What is Mini Storage?

If you’re in the market for a storage space, you may find the terminology being used confusing. At Storage West, one of the questions we hear from potential customers is this:

What is the difference between self-storage and mini storage?

The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Here’s what you need to know.

The Differences Between Mini Storage and Self-Storage

When you hear the word “mini” you might imagine that mini storage is simply a smaller-than-usual storage space. However, that’s not necessarily the case.

Storage spaces can range from huge to tiny. Any warehouse could be considered a storage space and companies sometimes maintain thousands of square feet of storage. Nobody would consider that to be “mini storage.”

At Storage West, we offer storage units in an array of sizes. Our smallest units measure 5 feet square and our largest units go up to 10’ by 24’ or higher for RV and boat storage.

You might think that a 5’ by 5’ unit would be considered mini storage, but not every storage company chooses to use that name. Mini storage can be:

  • A small storage unit
  • Any size storage unit that shares walls with other storage units
  • A stand-alone storage unit that’s delivered to your home or business

In other words, there’s not very much difference between mini storage and self-storage – at least in most cases.

How to Compare Storage Facilities

Because it can be difficult to ascertain what qualifies as a mini storage unit, let’s talk about some of the factors you can use to evaluate storage facilities.

  1. The size of units available. Some storage facilities have mostly small units available and may refer to themselves as mini storage for that reason.
  2. The layout of units. Some self-storage facilities have individual units with doors that share walls. Some facilities offer units with open space at the top – meaning that the walls don’t go all the way up to the ceiling. This is an option that can help with ventilation, but it also means you may be impacted by what other people store in their units.
  3. The number of units available. A very small storage facility might not have hundreds of units available and might use the term “mini” in their name.
  4. The parking and amenities available. A storage facility with a small parking lot or limited amenities might call itself “mini” as a way of promoting its affordable prices.


Of course, mini storage can also indicate a stand-alone storage unit that remains on your property or can be used during a move.

Ultimately, the best way to understand what “mini” means in relation to a storage facility is to ask the staff.

Are you in the market for a storage unit? Click here to learn how Storage West can help!

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