What Size Self Storage Unit Do I Need?

Searching for a self storage unit doesn’t have to be as difficult as Prince Charming searching his kingdom for the owner of the glass slipper. You’re not looking for Cinderella – you’re looking for self storage. You don’t have to visit every self storage facility in the land to find the perfect fit. 

Whether you’re looking to store your small business inventory or the contents of a typical bedroom, knowing what size you need will save you time and money. You don’t want to have your unit half packed before you realize it’s too small, and you don’t want to spend extra money on a unit that’s too large. 

How Do I Choose the Right Size Self Storage Unit?

Here are some guidelines that will help you determine the storage space that you need. 

Take inventory of the Items Your Storing

Consider the number of boxes, measure appliances and large items, and take into account any large or irregularly-shaped items like bicycles or exercise equipment.

Use Size Guides and Visit the Unit Prior to Reserving

Most self storage websites include a storage unit size guide and many have an interactive space calculator. An in-person visit to the unit that you’re reserving is good idea. A visual representation of the space will help you better plan for your needs.

It’s Better to Overestimate than Underestimate

Even using all of the resources at your disposal won’t determine the exact size unit for your belongings. Of course you don’t want to spend extra money; but, if you’re uncertain, it’s better to spend a few extra dollars for enough room. It’s always a beneficial to have enough space for a path between your boxes and large items.

Think About Storage Unit Dimensions

Self storage units are typically sized as length by width, making it easy to estimate your floor space by square footage: for example, a 5 x 10 unit is 50 sq. ft. Self storage units typically have a height of eight feet, giving you extra vertical space. You can easily stack boxes and containers and position furniture and appliances to save space. 

Look for Packing and Organizing Tips

After you locate the right unit, be sure to get it packed and organized properly to make the best use of your space. Check our Packing and Storage Tips for more information.

How Much Storage Space Do I Need

Below are unit sizes and typical contents. This should give you a rough idea of what you need. This is the type of information you’ll see on a typical size guide.

5 x 5 (25 sq. ft.): The size of a walk-in closet. Ideal for boxes, books, seasonal items (garden tools and pool toys), clothing,  office supplies, and twin size mattresses.

5 x 10 (50 sq. ft.): This is a good size to store a mid-size bedroom, office, or an entire studio apartment.

10 x 10 (100 sq. ft.): An entire living room and two full bedrooms are a good fit for this space. 

10 x 15 (150 sq. ft.): A three-bedroom house will fit in this size unit. It’s ideal for large  screen tvs, sporting equipment, bikes, pianos, and tables.

10 x 20 (200 sq. ft.): This space is ideal for a five-bedroom house, including large appliances. This unit is also big enough for cars, boats, and other vehicles. 

10 x 30 (300 sq. ft.): This unit has enough space to store a five- to seven-bedroom home or a large vehicle or small boat with room to spare. If you’re making a cross-country move, this size will enable you to store the contents of your large home while getting settled.

Vehicle Parking:  Most facilities offer indoor, covered, and open parking spaces for cars, boats, and RVs. You can find information on the vehicle storage page of most self storage websites.

Whatever your storage needs, the information in this article can guide you in the right direction to easily find the right size unit at your local facility. If you’re still uncertain, speak to the manager at your local self storage business.The friendly, knowledgeable employees are always happy to answer your questions and help you to find the right fit.

Choose the Right Self Storage Facility

The school year is off to its usual confusing start. Fall is a few weeks away, and family gatherings, overnight guests, celebrations, and holiday decorating are closer than you think. Look around your home. Do you have enough space for these events? Is the guest room overflowing with stuff that you have no place for, is the kitchen in need of an update, and are the main rooms crowded with too much furniture? Did you ever think about renting a storage facility as a solution to all of these problems? 

The demand for self storage is high, and storage providers are working hard to meet this demand. Renting a facility is as easy as making a phone call or locating a website and clicking a “Reserve” button. There are so many great facilities available that you might need a system to help narrow down the competition. 

The following tips and suggestions will help you organize your ideas, prioritize your needs, and find storage that is the best fit for you.

Find the Perfect Self Storage Solution

Understand Your Needs

Think about what you’re storing and how long you plan to store these items. 

  1. Make an inventory of all the items you plan to store. 
  2. Identify the items that you might need to access while they are in storage. 
  3. Measure and estimate the collective packing size of the items you plan to store.
  4. Account for extra space to provide ventilation and ease of access.

Arrange your belongings for easy access. When storing items for short periods of time, it’s fine to pack everything close together. If you’re storing for a longer time, provide extra space for ventilation and for an aisle so that you can access belongings that you may need regularly. 

Decide Whether You Need a Climate-Controlled Unit

Climate-controlled spaces keep the temperature and humidity within a specific range. Whether or not you need a climate-controlled unit depends on the climate in which you’re storing your items. For example, dry climates can cause wood to crack and split, and humid climates can cause mold and mildew. Make your choice based on the value of your belongings and the cost of the unit. Climate-controlled units can be more expensive but worth the cost over time.

Think About Location

How many times will you need to visit your storage facility? If you’re going to need regular access, a convenient location is important. Be aware that a facility located in the heart of the city will be more expensive than one outside of town. If you don’t need quick access to your items, a facility farther from the city will be less costly.

Consider Size Options

Self-storage units are available in a wide range of sizes and configurations. Naturally, larger units cost more per month, so it’s a smart to have an overall idea of how much space you’ll need. You don’t want to pay for extra, unused space unless you’re planning to store more items over time. Another factor to consider is the design of the space. Some units are narrow but have a lot of vertical space; others are wider with lower ceilings. In some cases, one layout may be preferable.

Storage Facility Cost Can Vary Considerably

Because many storage facilities are independently owned, business owners have the option of setting their own prices. It’s always smart to shop around because you may be able to find a better deal by making a few phone calls. Storage companies frequently offer promotions. If your preferred facility isn’t offering any deals, it pays to ask. You can also mention a competitor’s promotion; the facility of your choice may be willing to match the deal.

Verify Security

Cost should not be your only consideration. You need a reputable company with state-of-the-art security, a variety of customer amenities, and a range of unit sizes that will be a good fit for your needs. Look for video surveillance, perimeter fencing, security locks, and electronic access. You’ll also want a knowledgeable management team that is willing to provide you with answers to your questions, a tour of the property, and a professional level of customer service.

Check Insurance

If you have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, call your agent to verify that your stored belongings are covered under your present policy. You may find that your facility must provide specific security features in order for your items to be covered. If your policy does not cover stored items, you should be able to purchase insurance from your preferred storage company.

Whatever you do, choose carefully. It’s worth the time and effort to find the facility that is your best option. Once you’ve moved your belongings into a unit, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll want to take the time and trouble to switch facilities.