Couple looking for storage space options

Storage Facilities vs. Self-Storage: Your Guide to Choosing Storage Space Options

There are many reasons you may need to rent storage space, but the choice of storage facilities vs. self-storage can be confusing. Whether you’re attempting to remove clutter from your home, store a prized possession, or find room for your recreational possessions, your storage space must be something you can afford in a location that provides the security you need.

So, how do you know where to start? What if you need a large space to store your boat or RV? Are there storage facilities in every area that offer the square footage and protection you need? Finding the best possible storage options for any items can be a challenge. This guide will provide you with a way to compare available storage options to find the storage solution that meets your unique needs.

Storage Rental Options

When you’re looking for storage space that isn’t located on your property, storage rental options provide a solution. For a monthly rental fee, you can store your belongings at a location away from your home.

Types of storage rental units vary by location, cost, and added amenities. Some storage facilities allow you to access your belongings whenever you want, while others have specific business hours. Storage rental units are available outdoors and inside. Some include a specialized environment like temperature and humidity control for the storage of more sensitive items. While there may be outliers in some locations, these are the most common types of rental storage units available.

Managed storage space facilities

Also called full-service storage facilities, managed facilities do all the work for you. The company will send a crew to collect your belongings and take them to a nearby facility to be stored safely. You’ll be provided with an inventory list which you can usually access online. Having your items returned is as simple as making a phone call or requesting a return on an app. Insurance — to protect your belongings against theft or loss while in the storage space — may be available from your chosen facility.

Managed storage provides convenience for renters who are short on time or physically unable to move their belongings. The downside is that it’s more expensive than self-storage, and accessibility to your belongings is typically more limited.

Traditional self-storage facilities

Self-storage puts you in charge of your belongings. After finding a facility with the type and size of storage unit you need, you load up your belongings and put them in the unit. You’ll be responsible for keeping up with your inventory, and you can return to pick up items as you want them within the facility’s business hours. Traditional self-storage facilities generally have a variety of choices for indoor storage space options with prices that vary by size and special features like climate or humidity control. You may be able to purchase insurance from the facility to protect your belongings while in storage.

Self-storage with Neighbor

A relatively new option in the storage world, Neighbor provides flexible peer-to-peer and self-storage options for a variety of items. Since the system works through the practice of local residents renting out available space to interested renters, a variety of options are available.

Renters work directly with hosts, and possessions are stored on private property. So storage with Neighbor is up to 50% cheaper than traditional self-storage facilities. Renters and hosts agree upon a preferred method of communication and level of availability. A renter’s guarantee provides insurance that your possessions will be protected up to $25,000 at no extra cost.

Storage for Personal Possessions

Man providing additional storage space in his garage

Not surprisingly, storage for personal belongings is one of the most common reasons Americans seek storage space. Whether you need to store seasonal items like clothing and decorations, find a place for your belongings while you’re in the process of moving, or simply eliminate clutter from your home, renting a storage unit can provide you with a way to safely store personal possessions.

Storage space options

Since there is a high demand for storage units designed for miscellaneous belongings, most types of storage facilities provide options. However, it’s important to remember that spaces may not always be readily available in some areas. Typically, prospective renters in urban areas will be able to find all options of storage within a reasonable distance. Renters in rural areas may have more difficulty finding a managed storage facility willing to haul belongings since the facility is often a considerable distance away.

Challenges

Managed storage

  • Low availability in some areas
  • You may need to pack your belongings and have them prepared for travel
  • Limited accessibility outside regular business hours
  • A potential waiting period for the return of your belongings
  • Insurance will increase your cost
  • Increased cost

Traditional self-storage

  • Often located in industrial areas
  • You might need to travel further due to unavailable units
  • Specific amenities like climate and humidity control may be difficult to find
  • Accessibility may be limited to business hours
  • Any extra amenities can quickly drive up the price
  • Security might be limited
  • Insurance will increase your cost

Storage space with Neighbor

While Neighbor provides a variety of options for personal storage in all types of neighborhoods at lower costs than other storage facilities, everything operates through the online platform. It would be an adjustment for potential renters uncomfortable with completing searches, communicating, and completing transactions online.

