Mini-Storage vs. Self-Storage: What’s the Difference?


While on the hunt for a storage unit that suits your needs and circumstances, you may have come across two different terms: “self-storage” and “mini-storage”. Although both refer to storage units used to keep goods, inventory, documents, and all sorts of items, you may be wondering if there are any other differences you need to account for. 

In this article, we will explain the differences (if any) between mini-storage and self-storage, and discuss which factors you should be considering before renting out any storage unit. Read below to find out more information on mini-storage vs. self-storage.

Location and Terminology

All things considered, mini-storage and self-storage are essentially the same: both consist of separate storage units that are used for storing personal belongings as well as business goods and inventory. The term “mini-storage” is usually used in the United States and was initially coined because of the way each unit shared a wall with the other. 

The term “mini-storage” is also an older phrase for what we now refer to as “self-storage”. In fact, “mini-storage” first became popular in the 1960s and 1970s when personal storage units were just becoming popular.

Smaller Units

When people usually think of “mini-storage” versus “self-storage”, they may believe that the difference is sizing. The term “mini” seems to refer to a smaller than average size. In this case, though, that is not entirely true. 

Self-storage can also come in smaller sizes depending on what your needs are. However, mini-storage facilities can offer some of the smallest units available (5 x 5, for example), if that is what you are looking for.

Older Facilities

Since the phrase “mini-storage” was coined sometime in the 1960s and 1970s, it’s safe to say that older storage facilities may refer to their units using this term. When searching the internet for storage units, you will typically find more search results using the term “self-storage”. However, “mini-storage” will show up here and there, especially with smaller, independent facilities.

Consider Your Needs

The storage facility you choose should really be dependent on what your needs are and what you are storing. Consider these factors, as well as the proximity of the storage location to your business or your home. You want to have a convenient experience with self-storage and for it to work with your lifestyle.

Tour the Facility

One way to ensure that a storage facility is right for you is to tour the premises before committing to a lease. Do your research and reach out to the facility for a tour of the units and surrounding areas. Become familiar with the security, surveillance, and layout. 

Make sure the facility is clean and regularly maintained. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when it comes to the size or state of the units. After all, if you intend to keep your precious belongings somewhere, you want to make sure it is safe, secure, and easy to access.

Climate-Controlled Storage

Another great feature to look for when searching for storage options is climate-controlled self-storage. These units are always kept at a stable temperature so that your items won’t be damaged from heat, humidity, or inclement weather conditions. 

Heat, moisture, and humid conditions can easily warp and damage furniture, clothing, appliances, electronics, and more. Climate-controlled storage is another way to get peace of mind from your storage unit. Although these units may come at an additional cost, they are well worth it and a great investment in the quality and longevity of your belongings.

When considering your options for self-storage, it’s best to do your research before taking a tour of the facility and committing. This way, you can prepare any questions you should ask and know exactly what you are looking for. 

For more information on self-storage in Toronto and the GTA, please call Jiffy Self-Storage at 416-74-JIFFY (54339) or contact us here. We would be more than happy to help you find the right storage solutions, whether it’s for your business or personal needs. Contact us today to find out more and to schedule a time to tour our facility.

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