobile Storage Container business, we got a 10×10 storage room for my mother to help her stage her townhouse for sale. I was very happy to do the work, but the fact is that I needed to drive down, load stuff, and take it to her self-storage facility multiple times. This meant more of her time and mine as well. Now of course I am not charging my mother! But consider the value of your own and your friends’ time (and gasoline at nearly $4/gallon today) and you may find that an Mobile Storage Container pays for itself very quickly. If you are a relatively poor college student (as I was for many years of my life), then it probably makes sense to lean on your friends, borrow some pickup trucks, and do the work yourself. If not, then Mobile Storage Container may give you a better solution with a lot less headaches and cost, and in the end, a lot more friends.

Generally it comes down to these concerns when deciding between a mobile storage container and a self-storage facility. Both can make sense, and answering these questions beforehand can help you decide whether a mobile storage container is right for your needs.