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Self-Storage vs Portable Storage: What’s the Right Storage Solution for You?

2023 November 09
Written by Make Space Storage

Whether you are moving, downsizing, or simply looking to declutter your space, finding the right storage solution is important. Two popular choices that often come up in this discussion are portable storage and self-storage. Make Space Storage conveniently offers both of these storage options at most of our facilities across Canada

Portable storage refers to a convenient and flexible solution that allows you to store your belongings in a portable container that can be delivered directly to your doorstep. On the other hand, self-storage involves renting a unit at a dedicated facility where you have access to your belongings whenever you need them.

Portable Storage: Pros and Cons

What is portable storage? 

Portable storage, sometimes known as mobile storage, involves the use of shipping containers that are delivered directly to your desired location. Whether it's for personal or business use, these containers provide the ultimate convenience by allowing you to load your items at your own pace.

Once you have loaded the container with your belongings, you have two options. You can choose to keep the container at your location, providing easy access to your stored items whenever you need them. Alternatively, if you don't require immediate access to your belongings, you can arrange for the container to be picked up and stored at one of our secure facilities. These containers are also great for moving as you can have them picked up and delivered to a different location. 

Advantages of portable storage:


The beauty of portable storage lies in its flexibility and convenience. Unlike traditional self-storage units where you have to transport your items back and forth, portable storage eliminates the need for multiple trips. Instead, your items can remain on your property, saving valuable time and energy.

Easy packing and unpacking 

Traditional moving processes can be time-consuming and physically demanding, but with portable storage units, you can pack at your own pace without any external pressures. You can take your time organizing your belongings in a way that suits you best before loading them into the unit.


And, when it comes to moving, portable storage solutions prove to be cost-effective. Instead of hiring professional movers or renting large trucks for transportation, these units offer an affordable alternative. 

Disadvantages of portable storage:

Now that we’ve covered the positives of portable storage, let’s discuss some of the disadvantages.


One notable disadvantage of portable storage lies in its potentially lower security level when compared to conventional self-storage facilities. While portable storage containers are constructed from steel and equipped with secure locking mechanisms, they could be more vulnerable to theft or damage than their counterparts in gated and monitored self-storage facilities.

Climate control 

Another disadvantage is the limited climate control options available with portable storage. Unlike self-storage units that often provide temperature and humidity control, portable units may not offer the same level of protection against extreme temperatures or moisture. This can be a concern if you need to store sensitive items such as electronics, artwork, or documents that require specific environmental conditions.


Using portable storage requires having enough space on your property for the unit. If you live in a small apartment or have limited outdoor space, accommodating a large container or unit may pose a challenge. 

Drop off and pick up fees

Lastly, it's important to consider additional costs associated with portable storage such as drop-offf and pick-up fees. While these fees can vary depending on your distance from the facility, they can add up over time and increase the overall cost of this storage solution.

Now that we’ve covered the positives and negatives of portable storage let’s consider self-storage. 

Self-Storage: Pros and Cons

What is self-storage?

Self-storage is also a practical and convenient solution for individuals and businesses seeking extra space for their belongings. It refers to the rental of secure, individual units in a self-storage facility. These units come in various sizes to accommodate different storage needs. Whether it's seasonal decorations, furniture during a move, excess inventory, or important documents, self-storage offers a flexible solution to keep belongings organized and easily accessible.

Advantages of self-storage:


One of the primary concerns when it comes to storing our belongings is security. With gated self-storage facilities, you can have peace of mind knowing that your items are safe and protected.

Climate-controlled options

Another advantage of self-storage is the availability of climate-controlled options. Extreme temperatures can wreak havoc on sensitive items such as electronics, artwork, or furniture made from delicate materials. Thankfully, many of our self-storage facilities offer climate-controlled units that maintain a consistent temperature and humidity level throughout the year. So whether it's sweltering heat or freezing cold outside, you can trust that your items will be preserved in a controlled environment.

Size options

Lastly, self-storage provides flexibility with its variety of unit sizes available. Whether you need to store a few boxes or bulky furniture items, there is always an option suited to your specific needs. From small lockers to spacious units capable of accommodating vehicles or large equipment – there's something for everyone! The ability to choose the right size ensures that you only pay for the space you require without any unnecessary expenses.

Disadvantages of self-storage:

Travel to the facility 

While self-storage units offer convenience and security for individuals and businesses alike, it is important to consider the potential disadvantages that come along with it. One significant drawback is that your items are not on hand. Unlike portable storage units which can remain on your property, self-storage units require you to travel to retrieve your belongings. 

Whatever Storage Solution You Might Need We Are Here to Help

No matter the size or quantity of items you need to store, we have a range of options available. From small self-storage lockers for personal valuables to spacious 40’ portable storage units for garden furniture and large equipment, we can accommodate it all. With our flexible rental terms, you can choose the duration that suits your needs – whether it's short-term or long-term.

So why continue living with clutter? Let Make Space help you make more space. Whatever storage solution you might need – whether it's for personal use or business purposes – we are here to help every step of the way. Check out our list of locations and book your portable storage or self-storage unit now, Or contact us today and we will help you find the perfect storage solution.

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