Renting a storage unit is the ideal solution for those who want to declutter their houses or keep their belongings somewhere else during a move. However, choosing the right size of the storage unit can get confusing and difficult. Think of it this way. Imagine that you are Cinderella and there is the right size of shoe waiting to be fitted onto your foot. Similarly, you have to know that there is one right size of the storage unit for each one of you.

You shouldn’t rent out units that are too big or too small for you. Rent out a larger unit, and you will end up paying for unused space. Rent out a smaller unit, and you will struggle to fit your belongings into it. Then how do you determine the size of the storage unit required by you? Don’t fret over it, the process is fairly straightforward! Let us walk you through the process of choosing the right size of the storage unit for you.


How to Choose the Right Size of Storage Unit

We understand it is difficult to visualize the amount of space that will be occupied by your objects. However, there are a few things that you must do when you are trying to decide on the size of the storage unit you need to rent out.

1. Creating an Inventory:

The first step would be to make a note of all the belongings that are going to be put into the storage unit. This could include anything ranging from furniture to electronics and other household items. Try to examine which items can be put into a box and which items are oddly shaped and just have to be wrapped before storing. Try to estimate the number of boxes you might need (and their dimensions) and also try to measure the dimensions of the larger items which also might have an irregular shape (things like bikes).

A measuring tape will help you get an accurate idea about the dimensions of the various items owned by you. A useful tip would be to stack up and pack all your belongings together tightly in one corner of the house. Then with a measuring tape, note down the dimensions of the packed stuff. This will give you a fair idea about how big your storage space should be.

2. Size Guides to the Rescue:

Each and every storage facility will have a size guide ready for its customers so as to help them with their doubts about the storage unit sizes. There are generally some sizes of units commonly offered by most of the facilities, however, it is better to find out about the specific sizes offered by the company that you are planning to hire.

You will be able to find plenty of storage unit size guides online. You can even try to search for something called a ‘storage unit diagram’ on Google. That way, you will get information about the size of the storage unit you need based on the number of objects that have to be put into storage. Websites like Youtube will help you get a visual representation of the different sizes of storage units.

3. Using Moving Trucks for Reference:

You will probably use a moving truck or a pick-up van to move your belongings from your house to the storage space. The size of the truck you need will definitely help you to get a rough idea about the size of the storage unit you should rent. The thumb rule is to rent a unit that is one size smaller than the size of the truck you are using.

4. Bigger the Better:

The most common mistake committed by most people is that they rent a smaller storage unit and then struggle to fit everything inside of it. When you enquire about the prices of the storage unit, you will realize that the price difference between the size you want and the next larger size isn’t much. Renting out a unit that is one size larger than what you originally planned to rent will help you to pack your stuff easily into the storage space. An added benefit would be to have some extra space to maintain aisles between your stuff for easy retrieval of items when you need them.

5. Visiting Storage Facilities:

When you visit the storage facility, you can personally check out the storage unit that you are about to rent. Being inside the storage unit will give you a better idea about whether your stuff would fit into it. You can also take a measuring tape and measure the necessary dimensions of the unit in order to make sure that your stuff would fit into it.

See also: 5 Best Self-Storage Companies

6. Understanding the Dimensions of the Unit

The facility will generally give you the length and breadth of the unit when you ask for the dimensions of a storage unit. From this, you can calculate the floor space in terms of square footage. This will give you a rough idea of how many items can be placed on the floor. However, you must remember to ask about the height of the unit. You can always stack your stuff up to the ceiling. Calculating the cubic footage of the room can help you to decide on the size of the unit accurately.

See also: Storage Unit Size Calculator


Different Sizes of Storage Units

Choosing the right size of storage unit ensures that you get your money’s worth. Selecting the right size is absolutely important. You obviously do not want to rent a unit and realize that you underestimated the size. You might have to then rent a second unit for your stuff. Then there’s also the matter of not overestimating the size you need, because why would anyone want to pay for space that they don’t use?Depending on what you want to store, there are several different sizes of storage units available for you. Let us walk through the different sizes of units and what they might be used for.

1. 5’ x 5’ Storage Unit

This is the smallest size and gives you around 25 sq. ft. of space to store your stuff. A storage unit of this size resembles a tiny walk-in closet. It can help you to store some of the smaller items that are cluttering your house and are not used throughout the year. This storage unit works out the best for small pieces of furniture like a dresser, a small mattress, seasonal belongings like holiday decorations, clothes/shoes, umbrellas, ski gears, etc.

If you are a college student, this unit can definitely be used to store belongings from a small dorm room. If you want to store certain items for a small business, this unit is the best choice for you. This unit costs the least and gives you enough space to store the excessive stuff from your house.

2. 5’ x 10’ Storage Unit

This storage unit gives you about 50 sq. ft. of space to store your belongings. It is like a medium-sized walk-in closet that can be used to store a few pieces of furniture of larger sizes. This unit can accommodate a sofa, a queen size mattress, some chairs, a TV, a bicycle along with many storage boxes. You can also use it to store some home-office supplies and a cabinet full of documents and records.

