The Difference Between Standard and Mini Storage Facilities

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The Difference Between Standard and Mini Storage Facilities

Staff Writer · Jun 25, 2010

When it comes to self storage facilities, the difference between a standard self storage unit and a mini storage unit can be somewhat confusing. Those looking to rent a self storage space should look at the specific dimensions they need, rather than searching according to subjective industry terms.

The Idea of Mini Storage

When self storage facilities began to serve a lot of American consumers, some refer to these spaces as “mini storage” or “mini warehouse” options. Industry insiders note that these terms have become archaic. A standard self storage facility can have different dimensions based on what the storage company is offering. Today’s “mini storage” option might consist of a 20×40 foot space or similar small area, or a narrow unit with up to 100 feet in length.

Self Storage: Aspects of Sized Units

Many self storage facilities rent units that are attached to one another, rather than being stand-alone units. This is an aspect that seems to justify the term “mini-storage”—each unit has its own locking door, but many units share walls, and some even have open space at the top for venting air.

One important aspect of self storage is whether or not the units are climate controlled. The best self storage spaces will offer climate control to ensure that items do not fade or get otherwise damaged because of temperature fluctuations and changing seasons. Some items need to be protected with climate controls, and others do not. Consumers can look around and find the best types of self storage units to suit their particular needs. There are also various levels of security provided, which may be a factor in a client’s ultimate choice.

More on Mini Storage

Some other aspects also influence whether a company might talk about a self storage option as “mini storage.” Parking is one issue where a smaller lot or shared parking access may lead to the designation of a “mini storage facility.” Developers of a facility may also promote their space based on land use and total square footage for the entire project. A developer of a self storage space may seek to designate the space as a “mini storage” facility in hopes of getting authorization from local government to design and build a storage center in a community.

Self storage is becoming a very useful option for households with excess items requiring more storage space, or for the many American households in transition from one home to another. Experts estimate that 1 in 10 of modern American households utilize a self storage space. An alternative to fixed self storage services are portable storage services, where companies rent portable units that can be delivered to a new destination according to a specialized agreement and timeline. Households needing help with a move can look into either standard or portable storage options including “mini storage” units that may come with a relatively low price tag. Getting short-term leases on these types of units can help minimize the costs of holding onto extra household possessions when space is temporarily tight.

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