How to Choose the Right Mobile Storage Container

Need help on how to choose the right mobile storage container? This is a common question from customers, as the mobile and portable storage landscape has grown.

There are many different portable storage services you can choose from and each of them have different options for their mobile storage containers. And because there are so many choices, it can be difficult and a little frustrating in knowing how to choose the right mobile storage container for you.

In this article, we look at the different considerations you need to have when it comes to choosing the right mobile storage container.

Southwest Mobile Storage Containers

What is a Mobile Storage Container?

What exactly is a mobile storage container? Mobile storage containers are 14-gauge steel with hard wood marine grade floors and cargo doors on one end, originally manufactured overseas for import/export use. They’re all 8’W x 20’L and 40’L.

Mobile storage containers allow you to keep any of your items in a convenient place, usually on your own property, but can be moved easily and quickly. Examples of this would be for moving purposes or renovations.

How to Choose the Right Mobile Storage container

Now that you know what a mobile storage container is, next you need to discover which ones are right for you. There can be many factors that go into this decision, such as:

  • Length of time
  • Size
  • Situation

Let’s look at each of these in-depth.

Length of time

The length of time you need your mobile storage container matters, not just in pricing but storage container size as well. Most mobile storage companies rent out their containers on a monthly basis.

Choose the Right Mobile Storage Container

This allows for you to pay for the time you need the mobile storage container for. For example, if you’re moving, you can rent a mobile container short or long-term, then we will move it to your new home or office location.

In this case, you may only need to rent a mobile container for a few days or a week at more. Most storage container companies will charge for a one month minimum on rentals, but don’t pro-rate for time the container has not been used.

Southwest Mobile Storage also charges for a one month minimum, however we do allow for pro-rates on our rentals.

Another example is if you’re doing a remodel or home renovation on your home. Depending on the time frame, you may need to rent a mobile storage container for a few months


Mobile storage containers come in different sizes, from smaller 8’x10’ units to 8’x40’ units. Depending on what you plan on storing, as well as how long you plan on using the mobile container, your size will greatly depend on your stuff.

For instance, for a home remodel, if you’re only going to be remodeling one room in the home, you may not need anything bigger than a 8’x10’ unit, however if you plan on doing more than one room, you may need a much bigger mobile storage container, such as a 8’x20’ unit or even a 8’x40’ unit.


So far, we’ve mentioned possible scenarios for homeowners or renters, but businesses can also benefit with mobile storage containers, also depending on the factors above.

Businesses will have a different set of factors, thought length of time and size should also be a consideration. The difference with businesses is that they have a lot more situations that might need a mobile storage container.

A great example would be for a mobile office set up. A mobile office allows for businesses to work out of an office from any location.

This works in the case of an office remodel or renovation. Instead of employees having to sit in or near construction, a mobile office can ensure they’re still productive while still being in an office environment.

Another example is projects done for construction. Mobile storage containers can be moved to whatever work site is needed, giving workers a place to store and secure all their tools and equipment.

Should I Rent or Buy?

After deciding how long you’ll need a mobile storage container for and the size you’ll need, the next question you might ask is whether you should rent or buy.

The situation and the length of time will determine whether you should rent or buy a portable container. Again, looking at the home remodel or renovation, it may be more advantageous to purchase a portable container that way you can continue storing items throughout your renovation project and thereafter.

And once you’ve worked on the front portion of your home, you can move the portable container to the back of the house to continue storing items from those rooms.

Businesses like restaurants and car dealerships benefit from purchasing mobile containers as they often have long-term needs, such as storing merchandise for repeated or future usage.

In this article, we looked at how to choose the right mobile storage container by looking at how long you may need the mobile storage container for, the size you might want, possible situations that would call for mobile storage container, and whether you should rent or buy a container.

If you’re ready to choose the right mobile storage container for you, give our award-winning storage experts a call today at 1.800.686.9114 to get started!