What Are the Main Types of Storage Facilities?

If you have decided to store some of your belongings in a storage unit, you should first learn more about how these facilities work. Here are 7 primary types of storage unit facilities to choose from.

Last Updated on June 23, 2022 by Jude Robert Caratao

Self-storage facilities are an economical and convenient way to store your excess belongings. They come in many different shapes, sizes, and features, but they all have one thing in common: they will allow you to store your goods for a lower price than buying more space at home. Typically, the type of storage unit you choose will largely depend on your storage needs and budget.

So, what are the main types of storage facilities? There are two main types of self-storage facilities: traditional and non-traditional. Traditional facilities are warehouses that have been converted to store personal belongings during a move or after an event, such as a fire. Non-traditional self-storage facilities are modernized and highly customized to suit a wide range of uses. They include climate-controlled storage, portable container storage, mobile storage, special storage, indoor storage facilities, and much more.

Today we will discuss the main types of self-storage facilities and how they compare in terms of price, features, and what kind of renters they cater to. So let’s get started!

What Is a Self-Storage Unit and How Can It Benefit You?

Before discussing the different types of self-storage facilities, it’s essential to understand what a storage unit is. A storage unit simply refers to any kind of container where you can store your belongings for an extended period.

These units are typically used by individuals who have more possessions in their home or office and want extra space to keep them safe.

A storage unit facility.
You can use storage units both temporarily and permanently.

Even though many people consider them only useful for temporary purposes, storage units can be a permanent solution to your excess belongings.

These units come in different sizes and types, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. The most common type of self-storage facility is a traditional warehouse with large steel doors where renters are allowed to bring their belongings and store them for a specified period.

Types of Storage Facilities

Now that you know what a storage unit is, it’s time to learn the main types of self-storage facilities.

1. Traditional Self Storage Facilities

These are traditional warehouses that typically charge by the month and provide wide driveways for trucks to unload your belongings into individual units.

The interior spaces range in dimensions from 100 square feet up to hundreds of thousands of square feet.

There are no climate control options available at traditional storage facilities, meaning you cannot store humidity or temperature-sensitive belongings.

A Self-storage unit facility.
Traditional storage units feature wide driveways for trucks and larger vehicles to unload stuff.

2. Non-Traditional Self Storage Facilities

These storage facilities have been modernized and customized with the needs of renters in mind.

They typically provide more security, better amenities such as onsite managers and 24/hour video surveillance, climate control options (heated and cooled storage), as well as multiple entrances and exit points for ease of access.

They also offer more amenities such as business centers, mailboxes, showers, and bathrooms – things that traditional facilities do not have available to renters.

Non-traditional self-storage facilities cater towards people who need a place to store their belongings long-term.

They are also more expensive than traditional storage facilities and provide fewer options for renters who require only short-term or temporary storage of goods.

3. Climate-Controlled Storage Unit

A climate-controlled storage unit is very similar to a traditional self-storage facility, except it offers the ability to control the temperature and humidity of your belongings.

It means you can safely store items that would otherwise be damaged by heat or light exposure – things like antique furniture, leather shoes, family heirlooms, etc.

These units are designed to maintain constant levels of temperature and humidity regardless of the weather outside.

You will typically be charged a higher price for renting a climate-controlled storage unit, but it’s certainly worth the investment if you plan on storing expensive or sensitive items.

A thermostat.
Climate-controlled storage units maintain temperature and humidity levels to protect your belongings.

Some of the items you can store in a climate-controlled storage unit include:

Items That Are Temperature Sensitive

These items can be damaged or destroyed by exposure to heat, cold, humidity, etc. This includes things like furniture with antique finishes and vintage clothing.

Items That Need Protection from Moisture

Moisture is the most common culprit behind damage in stored items. This category of items includes things like antique documents, leather shoes and purses, original artwork, etc.

