Whether you need a temporary place to store your stuff while getting ready to move in to a new home, or you need extra storage for seasonal items, self-storage facilities can offer a versatile, helpful solution.
Of course, no two homeowners have the exact same self-storage needs. Because of this, finding the best self-storage companies and knowing who can cater to your storage preferences is an absolute must.
In this guide, we’ll break down the best self-storage companies you should consider when deciding how to store your precious possessions.
Best self-storage companies
Here are our picks for the best self-storage companies:
- Best for availability: U-Haul
- Best for discounts: CubeSmart
- Best for storage options: Simply Self Storage
- Best for eco-friendly service: Public Storage
- Best for security: Extra Space Storage
Best for availability: U-Haul
If you’re planning a DIY move, using U-Haul for self-storage (in addition to renting a moving truck) is a no-brainer. As one of the most widely available and recognizable self-storage providers in the U.S., U-Haul offers low prices, easy online booking, and the ability to book your storage unit alongside a moving truck rental.
89% of users select this mover
And with more than 20,000 locations nationwide, it should be easy to find a U-Haul near you.
While U-Haul offers options like climate-controlled storage with 24/7 drive-up access, the availability of these features can vary widely by location. Storage unit sizes can also vary, so what you need may not be available in your area.
- More than 20,000 locations with prominent pricing
- Rental options include everything from pick-up trucks to 26-foot moving trucks
- Gentle-Ride Suspension add protection to avoid damaging your items during transit
- U-Box moving containers available if you don't want to drive
93% of users select this mover
- Online booking and account management
- 20,000+ locations nationwide
- Mini-storage and climate-controlled storage units
- Month-to-month payments
- No deposit or administrative fees
- Available in all 50 states and Canada
- Storage options vary by location
- Prices can often be higher than advertised
- Hit and miss customer service, especially when also using truck rentals
Read our full U-Haul review.
Best for discounts: CubeSmart
If you’re looking for affordable self-storage, CubeSmart is an excellent pick. Not only does the company offer below-average prices, it also regularly offers a wide range of deals, including discounts for active military members, college students, and referrals.
Using CubeSmart for self-storage can help you save with other aspects of your move, as well. You can get free moving truck access for up to four hours at many facilities. The company also partners with Penske Truck Rental and SML to provide discounted services on moving truck rentals and labor.
CubeSmart is available throughout the U.S., with the exception of: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming. The company also has locations in Washington, D.C.
- Below-average prices, plus a variety of discount options
- Free moving truck use at some locations
- Climate-controlled storage units
- Storage access is limited to business hours
- No security alarms
Read our full CubeSmart review.
Best for storage options: Simply Self Storage
Sometimes you need to store items that aren’t going to fit inside a standard self-storage unit. Simply Self Storage offers a wide range of extra services to cater to unique storage needs. In addition to personal self-storage, they also offer business self-storage, vehicle storage (including boat and RV storage), and climate-controlled wine storage.
Another perk of Simply Self Storage is all renters receive $2,000 in insurance coverage. However, despite catering to a variety of storage needs, Simply Self Storage has fairly limited availability. With about 150 locations in 23 states, the nearest facility may not be conveniently located to you.
- Offers personal and business storage, as well as mini-storage
- Wide variety of vehicle storage options, including boat and RV storage
- Climate-controlled storage available
- $2,000 in insurance coverage on units
- Only 150+ locations in 23 states
- Not BBB accredited
Read our full Simply Self Storage review.
Best for eco-friendly service: Public Storage
Want to minimize your move’s impact on the environment? While Public Storage is well-known for its strong customer service, its focus on sustainability is also noteworthy.
Public Storage facilities use a variety of eco-friendly features, including LED lighting, solar power generation, low-water landscaping, and 100% recycled moving boxes. In fact, the company has become a leading owner of green-certified facilities in the U.S. Public Storage currently has nearly 3,000 locations in 41 states and Washington, D.C. The company does not serve Alaska, Arkansas, Maine, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, or Wyoming.
Of course, Public Storage still offers a variety of useful self-storage services, including vehicle and boat storage and climate-controlled units. Month-to-month contracts and the ability to manage your account through their app or website make it easy to get exactly what you need.
- Uses a variety of eco-friendly practices
- Month-to-month rentals
- Offers climate-controlled units
- Vehicle and boat storage available
- Storage access limited to business hours
- Some complaints of high rate increases
Read our full Public Storage review.
Best for security: Extra Space Storage
Keeping your items safe while they’re in storage is naturally a top priority for anyone, and Extra Space Storage has you covered. Security is a point of emphasis for the company, with coded-access entry gates, alarms on individual units, 24-hour video surveillance, and on-site managers.
Customer reviews also praise the cleanliness of their storage units.
Available in 43 states and Washington, D.C., Extra Space Storage is also noteworthy for its impressive business storage, with some locations offering warehouse storage, on-site business centers, and reception of business deliveries. The company does not provide service in Alaska, Arkansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, or Wyoming.
They also offer storage for vehicles, boats, and RVs.
- Comprehensive approach to onsite security, including alarmed units
- Vehicle, boat, and RV storage
- Wide-ranging business services
- Climate-controlled units available
- Must give 10-15 days of notice before moving out
- High demand means some locations may have limited availability
Read our full Extra Space Storage review.