Perks

Managed storage

  • You don’t need a truck or moving crew to relocate your belongings
  • Your rental includes an online inventory
  • Storage is typically indoors and may include climate control
  • Secure facilities since renters don’t have direct access

Self-storage

  • A variety of types of storage available
  • Accessibility is typically better than managed storage
  • You can skimp on amenities to save money
  • Some options provide 24-hour accessibility

Neighbor

  • Availability in practically all neighborhoods
  • Storage options are usually closer to home
  • A variety of storage types available
  • You can choose your access level when you list your space requirements
  • Direct communication provides easy access
  • Convenient app allows you to get started right away
  • Prices are typically cheaper than all other types of storage
  • $25,000 renter’s insurance is included

Price

Managed storage

Full-service facilities are usually more expensive than self-storage options of all types. While many facilities claim that prices are comparable, average price points are unavailable at this time. However, some facilities provide an online price quote. Full-service does eliminate the cost of a truck rental to transport your belongings, but some companies charge an additional pick-up and delivery fee.

Traditional self-storage vs. Neighbor

  • 10’x10′: $42 at Neighbor vs. $110 at traditional facilities
  • 10’x15′: $44 at Neighbor vs. $130 at traditional facilities
  • 10’x20′: $72 at Neighbor vs. $180 at traditional facilities
  • 20’x20′: $105 at Neighbor vs. $150 at traditional facilities

Car Storage

A covered car in a driveway

Storing vehicles away from home can be a challenging concept. There are a variety of choices to make. Should your car be stored outdoors or indoors? Will you have the security and access you need? Your decisions about car storage will likely be determined by the type of vehicle you’re storing, the duration time of storage, and the cost. Reasons for vehicle storage vary widely.

For instance, you may need to store your daily driver for a week while you’re on a trip or store your vehicle for several months while on military leave. Many owners choose to store collector cars or classic vehicles away from home, and these vehicles have special requirements. When choosing car storage, it’s important to consider all the options for the type of storage you need.

Options

Finding storage space large enough to fit a car can be a bigger challenge than storage for your basic belongings. Managed storage usually doesn’t apply to vehicles. However, there are various self-storage options designed to fit different needs. The three basic types of car storage include indoor, outdoor, and covered storage.

Challenges

Depending on your reasons for storing your car, you may wish to store your car indoors — and even in a place that provides humidity control. For instance, outdoor lot storage might not be appropriate for many months while you’re on military leave. Classic cars require specialized care that you may not be able to provide on your property. While there are traditional self-storage options for vehicles, some challenges exist. These are the most common challenges renters face when seeking self-storage facilities for cars.

  • Limited availability for indoor storage for larger vehicles
  • Lack of security
  • Higher cost to add insurance
  • Limited options for climate and humidity control
  • Low availability in some areas

Neighbor provides a variety of car storage space options that eliminate these challenges.

Perks

Traditional self-storage

  • Both indoor and outdoor options are available for smaller and mid-size vehicles
  • Some options (like roll-up door units) provide unlimited accessibility
  • Covered car storage may be an option in locations that don’t experience extreme weather

Storage space with Neighbor

  • Multiple locations in all types of neighborhoods
  • A variety of outdoor, indoor, and climate-controlled options available
  • Additional security
  • Affordable options for a variety of vehicle types and sizes
  • You don’t have to worry about storing your car alongside other vehicles
  • You can choose your access level
  • Insurance is included at no extra cost

Prices

While car storage prices vary radically depending on the size of your vehicle and the features you require, car storage costs can be up to 50% cheaper from Neighbor than with traditional storage.