Items That Require Temperature-Controlled Storage

If you want to store family heirlooms made from fragile materials or metals (like porcelain dolls), store them in a climate-controlled storage unit.

Items That Require Controlled Temperature and Humidity

These items are typically fragile, rare, or sentimental, like antiques. They may also be irreplaceable if they’re damaged during the rental period.

Items that require temperature-controlled storage include natural leather products, fine art pieces made with organic materials like wood, and items made with organic materials like plant-based textiles.

4. Stow Away Storage Unit

A stowaway storage unit is typically used for storing seasonal or infrequently used household goods. These units are usually smaller than traditional self-storage spaces because they’re meant to be a temporary solution – you can keep your winter clothes in one stowaway unit and then move them to another location the following year.

Stowaways are also great for small businesses because they can be used as temporary storage solutions while getting a business started, such as renting office space or leasing retail space that still needs some work done on it before opening up.

Stowaway storage units come in a variety of sizes – you can store items as large as an armchair or as small as a pair of boots.

The size and cost will vary depending on the facility, but they’re typically more expensive than traditional self-storage spaces because it’s assumed that renters are storing larger items for shorter periods.

5. Box-Store Storage Unit

A box-store storage unit is typically used for temporary or short-term storage of household goods, and they’re usually located in a commercial area with easy access to public transit. They are also known as “mini storage” facilities because the units themselves are tiny.

Box-store storage units are usually used for storing small items that don’t take up a lot of space, like seasonal or infrequently used household goods. You can also store business records in these types of facilities if you’re renting office spaces to work from.

A woman carrying a folded clothes.
Box-store storage units are ideal for storing seasonal items or other belongings temporarily.

They typically have very few amenities – one common amenity is the use of boxes and packaging materials, which is helpful if you’re storing household goods.

However, some box-store storage facilities offer 24-hour monitored security systems for added protection – this may or may not be an extra fee depending on the facility itself.

Box-stores usually have meager rental rates because they assume renters will only use them for a short period, but they also tend to have stricter rules based on the type of items being stored.

6. Contractor’s Storage Unit

A contractor’s storage unit is typically used by construction or trade professionals working at different locations over an extended period and needs temporary housing for tools and equipment while building new establishments like office spaces or retail locations.

These storage units are usually located in commercial areas with easy access to major highways and public transit systems, so the items being stored can be easily transported between different work sites.

They typically have amenities like 24-hour monitored security systems for added protection against theft, boxes and packaging materials for convenience when storing materials, and truck rental services for added convenience when transporting items to different work sites.

They also usually have rules against certain types of storage, like flammable or explosive materials like propane tanks. Therefore, it’s essential to check with the facility before renting a unit if you’re planning on storing these types of items.

7. Mobile Storage Unit

A mobile storage unit is typically used by renters who need to store household goods while moving and want the convenience of a portable storage unit that can be easily transported from one home to another.

These types of units are usually larger than traditional self-storage spaces because they’re meant for extended or long-term storage if you’re renting an apartment with limited space for household goods.

Blue and green shipping container.
These types of units are usually larger than traditional self-storage spaces because they’re meant for extended or long-term storage.

They typically have amenities like 24-hour monitored security systems for added protection against theft, boxes and packaging materials for convenience when storing household goods, and utility hook-ups for added convenience when you’re using the storage unit as a temporary living quarter.

They also have stricter rules than traditional self-storage spaces because they assume renters will be storing larger items like furniture, appliances, or business equipment – make sure to check with the facility about any potential restrictions before renting one of these units.

Final Thought

With the variety of self-storage facilities available to you, there is no excuse not to find one that meets your needs. The key is finding a facility with the right size and amenities for your belongings.

Ensure it has all the features necessary to store items securely while still being convenient enough for easy access when needed.

We hope this article helped answer some questions about different types of self-storage units, and you are now ready to pick a unit that meets your needs and budget. Be sure to conduct thorough research before you make the final decision.

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