The Difference Between Self Storage and Container Storage

In today’s hectic world, it’s all too easy to accrue a large amount of stuff. Whether it’s a lot of little things, or a few really big things, the fact is people have a lot more than they used to. And while that in itself is not a bad thing, the problem comes in when we run out of space to store it all in our homes. When that happens we need some extra space. There are a number of solutions out there for storing your possessions, and each has their own advantages and disadvantages. One of the biggest questions we get is about what the difference is between a self-storage facility and container storage. So today we’re going to find out.


Self-storage facilities are dedicated spaces for the storage of personal or business items. They are usually purpose-built for storage or converted from old buildings, in highly accessible locations. They are made up of a large number or individual units over several floors, linked by a series of lifts. All facilities will have basic security protocol, such as CCTV, fully padlocked doors and on-site staff during main operating hours. You will be able to choose and supply your own lock for your unit, which only you will have the key to, for added security. You also have a much greater choice of unit size, so you don’t end up spending a lot of money on space you don’t need. Our storage units come in a range of sizes from a single locker to a double garage. There is also the significant benefit that your storage will be indoors, protected from changes in weather and temperature. Most facilities will also be able to provide you with assistance, packaging materials, loading and transporting, insurance and even temperature controls. Many units are also available for access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, giving you the flexibility you need.

Container Storage

Container storage is very much the opposite. It got its name because the early sites were literally fields filled with shipping containers of all shapes and sizes, which people could pay to rent and store in. This hasn’t changed for many sites. They are generally outdoor sites in remote locations, such as warehouses or secure compounds. There are no extra overheads to factor in, so the cost of renting one is usually pretty cheap. Depending on the site you choose, you may be allowed to come and go as you please or you may have to make appointments to access your unit, and there are fewer restrictions on what you can store. But you do end up losing a lot of the security and confidence that comes with a self-storage facility – such as on-site staff, climate control and ancillaries like packaging materials, office space or a wider range of unit sizes.

The Difference

Really, the difference is in what you need. Container storage tends to work best for people who are storing a lot of large items for a long period of time, without any intention of coming or going between filling and emptying the unit. But for most people who just want to be able to store the Christmas decorations, the spare bed, the baby clothes and all of the other ‘once in a while’ items, self-storage is your best bet.

At Blue Box Storage, we provide secure self-storage facilities across the South. Each facility can provide you with a storage unit exactly the size you need, and our experts can help you work out all the details, from packing your items, insuring them and moving them into your unit. If you would like to find out more about how self-storage could benefit you, please just get in touch with one of our centres today.

Centres in Watford , Maida Vale (Permanently Closed) , Hemel Hempstead , Farnborough Call us FREE on 0800 9171221