  • Storage costs for a compact sedan: $44 at Neighbor vs. $130 at traditional facilities
  • Storage cost for a minivan or SUV: $72 at Neighbor vs. $180 at traditional facilities

Boat Storage

Your boat is a major investment alongside being a possession to be enjoyed for decades by your entire family. However, boat storage can be one of the biggest complications for some boat owners. Storing your boat at home is often impractical and sometimes illegal. But finding storage space options for such a large item can be an issue in many areas. Sometimes, it pays to think outside the box when it comes to practical and secure boat storage.

Options

Boat storage options from all types of traditional facilities depend heavily on your location. For instance, you may be able to find self-storage options for a small boat in both urban and rural areas, but full-service storage isn’t widely available. Conversely, if you live close to the water, you may be able to find wet slip storage or lift storage for large boats at the marina but limited self-storage options for smaller boats. Boat storage options include indoor, outdoor, and covered storage options from full-service businesses, traditional self-storage, and Neighbor.

Challenges

Managed storage

  • Generally expensive, especially for indoor options
  • Only available in areas near bodies of water
  • Accessibility may be limited
  • Increased cost if you add insurance

Traditional self-storage

  • Limited indoor storage availability for larger boats
  • Increased cost for added insurance
  • Limited security
  • Outdoor options typically require your boat to be stored alongside other boats, vehicles, and trailers
  • You may have to travel to find options in some locations
  • The height of some boats may eliminate some typical self-storage options

Neighbor

  • Since you’ll be storing your boat on private property, you’ll need to ensure adequate space is available for hookup and navigating your tow vehicle.

Perks

Managed storage

  • Your boat is typically located close to the water
  • Enhanced security when using indoor lift storage
  • No need for a trailer

Traditional self-storage

  • Lower prices compared with managed storage
  • Indoor options for small boats
  • Easy pick up at roll-up door units

Neighbor

  • Availability in all locations
  • A variety of options
  • Lower prices
  • You choose accessibility level
  • Insurance included at no extra cost
  • Your boat won’t be stored alongside other boats and vehicles
  • Enhanced security

Prices

The cost of boat storage varies widely depending on the size of your boat and the features included in your storage space package. For instance, indoor storage is considerably more expensive (especially for larger vessels). You can expect to pay between $50 and $200 per square foot of boat indoors and $20 to $50 per square foot of boat outdoors. However, wet slip storage is more expensive than typical outdoor storage. The cost of boat storage with Neighbor is up to 50% less than these expected costs.

RV Storage

Unless your RV serves as your primary home, you’ll likely need a practical storage option away from your home. After all, your family won’t want to navigate around such a large vehicle every day, and it’s likely not the view your neighbors wish for. For most RV owners, finding affordable, secure storage with all the right options is a major concern. After all, not every city is overflowing with garage storage space for a home on wheels.

Options

Finding storage options for your RV can be difficult due to the vehicle’s sheer size and height. Managed storage is typically unavailable for RVs. However, self-storage options provide some indoor options for smaller RVs and outdoor options for many types of RVs. Neighbor offers a variety of options for RV storage and amenities, depending on your host.

Challenges

Finding traditional indoor storage methods for large RVs like Class A or Class C motorhomes can be difficult. Besides seeking a large space to accommodate the vehicle, height is also often an issue. RV owners often find these challenges with traditional self-storage facilities.

  • Limited indoor storage options
  • Storage can be expensive
  • Limited security outdoors
  • Added cost for insurance
  • Most options mean your RV will be stored alongside other vehicles

While Neighbor provides a variety of RV storage options in all types of locations, outdoor storage might be more limited in urban areas due to laws limiting large vehicles on private property.

