Renting a Container for Storage: The Ultimate Guide

storage container rental

Picture this: you’ve just started a small business and need extra storage space for your growing inventory. Or maybe you’re in the middle of a home renovation and need a temporary solution to store your belongings. Whatever your situation, renting a container for storage is a convenient, cost-effective, and secure solution for your storage needs.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the world of storage container rentals, providing actionable tips and covering everything you need to know to make an informed decision.

Determine Your Storage Needs

Before diving into the world of storage container rentals, you must first assess your storage needs.

Take a moment to consider the items you plan to store and estimate the space they will require. Make a list of your belongings, noting their dimensions and volume, to help you choose the most suitable container size.

How long do you need the container for? A storage container rental typically offers both short-term and long-term options. Knowing the duration of your storage needs will help you plan and budget accordingly.

Understanding the Types of Storage Containers

new shipping container When it comes to renting a storage container, you may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available. But fear not! This comprehensive guide will explore the various types of storage containers and help you make an informed decision based on your specific needs. From shipping containers to portable storage units, we’ll discuss their unique features, sizes, and best use cases.

Shipping Containers

  1. Standard Shipping Containers

Shipping containers are often repurposed for storage due to their durability and versatility. These are the most famous among drivers and brokers and can be instantly found in the dimensions of 20 and 40 feet. These containers are typically made of steel and feature double doors at one end, providing a secure storage solution.

  1. 20-Foot Containers

Sea CansThe smaller of the two standard sizes, 20-foot containers offer a storage space of approximately 1,170 cubic feet. These units are ideal for storing household items, small business inventory, or construction materials. They are also easily transportable and can fit in most residential driveways.

  1. 40-Foot Containers

The larger option, 40-foot containers, provides roughly 2,385 cubic feet of storage. These units are optimal for storing bulky components or a substantial amount of inventory. Keep in mind, however, that you’ll need ample space for delivery and placement.

  1. High Cube Shipping Containers

storage container in a high topHigh cube containers are similar to standard shipping containers but with an additional foot in height, providing more storage capacity. These containers come in 20-foot and 40-foot sizes and are perfect for storing tall or bulky items.

Portable Storage Containers

  • Residential Portable Storage Containers

Residential portable storage containers are designed to be easily transported and delivered to your location. They are perfect for homeowners undergoing a renovation or needing temporary storage during a move. These units come in various sizes, typically ranging from 8 to 20 feet in length, and can fit in most driveways or yards.

  • Commercial Portable Storage Containers

shipping containersCommercial portable storage containers cater to businesses that require on-site storage for equipment, inventory, or supplies. These units are available in a variety of sizes and often feature additional security measures, such as lockboxes and advanced locking systems.

Onsite Storage Containers

Onsite storage containers are designed to remain stationary and provide a secure and convenient solution for businesses or construction sites. These units come in various sizes and materials, including steel, aluminum, and wood.

Cargo Containers

Cargo containers are an excellent choice for onsite storage due to their robust construction and weather-resistant design. They are available in both standard and high cube sizes and can be outfitted with shelving and other organizational features to maximize storage space.

Office Containers

Office containers are modified shipping containers that serve as temporary workspaces on construction sites or at remote business locations. These units typically feature windows, doors, insulation, electrical wiring, and climate control.

Temporary Storage Containers

storage container loadedTemporary storage containers are rented on a short-term basis, perfect for situations such as home renovations or event storage. These units come in various sizes and styles, including portable storage containers and shipping containers.

Storage Units

Storage units are typically located within a larger storage facility and come in a wide range of sizes. While not technically a “container,” these units provide secure, climate-controlled storage options for individuals and businesses. Keep in mind, you’ll need to transport your items to the storage facility, unlike container rentals that can be delivered to your location.

Research Storage Container Rental Companies

Now that you know your requirements, it’s time to find a reputable company to rent a container from.

Compare Prices and Services

Request quotes from multiple storage container rental companies to compare their prices and services. Be sure to consider any additional fees or charges, such as delivery and pick-up fees.

Check for Customer Reviews and Reputation

Search for customer reviews and testimonials online to gauge the reputation and reliability of the company. If you know someone who has rented a storage container, ask for their recommendations.

Site Preparation

Before the container arrives, you need to prepare a suitable location for it.

Ensure Enough Space for Container Placement

Confirm that the site you’ve chosen has a manageable place for delivery and for hoisting the containers. For a 20-foot container, there should be a straight clearance of at least 60 feet; for a 40-foot container, allow for 100 feet. Also, be mindful of any overhead obstructions like power lines or tree branches.

Prepare a Level Surface for the Container

shallow spread foundationA level surface is crucial for the safe placement of the container. Uneven surfaces can cause container doors to become misaligned and difficult to open or close. Use railroad ties, gravel, or concrete blocks to create a level foundation.

