Moving Blog
March 10, 2017

Vanline Storage vs. Self Storage When Moving

With everything else you’ve got to consider regarding your household move, there’s one thing you may not have thought about: storage. But that could be a big issue. Many people find it desirable, if not necessary, to de-clutter their homes before a move. Others need to move out of their old homes before their new homes are ready for occupancy. And still others have all sorts of reasons for not being able to take delivery of their possessions at their new residences right away. What then do they do with their stuff? They find someplace to store it.

Most moving companies – A-1 Freeman is certainly one of them – offer their customers a variety of short-term and long-term storage options. The industry term for this is “vanline” storage. Its cost depends on the company and the options you choose, of course.

But many people choose to find their own storage solutions, apart from those of their moving company. It’s wise to compare what vanline storage gives you versus what you get with self storage. The chart below should help you do that.




  • The van line takes complete control of your move from A to Z.
  • You have the convenience of one-stop shopping for all your moving and storage needs.
  • You deal with only one point of contact.
  • You have peace of mind knowing everything is being handled for you professionally by one company.


  • The burden of finding a moving company, plus a separate mini-storage solution, plus a company to move your stuff out of storage falls squarely on your shoulders and your shoulders alone.
  • You must hand your possessions over to personnel from multiple companies – a different company with different people at each stage of the transit-storage-delivery out process.
  • “Delivery out” is included in the van line’s storage fee.


  • You must find a local mover to move your possessions out of mini storage or do it yourself.
  • All your items remain furniture pad-wrapped and protected while they’re in vanline storage.


  • When a driver delivers your possessions to the independent storage unit you’ve chosen, he must remove all furniture pads because they belong to him or his company; you can’t keep them. You’ll have to find something else to drape over your stuff if you want it protectively covered in storage.
  • Your possessions are kept safe, secure, and bug free inside the vanline’s commercial warehouse.


  • While they can be safe and secure, many mini-storage units are too easily accessible to the public at large and subject to break-ins.
  • Bugs and critters often have a field day in these units.
  • The valuation on your possessions remains in effect – because the van line can continue full coverage on them during transit, storage, and final delivery out.


  • Once your possessions are delivered to independent mini storage, the van line has zero liability for their condition while stored or once they come out of storage. 
  • Vanline storage has one potential disadvantage: While your possessions are in storage, you have very limited access to them. They can be retrieved, but that involves vanline labor and will cost you extra.


  • Mini storage, on the other hand, gives you complete control of your possessions and access to them at any time.
  • All vanline warehouses are tractor-trailer friendly and can accommodate a moving van.


  • Many mini-storage units can’t accommodate a tractor-trailer. That means the driver must offload your possessions onto a smaller truck to get them into storage. Result? Your possessions have to be handled one more time than would otherwise be necessary – which increases the potential for damage and may add to your costs.

Weighing the pros and cons of vanline storage versus self storage, one has to give the advantage to vanline storage. Your circumstances, though, may lead you to a different conclusion. But the choice is yours. And it’s well worth considering early on in your move planning. Need some help deciding? Talk with us at A-1 Freeman. We think you’ll like the storage options we have for you.


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The Mickelson Family
The Mickelson Family
Best. Move. Ever!
Very pleased with the overall respect and care the men gave to my possessions. Even mailing me very quickly the only thing lost in transit. Would recommend to anyone needing a long distant move.

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