Photo of a storage unit outside

Outdoor Storage

In the self storage industry, most storage units fall under the category of either indoor storage or outdoor storage. Outdoor storage units can be accessed from outside of the building, much like a common garage. This allows for quicker and easier access and also gives storage users the ability to back a truck or moving van right up to the door of their storage unit.

Why choose exterior storage?

When searching for a storage unit, you’ll have to decide whether outdoor storage or indoor storage is best for you. Outdoor storage units certainly have their perks, so here are some of the reasons why you may want to consider renting a storage unit with external access:

  • Outdoor storage is often more affordable than indoor storage.
  • Drive-up access is more convenient when storing larger items, such as furniture or appliances.
  • Larger storage units aren’t typically available indoors. At most facilities, you’ll need to get an outdoor storage unit in order to get a space that’s 10x20 or larger.

When to use outdoor storage

Whether or not outdoor storage is right for you depends on what you plan to store. There are several situations where using an outdoor storage unit is more beneficial than a unit with indoor access. The ease of access can make outdoor storage ideal for heavy loads and larger items. Here are some common storage scenarios when you should look into exterior storage:

  • When Moving: Outdoor storage units with drive-up access make it easy to load and unload large pieces of furniture and appliances.
  • Storage for Business: When using self storage for your business, an outdoor storage unit will make access faster and a lot easier.
  • Protected Vehicle Storage: If you want to protect your vehicle from the elements while in storage, you can park it inside an outdoor storage unit.

When not to use outdoor

There are also several scenarios where it wouldn’t be ideal to rent an outdoor storage unit, specifically when you don’t need the accessibility it provides. Unless you need easy access, you could rent an indoor storage unit for your storage needs. You should avoid using outdoor storage units when storing:

  • Smaller Items: When storing small items and boxes, you won’t necessarily need the convenience of drive-up access.
  • Valuable Items: Outdoor storage units only have one door between your belongings and potential thieves. When storing valuable items, it’s better to use indoor storage.
  • Temperature-Sensitive Items: Because exterior storage units are in direct contact with the outdoors, they are more susceptible to temperature fluctuations. When storing temperature sensitive items, indoor storage units provide better temperature control.

Factors to consider

  • Exterior units usually don’t offer climate control because they are separated from the outdoors by nothing more than a garage door, making temperature control less feasible.
  • Pay attention to security features, such as gated access and video surveillance, when using outdoor storage, because there is less material between your belongings and the outside.