Comparing the best self-storage companies
Here’s a quick breakdown of the best self-storage options.
|Company||Best for||Services||Average cost||Our rating||State availability|
|U-Haul||Availability||Self-storage, moving truck rentals, packing supplies||$158 per month||B||50 + Canada|
|CubeSmart||Discounts||Climate-controlled self-storage||$160 per month||B+||41|
|Simply Self Storage||Storage options||Personal and business self-storage, vehicle storage, mini storage||$116 per month||C+||23 states|
|Public Storage||Sustainability||Personal and business self-storage, vehicle and boat storage||$210 per month||B||41 states + parts of Europe|
|Extra Space Storage||Secure storage||Personal and business self-storage, vehicle, boat and RV storage||$149 per month||B+||43 states|
Reasons to use a self-storage company
Using a self-storage company comes with many potential perks for both renters and homeowners. Here are some of the top reasons to consider using self-storage:
- Rental flexibility: Whether you need short or long-term storage, a self-storage unit can work for you. Most of the best self-storage companies offer month-to-month contracts, which is great for situations such as when you’re not sure how soon you’ll be able to move into your new home.
- Low prices: Self-storage companies are inexpensive compared to storing your items with a full-service mover. The savings can really add up, especially if you’ll be using the storage unit for several months.
- Storage offers: Many storage companies offer special discounts to help you save even more (such as a discounted rate for your first month or reduced rates for long-term rentals). It’s always worth asking what offers are available.
- Catering to a variety of storage needs: Self-storage units can be used to help clear up the clutter around your home, to store college students’ items when they go home for the summer, or to store your possessions while you’re in the middle of a move from New York to California. A wide range of storage unit sizes and options makes it easy to find a storage solution that works for you.
If you need storage as part of your move or don’t think self-storage is the right choice, you might want to consider our picks for the best moving container companies.
Need storage as part of a move? Check out out list of the best moving container companies that offer storage while you move.Learn More
Factors to consider when using a self-storage company
Whether you’re deciding between one of our picks for the best self-storage companies or a local storage provider, there are some key factors you should consider when deciding which option is best for you besides just looking for the lowest price:
- Storage locations: Accessing your storage unit will be a lot easier if it is conveniently located to your home or apartment. Start your search by seeing which companies are close by, especially if you will need to access your storage unit often. Facilities with 24-hour access and drive-up units can also offer greater accessibility for managing your storage needs.
- Security features: Security measures such as video surveillance, gated access, quality lighting, or an electronic gate with personalized key-codes help ensure that your stuff is kept safe while it’s in storage. Check the company’s website to learn what onsite security features they offer.
- Extra perks: Some self-storage companies offer extra perks like free moving truck rentals when you are moving out from your storage unit. This can help you save time and money.
- Customer reviews: Just like with moving companies, you should check reviews for local storage facilities. Even companies with a great reputation could have an individual location that isn’t up to par. Customer reviews can offer insights into important factors like a location’s customer service, security, and cleanliness.
- Types of storage: A standard storage unit won’t always do the trick. If you need temperature-controlled and humidity-controlled storage, make sure the facility you’re interested in offers it. The same goes for specialty storage options like boat storage, RV storage, or business storage.
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Preparing for the self-storage process
In many ways, preparing to put items into self-storage is similar to preparing for a move. By following a few key practices, you can have peace of mind as you get ready to put your items into self-storage:
- Organize. Start by organizing the items you need to place in storage. Remember that some items, such as perishable foods and hazardous materials, are not allowed in self-storage facilities. Consider gathering everything you want to put into storage into a single convenient space like the garage.
- Inventory and pack your items. Once everything is gathered together, create an inventory list or consider photographing your items so you’ll know what has been put into storage. Pack your items appropriately, just like you would for a household move. Using cardboard boxes that are all the same size will make it easier to safely stack them on top of each other inside the storage unit.
- Determine your storage layout. Before you start moving stuff into the storage unit, you should determine the size of the unit you’ll need and how to organize your items inside. Many storage unit companies offer size guides to help you determine how large a unit you’ll need. Generally speaking, you should place items you’ll need to access more frequently near the front of the unit. Leaving walkable aisles between rows of boxes will also improve accessibility.
- Be flexible. You don’t have to move everything into your storage unit all at once. This gives you flexibility to make multiple trips in a way that works best for you, using your own vehicle instead of a moving truck.
FAQs about choosing self-storage companies
What are the benefits of self-storage?
The main benefits of self-storage are its flexibility and low cost. Most self-storage companies offer month-to-month contracts so you can use them for as long as you need, even if it’s very short-term. You can access your unit whenever you want to add or remove items. Self-storage units are also generally quite affordable compared to using the storage services offered by a full-service moving company.
What are the main differences between self-storage and full-service storage?
Some moving companies offer full-service storage as part of their moving services. Their movers will take your possessions to a storage unit and keep them there until you are ready to move into your new house. And you don’t have to lift a finger! However, you generally can’t access your items while they are in storage.
With self-storage, you are fully responsible for loading and unloading the storage unit but you can access your unit whenever you want and you will enjoy lower costs.
How far in advance should I reserve a self-storage unit?
Advance reservation policies vary by company. For example, Extra Space Storage lets you reserve your storage unit up to 14 days in advance. Check with your preferred company to see how early you can make a reservation.
What is the average size of a self-storage unit?
The average or most popular size for a self-storage unit is 10 feet x 10 feet, which gives you 100 square feet of storage space. These units can typically fit one to three bedrooms’ worth of items. However, smaller and larger units are available at most major self-storage companies.
When should I use climate-controlled storage?
Climate-controlled storage is essential when you plan on storing items that could be damaged by fluctuations in temperature and humidity. This is especially true when you’ll be storing the items for several months or longer.
Examples of items that can benefit from climate-controlled storage include:
- Wooden furniture
- Books and magazines
- Important documents
- Musical instruments
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