What Is the Difference Between a Storage Unit and a Self Storage Facility?

By  //  March 28, 2022

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When you do not have enough space in your home to house what you own, the next best thing is to get external storage. Though most people know what external storage is, there arises a problem when determining the various storage methods. 

There are substantial differences between the various types of storage amenities, and it is vital to know them if you will be searching for one to put your belongings.

More storage options are being created as time goes on, but the following are the main differences between a storage unit and a self-storage facility:


A storage unit is an enclosed space that anyone can rent for personal or commercial storage purposes. The size of a storage unit can range from 25 square feet to 400 square feet. However, you may find rare storage units that are larger and are primarily used for commercial storage.

On the other hand, a storage facility is an entire property that contains individual storage units. Depending on the agreement, anyone can rent out a storage unit in a storage facility.

A self-storage facility means that the person who rents out the unit is mainly responsible for bringing the items to the unit, maintaining it, and delivering the belongings to their permanent location, for example, when relocating.

Therefore, a storage unit is a component of a storage facility. However, there can be various types of storage facilities, including self-storage ones.


The main difference between a self-storage facility and the other type of storage facility, a full-service facility, is the obligation to the renter and the renting company.

Therefore, if you want to rent a storage facility in Phoenix, you should first determine whether it is a self-storage or a full-service facility.

For a self-storage facility, the renter is the main party responsible for maintaining the storage unit. The unit will comprise a particular space that may require occasional cleaning, which the renter is responsible for.

The renter will also take inventory and document evidence of their belongings in the unit. The renter will hire a truck, pack it with their property, and then bring it to the storage unit.

They will unload and organize the items in the storage unit. When it is time to leave, they will load their belongings into a rented truck without the rental company’s help.

A full-time storage facility will offer ‘valet-type’ services meaning that they will handle anything for the renter. They will hire the truck, load it with the renter’s possessions and unload it at the storage unit. They will also load the truck and deliver the items to the intended destination when it is time.

Pros and Cons

There are benefits to renting a storage unit for extra storage. However, there are differences between self-storage facilities and full-service storage units.

One of the main differences pertains to the cost. The cost of self-storage is much lower than that of full-service storage. Since you get pick up and delivery services with a full service, you will also have to pay the charge for those services.

Another difference is the access to your belongings. With self-storage, you essentially have access to your stuff whenever you please. On the other hand, you need to schedule delivery and visitation for full-service storage though companies are different.

The most significant advantage of self-storage is that you get to handle your belongings. Since you hand over that capacity to the company with full-service storage, you don’t have control over your belongings, and the rental company can damage things.

A self-storage facility contains storage units, as does a full-service storage facility. A storage unit is a component of a storage facility. However, there are significant differences between self-storage and full-service facilities. It is up to you to decide the kind of storage you want.