What is the difference between self-storage and mini storage?

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14/04/2022

Renting a storage unit can be a tricky business. You need to carefully balance the size of your storage unit with the number of items you plan to store. You don’t want to pay over the odds for storage you won’t use, but at the same time, you don’t want to cut yourself short and end up with a storage unit that is too small for your needs.  

When searching for storage units you will have perhaps come across two commonly used terms; “self-storage” and “mini-storage”.  

Many people are left wondering, what is the difference between self-storage and mini-storage? The truth is that there is practically no difference. The two terms are often used interchangeably and both relate to a small-sized storage unit that can be used to store items that you don’t have space for or items you want to keep safe.  

Mini-storage is a more commonly used term in the United States, whereas self-storage tends to be used more frequently in the UK.  

Although the difference is minimal between these two terms, Caledonia Removals has put together this short guide on self-storage and mini-storage to give you a comprehensive overview of these common storage terms.

 

storage containers and storage units

  

What is self-storage? 

Self-storage is an abbreviated term for self-service storage. The term was first coined in the 1960s in the great state of Texas. Two pioneers in the storage industry, Russ Willians and Bob Munn, were the first to open a self-storage unit in the US. They aptly named it, “A1 U-Store-It U-Lock-it U-Carry-the-Key". Talk about getting the message across loud and clear...  

The original plan for their small-sized units was to cater to the oil industry, providing a convenient and secure space for oil companies to store their barrels and other supplies. As the idea began to grow in both profit and popularity, a host of other self-storage start-ups formed all over the country, and eventually, it turned into the idea of self-storage that we all recognise today.  

The benefit of self-storage is that it allows the clients to come and go as they please. Customers will usually be granted access for the majority of the day, seven days a week, without any need to contact the removal company to gain access to their items. It is a simple, self-managed way to keep your items safe and easily accessible.  

Caledonia Removals offers this exact type of no appointment required storage at our Morris Leslie site in Scone, Perth.  

 

What is mini-storage?

As more people started to buy more stuff, entrepreneurs quickly began to realise the potential the storage market had. People needed a place to store all their extra belongings. Workmen needed a place for their tools and even businesses needed extra space for files and important documents.  

The market exploded in the US and the term “mini-storage” became popular. Companies advertised their lots as “mini-warehouses” and the name stuck. Although the term never caught in the UK, it is still popularly used across America and Europe.  

Now if anyone asks you the difference between self-storage and mini-storage, you’ll have an impressive answer at the ready! 

 

An alternative to self-storage 

Caledonia Removals offers another type of storage service that is attractive for customers of wish to keep their goods safe but do not need quick, no appointment access.

At our site at Inchcape Place, we offer wooden crated storage, with 250 cubic feet capacity crates available for secure storage. The crates can be moved around on a forklift and are housed inside a warehouse to protect them from the elements.  

Unlike our self-storage containers that offer no appointment access, clients need to contact us to provide a time and date for accessing any goods stored in wooden crated storage. On the agreed date and time, our team will get the crate (or crates) ready and place them into position at the front of the warehouse. Clients simply have to turn up at the agreed time and they will find access quick and easy.  

Wooden created storage is arguably more secure than self-storage due to the appointment system we have in place. In addition, there will be no waiting around when coming to view your goods due to the effective system we have in place.  

Different storage solutions are right for different people, so be sure to take your time choosing the correct one for your needs.  

 

storage units in a warehouse

 

Focus on storage unit size 

Instead of getting bogged down with the names and storage terminology, it’s best to search for the size of storage unit you need.  

Evaluate the volume of space you will need to properly and safely store your belongings, and then talk to a local removal company about the different volumes of storage units they have available.  

Caledonia Removals has a helpful storage unit size guide to give our customers an idea of the most common unit sizes available on the market. Our size guide is also useful to help customers understand how much storage space they actually need. 

In addition, if you get in touch with us directly, our team will be happy to complete a storage survey and look at all furniture and contents you need stored. We will then work out the total volume of goods and this will dictate the size or number of crates and containers required. This is the most full-proof way to get the exact amount of storage space that you require 

Caledonia Removals offer everything from small storage lockers to huge 150 square ft containers, so we are confident we will be able to find the best match for you.  

 

How to choose the best storage solution?  

When choosing the best storage solution for you, it’s important to carefully consider what you’re looking for in a storage unit. Do you simply need a safe place to store items for a week? Or do you need somewhere protected from the elements for multiple years? 

Some of the most essential points to consider for securing an optimal storage solution are: 

  • The dimensions of the storage unit  
  • The length of time the unit is available for 
  • The security offered by the storage company 
  • Alarm system of the warehouse 
  • Does the storage space have secure roller doors 
  • Are items inventoried when loaded into the storage 
  • The protection the unit gives from the elements  
  • Ease of customer access  
  • Type of contract offered – fixed-term or rolling? 
  • Price 

 

Caledonia Removals has flexible, rolling contracts to give our customers peace of mind when storing their possessions. We also offer a wide range of unit sizes to suit all needs and requirements.  

The majority of our storage units are located inside a warehouse, meaning your items have double the protection from the elements. We operate CCTV surveillance around the clock and have secure padlocks for all our units.  

What is more, Caledonia Removals can handle the full packing, unpacking and organising of your unit. Whether you’re moving the contents of a three-bedroom house or a small studio apartment, our team will be happy to help! 

Get in contact today to rent a secure storage unit in Perth.  

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