Perks

Traditional self-storage

  • Multiple options for outdoor storage
  • Indoor options
  • Covered storage options are available in some areas

RV storage with a Neighbor host

  • Lower cost
  • Availability in many locations
  • You choose accessibility level
  • Enhanced security
  • Insurance included at no cost
  • Hosts may offer additional amenities like battery charging

Prices

RV sizes range from pop-up campers to yachts, so the range of prices reflects this difference. For example, the cost to store a small RV outdoors can be as little as $67. But indoor storage for a Class A RV can be over $400 a month. RV storage with a Neighbor host is up to 50% cheaper than traditional storage options. Factors that affect traditional RV storage costs include:

  • Location (prices vary from state to state)
  • Size (RVs come in all shapes and sizes)
  • Indoor or outdoor storage
  • Amenities (may include temperature control, electricity, battery charging, and sewage dumping)

Storage for Business Inventory

If you run a business from home or have a dedicated space for your business, then storage for inventory can be an option. Whether you need space for supplies or finished products, materials can quickly add up and take over your business property. Renting a storage unit can help, but you’ll likely need a larger space than storage units designed for personal belongings. Comparing your options carefully can allow you to find the storage space you need in a location that’s convenient and cost-effective for your business.

Options

Storage for business inventory can seem similar to the storage of personal possessions, but there are some key differences. Often, businesses need space to store large tools or equipment. Vehicles may include a fleet. Also, supplies and/or inventory can take up a lot of space. This means you can find some types of business storage within all categories, but your options may vary by location and the types of items requiring storage.

Managed storage

  • Available options may include space for supplies and inventory
  • Storage for company vehicles or heavy equipment is not likely available
  • Storage is typically in warehouses that offer limited climate control

Traditional self-storage

  • Available options vary by location
  • Some vehicle storage is available, but fleet storage may be limited
  • Climate control can be limited for large amounts of inventory

Neighbor

  • Available options for a variety of storage types
  • Parking lot storage is available in some areas for business fleets
  • Warehouse and indoor rooms are available for indoor storage
  • Finished basements can also provide large areas with climate control

Challenges

Managed storage

  • Options may be limited in some areas
  • Accessibility is often limited or delayed
  • Cost is higher with managed storage
  • Insurance costs extra

Traditional self-storage

  • Limited storage options for large objects
  • Storage designed for business could be more expensive than other self-storage options
  • Traditional units provide limited climate control
  • Increased price for insurance
  • Indoor options with climate control can limit access
  • Limited security for company vehicles

Business storage with Neighbor

  • While unpaved lots can provide storage for vehicles, exposure to weather and dust can cause damage.

Perks

Managed storage

  • No need for vehicles to transport supplies
  • Photographed inventory of supply
  • Large amounts of warehouse storage may be available

Traditional self-storage

  • Indoor storage can provide climate control
  • Outdoor storage options may be available for vehicles
  • Storage designed for business may be available in industrial areas

Business storage with Neighbor

  • Increased storage options in a variety of areas
  • Lower costs
  • Insurance included at no additional cost
  • Climate controlled options available
  • Your choice of accessibility
  • Availability of unpaved and paved lots for vehicles

Prices

The cost of business storage in traditional facilities varies widely by location, demand, items to be stored, and also by your required square footage. Additionally, storage for many types of business equipment and supplies requires climate control. For example, paper documents and electronic equipment require humidity control. This can increase costs considerably for large amounts of supplies or inventory.

The unique structure of Neighbor provides a variety of affordable storage options for business supplies, inventory, and equipment. Hosts can provide options with climate and humidity control as well as outdoor options for vehicles. You can choose accessibility options related to your business needs. Since Neighbor utilizes private property for storage, many of the issues that drive up the costs of business storage are eliminated by choosing storage with Neighbor.

Finding the right storage space for your possessions doesn’t have to be a difficult task. There are storage options available in urban and rural areas for all types of vehicles, possessions, and other recreational items.

Rent Out Your
Unused Space

Make $50-$500 each month renting your garage, driveway, shed or other storage space

List Your Space
Save 50%
on Storage

Find storage in your own neighborhood at half the cost of a self storage unit

Find Storage