Differences Between Portable Storage and Self-Storage

There comes a time in everyone’s life when you need extra storage space. Maybe you are in the process of preparing for a move, carrying out a home renovation or home repair project, decluttering, downsizing, cleaning out a loved one’s home, preparing for an estate sale, storing excess business inventory, or any other number of exciting happenings! Before getting started, it is important to understand the differences between two of the most common storage options: portable storage and self-storage.

What is self-storage?

Self-storage refers to rentable space such as lockers or garages in a building or warehouse that’s used to store items for a short or long-term period. Access to units will vary from facility to facility, with some available 24/7 and some limited to specific hours. Generally, you’ll sign a month-to-month lease and keep your belongings there for as many months as you need.

What is portable storage?

Portable storage units are delivered on-site to your home or business for packing. You can keep these personal storage units onsite as needed, filling them up and emptying them out as you choose. You can generally either keep the portable storage unit on your property or have the storage facility pick it up and store it for you in a climate-controlled warehouse.


  • Both portable storage and self-storage offer multiple storage sizes so you can choose which size, or sizes, best fit your individual needs.
  • Your belongings are secure and safe in both options.
  • You have full control over what is stored in your unit and how the items are arranged.
  • Both come with the ability to remove items from your storage unit or add new ones, as long as they fit in the space.
  • Generally, both options offer a climate-controlled environment to store your belongings.


  • With portable storage, you can forego the hassle of having to drive your belongings to a storage location. The unit will be delivered to your home or business where you can load your belongings into it directly. Plus, portable storage is loaded at ground level, eliminating the need for difficult loading ramps.
  • You can cut your work in half by only loading and unloading one time into portable storage containers, versus multiple times with self-storage.
  • Portable storage has the added benefit of working with your unique schedule. You can keep the portable storage unit at your home and take your time loading it up. If you chose to keep the portable storage unit at home, you can access it whenever you need to.

If you are looking for some extra storage space for the exciting events happening in your life, check us out for a free quote! Zippy Shell’s portable storage units and onsite storage containers are perfect to serve any of your storage needs. We can provide onsite storage right at your home for easy access to your items or provide portable storage units that we can store in our climate-controlled storage facility.