Self Storage vs. Pods: What You Should Know

by Samantha Stanfill

When you're in the process of moving or downsizing, you may need to store many of your possessions in a space outside the home. In today's market, there are two basic options from which to choose for your storage needs: self-storage, or pods (portable storage units). Let's talk about the differences between self-storage and pods, and what pros and cons are associated with each option.

What is Self-Storage?

Self-storage is the more "traditional" storage option. It involves storing your items in a specific unit at a designated facility, where you can easily access them as needed. Self-storage facilities can be found in most neighborhoods in the United States, making them a highly convenient option for most people.

What are PODs?

The pod concept is relatively new in the storage industry. Pod storage companies bring a metal storage unit right to your door, for you to load and unload at your convenience. The PODS company (short for Portable On Demand Storage) is the most well-known of these businesses.

Now, let's discuss the pros and cons of self-storage vs. those of portable storage.

The Pros and Cons of Self-Storage


  • Self-storage units offer a wide variety in terms of space size. For example, you can rent a small 5x5 unit (25 sq ft) if you don't have many possessions to store, or you can rent a big 10x30 unit (300 sq ft) if you need a ton of space.
  • Self-storage units also come in different styles, from garage-type units to units contained within a larger facility. 
  • Many self-storage units are climate-controlled, meaning you won't have to worry about your items getting damaged from extreme heat, cold, or humidity.
  • Self-storage facilities allow easy access anytime during regular business hours, and usually on evenings and weekends as well.


  • You do have to drive to self-storage facilities in order to access your items.
  • The amount of space that you can get depends on unit availability. 
  • You have to load and unload your items twice in order to store them at a self-storage facility — and then two more times to take them away.

The Pros and Cons of Portable Storage


  • Since pods are delivered to your door, and then picked up again from your home, they can be a very convenient alternative to self-storage.
  • There are different pod sizes available, usually maxing out at 128 sq ft. 
  • You only have to worry about loading and unloading one time each, instead of multiple times with self-storage.


  • Portable storage tends to cost significantly more than self-storage — and those rates are especially high if you're unable to keep the unit at your home.
  • In certain situations, a portable storage company may not allow easy access to your items. 
  • Even if you want to keep the portable storage unit on your property, you may not have the space to do so. In addition, local laws and regulations may prohibit you from doing so, especially if you'd have to keep the unit on or near the street.
  • Pod unit sizes have less variety than what self-storage facilities can offer. 


While there are pros and cons for each option, many people have decided to stick with self-storage as the more affordable and convenient route. If you are in the process of relocating or downsizing, and you want to make sure that your possessions are kept in a safe and secure storage facility, reach out to our team at Blue Mountain Self Storage today. We can help you find the perfect storage unit to meet your needs, and walk you through the self-storage process, step by step. Contact us today to learn more.

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