Choosing Between an Indoor Storage Unit and a Drive-Up Storage Unit

Choosing Between an Indoor Storage Unit and a Drive-Up Storage Unit

When you rent a self-storage unit, you’re faced with many options. You need to determine what size unit you’ll need, which facility location is most convenient, and whether or not you’ll want an indoor storage unit or a drive-up storage unit. While choosing between an indoor and outdoor storage might not seem important at first, there are many differences between the two. In some instances, outdoor, drive-up storage works great. In others, indoor, climate-controlled storage is necessary. Here, we’ll go over some details of both and provide more information on choosing between an indoor storage unit and a drive-up storage unit.

Clarifications Regarding Indoor Storage Units

Indoor self-storage units are exactly as they sound. They’re located inside a facility, so you’ll need to enter through a doorway to access your unit. Many people prefer indoor self-storage units because they’re climate-controlled, tend to be cleaner, and have an additional layer of security. To help you better understand these features, here is some additional information regarding climate-control and the benefits of indoor storage units.

What is Climate-Controlled Storage?

Climate-controlled storage is a way of describing storage units that maintain a pre-determined temperatureChoosing Between an Indoor Storage Unit and a Drive-Up Storage Unit and humidity level. The temperature is set at the facility and regulated using air conditioning and heating—depending on the season. This creates a stable temperature inside of the facility and any individual indoor self-storage units. For complete climate control, humidity is controlled using HVAC systems combined with dehumidifiers and insulation features. This removes the risk of intense fluctuations, which can cause damage to your personal belongings. Utilizing a climate-controlled self-storage unit is especially important in hot, humid cities and areas that reach freezing temperatures.

How Much is a Climate-Controlled Storage Unit?

As with all storage units, the cost of a climate-controlled self-storage unit varies based on company, location, and size. To get a more accurate quote for what you need, reach out to one of the representatives at The Lock Up Self Storage.

What Should be Stored in Climate-Controlled Storage?

While you don’t need to use climate-controlled storage for everything you own, there are a few things that can deteriorate when exposed to changing elements. Some of the most important things to keep in climate-controlled storage units include things made of wood and antique furniture, leather, personal collections like stamps, vinyl records, wine, and books, musical instruments, any sentimental items, electronics and household appliances, art and décor, clothing, and important documents or pictures.

Other Benefits of Indoor Storage Units

It’s easy to understand why having climate control inside of your self-storage unit is beneficial. Indoor storage units are the best option if you need to store items long-term, especially if they’re susceptible to damage from the elements. Additionally, many indoor storage units offer more security and less mess while staying out of the harsh weather.

More Security

Choosing Between an Indoor Storage Unit and a Drive-Up Storage UnitMost facilities require you to enter a code in order to access the interior of a building. This added layer of security gives people a stronger peace of mind, especially when paired with internal security cameras and individualized locks.

Less Mess

Since indoor storage units aren’t subject to the elements, your storage unit tends to stay cleaner over time. You’ll notice that there’s less dust and dirt in addition to fewer risks of pests gaining access to your storage unit.

Covered and Protected

Choosing Between an Indoor Storage Unit and a Drive-Up Storage UnitIndoor storage means that if you have to access your unit, you won’t have to do so in the rain, snow, or heavy winds. With indoor access, you’ll be covered and protected so you can get what you need without letting water or dust inside. If you plan to access your self-storage unit often, consider getting a bigger size so that you can easily navigate through the space.

Arguably, the only drawback to indoor self-storage is the fact that you may have to walk through a hallway to get to your unit. When you consider the benefits, however, this is a very minor inconvenience. Plus, most self-storage facilities have large, accessible doors to make transporting your items as easy as possible. There are also plenty of access points, so you don’t have to enter through one door and navigate through a maze of hallways. Additionally, most self-storage facilities offer carts to help you move heavy or bulky items from your vehicle to your indoor, climate-controlled self-storage unit.

What are Drive-Up Storage Units?

Drive-up storage includes self-storage units that you can simply drive up to and open. They’re located outdoors and, on average, tend to be bigger than indoor self-storage units. Drive-up storage units are housed in a building with various other units attached, but only accessible from the outside. While drive-up self-storage can be used for some items, units tend to lack climate control features and therefore, may hasten deterioration of your belongings.

Benefits of Outdoor Storage Units

While we recommend using climate-controlled self-storage unit for most of your items, there are times where drive-up storage is more beneficial. Outdoor storage units are convenient, tend to be bigger in size, cheaper, and available for vehicle storage.


One of the biggest benefits to outdoor storage units is the convenience they offer. If you’re storing large items, all you need to do is drive up to the front of your self-storage unit, open it up, and unload your belongings. This makes carrying heavy items much easier and can save you a lot of time. However, if your heavy items are easily damaged, navigating the indoor storage options may be worth the extra effort. Easy access to your unit is nice, but if you come back and find everything ruined, it’s going to make things much more difficult.

Size Variety

Drive-up storage units come in a variety of sizes, but they tend to be larger than indoor options. This is good for storing vehicles, large appliances, and other items that may not fit in more traditionally sized storage units. If you’re not sure what size you need, ask the store manager if you can tour the facility to better visualize your storage space.

Low Cost

Since outdoor self-storage units don’t have climate-control, they tend to be lower in cost. This is simply because it takes less money for storage facilities to maintain them. Always weigh the pros and cons of decisions based on more than money, especially when it comes to self-storage. While you might save a few dollars here and there, you’ll be spending a lot more if you need to replace all of your items.

Vehicle Storage

Choosing Between an Indoor Storage Unit and a Drive-Up Storage UnitFinally, if you want to store your vehicle in a self-storage facility, you’ll need to use an outdoor unit. This is a great way to keep your classic car, boat, RV, motorcycle, or truck out of the elements directly, so they aren’t affected by rust or deterioration as quickly. Make sure that you take the proper steps when storing your vehicles to avoid problems and always ensure that your storage facility approves it. For those who are looking to store their vehicles, outdoor, drive-up self-storage units are one of the only options.

We recommend only using drive-up storage units for furniture and household items if you need to utilize short-term self-storage for moving. Long-term exposure to the change of seasons and fluctuations of temperature can damage or deteriorate items not meant to be kept outdoors. Drive-up self-storage units are also a great alternative for individuals or families who don’t have their own garage. You can store gardening supplies, lawnmowers, yard tools, sports equipment, and more in an easily accessible way.

How to Choose Between Indoor Self-Storage and Drive-Up Units

The type of self-storage unit that will work best for you depends on your overall needs. Both indoor, climate-controlled self-storage units and outdoor, drive-up self-storage units offer a range of benefits, but it is important to understand that outdoor units will be more exposed to the elements. When storing fragile items, things with sentimental value, antique furniture, clothes, electronics, and anything else that is usually kept indoors, opt for a temperature-controlled self-storage unit. Simply determine what size you’ll need and contact The Lock Up Self Storage to get started. We offer flexible leasing options so you can feel confident that you’re only paying for what you need. To give you even more peace of mind, all of our locations are equipped with top-of-the-line security features including security-controlled gate access, motion-sensitive lighting, 24-hour camera monitoring, and perimeter alarms. To find a self-storage unit, contact one of the representatives at The Lock Up Self Storage by calling 1-866-327-LOCK or find a unit online today!