Portland, OR: Top Things to Know About Storage

Krista Diamond |

The Inside Scoop

We don’t expect you to know everything about storage; that’s what we’re here for. If you’re new at this, it’s perfectly normal to have no idea where you should look or what you should even look for. There are 255 storage facilities in Portland and you can search more than half of them through StorageFront to compare prices and features. That means that there are about 140,250 individual units available for rent. There are about 600,000 people living in Portland, but not every single one of them needs storage. Some people rent as a couple, as a family or as roommates and some people don’t rent at all. The most important thing that influences an individual when it comes to choosing a storage facility is location. People tend not to rent more than a few miles from where they live. But as a local, you know even better than we do that while the cost of living in Portland is a breath of fresh air when compared to San Francisco and New York City, it’s on the rise. We recommend opening yourself up to the possibility of renting storage a little outside of your comfort zone (as in five or ten miles away from your apartment instead of one or two) if you want to save money. Here’s another newbie tip: Storage unit leases are typically month-to-month and are much more flexible than that lease on your apartment. In fact, the most common use of storage is as a short term fix in between moves, so even if the cost of your storage unit takes away from your hipster donut fund (We recommend Blue Star Donuts over the vastly overrated Voodoo Doughnut, by the way.), you can consider it a very temporary financial constraint. So how much space do you need anyway? And how much should you pay for it? If you’re a Portlander with roommates and a cluttered common area, you probably only need an extra closet. A 5x5 unit should cover it. Nationally, they rent for around $50 a month. In Portland, depending on how centrally located you need your storage unit to be, you can expect to tack on about an extra $20 to that. Split the unit with one of your roommates to keep the cost low. If you’ve got a whole house’s worth of furniture but the cost of urban living has forced you into a smaller home than you’d like, you’ll probably want at least a 10x10 sized unit. A good price on this size in Portland is anything under $200 a month.

A True Portlander Goes Out in Anything

You might think that Portland’s Pacific Northwest status and proximity to Seattle make for rain, rain and nothing but rain. The good news is you’re wrong. Summers in Portland are actually very dry and hot and the city only sees about 36 inches of rain a year. The bad news? Those 36 inches of rain occur over a period of 155 days. Living in Portland you’re going to see a lot of overcast skies and a lot of drizzle but not much downpour. As a local, you’ll get used to it and you’ll start hiking in it, biking in it and even ditching your umbrella. We don’t want you to apply this same logic to your storage unit. If you’re storing books, artwork, a musical instrument or a highly beloved bike, avoid renting a non-climate controlled outdoor unit. Rainwater can seep under the door and moisture from the air can do irreparable damage to your belongings. Instead, choose an indoor unit and/or a unit that offers climate control, especially if you’re someone who like to toss things into storage and forget about them for a while.

A Wine Snob Needs Wine Storage

Forget about that oaky Chardonnay your friends from California are always raving about. You know that a true wine enthusiast is well versed in the grapes of Oregon. If you’re roadtripping along the coast of the Pacific Northwest and picking up nice bottles from local vineyards, wine storage can offer you an excellent solution for preserving your collection. Many cities have storage facilities that offer wine storage, but Portland has a storage facility that actually specializes in this. For lovers of vino, Rose City Self Storage and Wine Vaults is a lifesaver. They offer wine storage solutions in various sizes so that your collection has room to grow. For only $22 a month, you can storage 16 cases. For $92, you can store 112 cases. They offer extended hours, so that you can access your wine pretty much whenever you need to (perfect for the crazy schedule of a restaurant or bar owner). They also offer wine shipping supplies and can accept shipments on your behalf, so if you’re in the wine business, you don’t have to spend all of your time running to and from your storage unit. And hey, if you prefer hops over grapes, don’t forget that Portland has more microbreweries than anywhere in the world. Read our advice on storing booze if you’re in the industry, or even if you’re just a connoisseur of liquor.