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What Are the Qualities of a Good Portable Storage Unit?

There are many great qualities of a good portable storage unit. Contact Mobile Storage Solutions to learn about our containers.

When considering which on-site storage company to go with, you have to consider the containers themselves. Yes, reputation, reliability and experience of the company are all important things to research. But it’s also important to ask questions about the units. From sizes to cleanliness, there are many things you should ask about when securing the best portable storage units for your moving and temporary storage needs.

Doors…d-rings…locks…ramps…humidity levels…these are all things you should be concerned about. Make sure you know the answers to the questions before you rent or buy. Here are some considerations and the qualities of a good portable storage unit.


You need to ensure security for your belongings while in the portable storage unit. Most storage units come with standard locks, but ask if there are specialty locks you could add for additional security and peace of mind. Types of locks include:

  • Container Padlocks
  • Crossbar Locks
  • Truck Seals
  • Hidden Shackle Padlocks
  • Roll Door Lock Boxes


The very nature of your portable storage unit means that it will be moved a few times while in your possession. This could lead to shifting of contents inside the container if your belongings aren’t properly secured. Many storage units have D-rings inside the container that can be used to secure items. Located at shin and shoulder height approximately every four feet, D-rings can be used in conjunction with ratchet straps, bungee cords, or nylon rope.

Humidity and Condensation

Poorly insulated containers will quite literally sweat. When temperature and humidity levels are high within your steel container, the interior walls may form sweat or dew, which exposes sensitive items to damage and staining due to moisture. Your portable storage unit should be sufficiently vented so the container does not sweat.


The most difficult part of loading a storage unit is the ramp. You probably know this if you’ve ever had to load a rental truck. The ramp can be awkward to navigate when you’re carrying bulky or heavy items. While ramps certainly provide a function, you have to remember to watch your step or you could trip.

Look for a portable storage units that’s just a few inches above ground level so you don’t need a long ramp to gain access. This also means you can place your container closer to the loading location. This saves precious steps that could pose a trip and fall hazard, which could risk your safety as well as damage your items.

Secure, Dry Space

The best part about storage units is that they are designed to be safe, secure, and weatherproof to protect your items. It’s important that your unit is weatherproof so no rain gets inside, resulting in damage to your items as well as mold and mildew growth.


Cleanliness of the unit is important. Leaks can lead to high humidity levels which in turn can lead to mold growth on the walls and on your belongings. Mold not only damages your items, it attracts pests that have no place in a storage unit.

If there is garbage in your unit, this can result in unpleasant odors, which also attracts pests and insects. Rubbish damages your items and can also lead to corrosion of the unit itself. You want a unit that is clean and safe to use, so always ask what condition your unit will arrive in. Inspect it upon arrival.


If you have time-restricted commitments, you know how convenient self-storage units on your property can be. Because they’re located on site, you can fill them at your leisure, then call for transport when done. There are many benefits to enjoy when hiring a company for portable on-site storage:

  • 24/7 access
  • Takes up little space on your residential or business property
  • Secure and versatile
  • Variety of unit sizes to match your requirements
  • Ability to load and unload on your own timeline
  • Store items on site without having to drive back and forth daily to an off-site unit

forklift moving mobile storage unit

Variety of Sizes

Once you determine the need for portable on-site storage, you have to determine which size is best. This is where research comes in to learn about the qualities of a good portable storage. Browse company websites and call a few to get sizes and associated prices.

It’s helpful to come up with an inventory of the stuff you will need to add to the storage unit. Make a list, either on the computer or on paper, and go through each item. Consider the size of each item. Now you will have a better idea of the size of unit you will need. If you’re still not sure, call the company and they will make a recommendation.

Just be sure not to cram the unit too full with stuff. You still need proper ventilation and space for your items to remain damage free. Be smart when packing the unit. Pack stuff at the bottom or back that you won’t need for a while, placing the stuff you may need soon near the front or top. This will ensure easier access.

Friendly Staff

While not directly a quality of the unit itself, you want to choose a portable storage unit company that has a track record for attentive customer service. You want to know that when you call them up, they’ll answer the phone in a friendly manner and accommodate your concerns and questions.

Look for knowledgeable staff that has experience in their industry, which results in a stress-free experience all around. Trustworthiness is a big thing when considering a storage unit company. You want peace of mind above all when making a decision of this magnitude.

Collection and Delivery

Timely pickup and delivery of your unit is also of paramount importance. You want to know your unit won’t be sitting in your yard for days after you need a pickup. You want prompt service for both collection and delivery. Look for professional drivers that can ensure your goods are picked up and dropped off safely.

Contact Mobile Storage Solutions

Eager to find out more about what we offer for on-site storage options and the qualities of a good portable storage unit? We welcome you to call us at 847-714-4552 for a free quote!

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