Organize the Rental Process

With your site prepared, it’s time to finalize the rental process.

Select Delivery and Pick-up Dates

Coordinate with the rental company to schedule a delivery date and time. Plan for a pick-up date as well, especially if you’re renting for a short period.

Understand Rental Agreements and Fees

Review the rental agreement carefully, noting any terms and conditions. Ensure you understand all fees, including any penalties for late returns or damages to the container.

Delivery and Installation

On delivery day, be prepared for the arrival of your container.

Receive and Inspect the Container

When the container arrives, inspect it for any damage or issues that may impact its functionality. If you notice any problems, notify the rental company immediately.

Ensure Proper Placement

As the delivery truck positions the container on your site, double-check that it is placed on the prepared level surface and has enough clearance for easy access.

Familiarize Yourself with the Container

Take some time to familiarize yourself with the container’s features, such as the locking mechanism and doors. This will ensure smooth operation throughout the rental period.

Tips for Packing and Storing Your Items

To make the most of your rented storage container, follow these tips for packing and storing your belongings:

Plan Your Storage Layout

Organize your items by category, and create a storage layout that allows for easy access to frequently used items. Place heavier items on the bottom and lighter ones on top to avoid damage.

Use Protective Materials

Wrap fragile items in bubble wrap or packing paper to protect them during storage. Use furniture blankets or moving pads to safeguard larger items, such as appliances or furniture.

Maximize Space

Utilize vertical space by stacking boxes and containers. Place items in drawers or other storage units to further maximize space.

Label Boxes and Containers

Clearly label your boxes and containers with their contents to make it easy to locate items when needed.

Security and Access

Invest in a High-Quality Lock

Ensure the security of your belongings by investing in a high-quality, weather-resistant padlock for your container’s doors.

Regularly Check on Your Container

shipping containersPeriodically visit your portable storage container to check for any signs of tampering or issues with the doors or lock. This will help you address any security concerns quickly.

End of Rental Period

When your rental contract expires, it’s time to wrap things up.

Remove Your Belongings

Empty the container and ensure all your items are accounted for before the pick-up date.

Clean and Inspect the Container

Sweep the container’s interior and inspect it for any damages. If you discover any issues, document them and report them to the rental company to avoid potential fees.

Coordinate Container Pick-up

Confirm the pick-up date and time with the rental company, and ensure the container is easily accessible for the truck to retrieve it.


Q. What are common shipping container dimensions?

When renting a container for storage, it’s important to know the available sizes. Common shipping container dimensions include 20-foot and 40-foot containers. A standard 20-foot container measures 20 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 8.5 feet high, providing 1,360 cubic feet of storage space. A 40-foot container doubles the length, offering 2,720 cubic feet of space. High cube containers, available in both 20-foot and 40-foot lengths, are 9.5 feet high, giving you extra vertical storage space.

Q. How much does it cost to rent a storage container?

storage container

Multiple factors contribute to the total expenses of renting a portable storage container can vary based on factors like container size, rental duration, and location. On average, you can expect to pay between $100 and $200 per month for a 20-foot storage container and between $150 and $350 for a 40-foot container.

Keep in mind that delivery and pick-up fees may also apply, and some companies might offer discounts for long-term contracts or require a minimum rental period.

Q. Are there any restrictions on what can be stored?

When using a storage container, it’s essential to follow the rental company’s guidelines on what can and cannot be stored. Generally, you can store items such as furniture, equipment, and inventory. However, prohibited items may include hazardous materials, perishable goods, illegal items, and anything that may pose a risk to the container or other stored items. Be sure to check with your container rental company for a full list of restrictions.

Q. How do I ensure the security of my items?

Securing your items in a storage container is crucial. Many containers come with lockable doors, but you’ll need to provide your high-quality lock to prevent unauthorized access.

Consider investing in a heavy-duty padlock or a disc lock for added security. It’s also a good idea to check whether the rental company offers additional security measures like on-site surveillance or security personnel, especially if you plan to store valuable items.

Q. What happens if I need to extend my rental period?

If you find that you need more time with your storage container, contact your rental company as soon as possible.

Most companies are flexible and can accommodate extensions, but it’s essential to communicate your needs in advance to ensure the shipping container remains available. Bear in mind that extending your rental period might incur additional costs, so be prepared for any adjustments to your overall expenses


storage container on truckPortable storage containers provide a versatile and cost-effective solution for various storage needs. With numerous sizes, easy delivery and pick-up, and the ability to store a wide range of items, renting a container for storage is a smart choice for individuals and businesses alike. Plus, the flexibility to extend your rental period as needed ensures you have the storage space you require for as long as necessary.

You can request free no-obligation pricing on a storage container for your needs, here.