3. 7.5’ x 10’ Storage Unit

This unit is big enough to accommodate all the belongings from a big studio apartment or a small one-bedroom home. This unit has 75 sq. ft. of floor space which can be used to store larger pieces of furniture that don’t fit into your house. It could also be used to keep other items like home appliances, electronics, bikes, toys, several chests of drawers, cabinets for alcohol, and some large-sized paintings that don’t fit on the walls of your house.

4. 10’ x 10’ Storage Unit

This storage unit is the most popular choice amongst customers who want to rent out storage spaces. It gives you 100 sq. ft. of space and is half as big as a one-car garage. It accommodates all the stuff from a large one-bedroom home. Things like a couple of mattress sets, nightstands, dressing tables, sofas, chairs, book shelves, table, home appliances, and more than a dozen of storage boxes can be fit into this storage unit.

5. 10’ x 15’ Storage Unit

This storage unit is perfect for someone who lives in a two-bedroom home. It is the best choice for you if you own bigger items that won’t fit into the previous storage unit. In this case, you can also fit bigger pieces of furniture along with a couple of couches, TVs with big screens, big tables, pianos, a couple of mattresses, chairs, and dresser drawers. If you are looking to rent out this unit for business purposes, it can accommodate up to 3 office spaces along with some equipment that is used in the offices.

6. 10’ x 20’ Storage Unit

If you are a family living in a 3 to 4 bedroom house, this storage unit is ideal for you. It gives you 200 sq. ft. of space where you can store a lot of stuff. These units are mostly used by families who are about to redecorate and remodel their houses. It can accommodate king and queen-sized mattresses, several couches, home appliances, huge recreational vehicles like dirt bikes and jet skis, large dining tables, and workout equipment. You can even keep your cars in here when you don’t want to use them.

7. 10’ x 30’ Storage Unit

This unit can be put to best use by large families with kids who stay in houses that have 4 to 5 bedrooms. If you are someone moving from a bigger home to a smaller one, this unit will hold all your excess stuff so that you don’t have to keep it in your house. This unit is very big because of which you can store absolutely anything you want in it, be it boats, cars or big furniture pieces.
It particularly comes in handy when you have to house several mattresses, large household appliances, entertainment centers, couches, big tables, several chairs, cabinets, outdoor equipment like gardening supplies and vehicles including cars, boats, canoes, motorcycles, etc. Want a space for commercial purposes? You sure can count on this unit. Big stores and businesses can use it for the permanent or temporary storage of their business inventory, goods, documents, office supplies, etc.


Useful Tips to Organize your Storage Unit

Before you begin packing your stuff into the storage unit, you need to visualize how you are going to store your items inside it. This means that you need to know what is going to be stored in order to avoid chaos and confusion. You must know that storage units have high ceilings (generally 8-10 ft.). This means that you can stack up your things instead of scattering them around the unit. Go through the following tips as they will help you to organize your unit in a systematic manner.

1. Creating maps:

Before you begin putting your items inside the unit, draft out a map on a piece of paper. In this, you can assign each item to a specific place in the unit. This map will help you to plan your packing process. Later on, when you come back to the unit to retrieve an item, this map can help you to locate the item quickly. At the end of the day, you do not want to pull out stuff from a neatly packed unit and create a mess while you can’t find the belonging you are looking for.

Note: Make sure that you maintain some space or aisles between the rows of objects. In this way, you will be able to go across the unit and have access to the items packed in the innermost part of the unit.

2. Marking the Boxes:

You will most probably store the smaller belongings like books, clothes, utensils, toys, etc., in storage boxes. Make sure that each and every box has a specific label so that you know what exactly is contained by each of the boxes. Segregate your stuff into different categories. For instance, if you own a lot of books, you could maybe categorize them according to their genre and store them in different boxes.

3. Priority-based Packing:

This means that you need to figure out which objects would be needed by you frequently and which objects won’t be taken out from storage at all. For example, you might need your documents and files if you need to submit them somewhere. Similarly, you might need to take out the kids’ bikes and seasonal wear frequently.

Make sure that these kinds of items are stored towards the front of the unit so that you can easily access them and don’t have to unpack other stuff to get these items out. However, if you feel that you won’t need a particular piece of furniture or some appliances any time soon, these items can be tucked safely in the back of the unit behind the items that you need frequently.

4. Filling up Space:

Using the minimum amount of space to store a maximum number of items is the mantra to successfully pack a storage unit. Don’t forget that you can stack your items up to the ceiling and pack them tightly. Place the heaviest boxes to form the bottom layer and place the lightest or the oddly-shaped objects towards the top. You can turn sofas, couches, and tubs to their side to ensure that they do not occupy much space. After all, you don’t necessarily have to place these items the way you keep them in your houses.

Also Read: What Can (and Can’t) I Store in a Storage Unit

5. Using Shelves and Racks:

Some units have some inbuilt shelves and racks to store weirdly shaped or fragile objects that can’t be put into storage boxes. If your unit does not have shelves, consider investing in metal or plastic shelves that may stand upright. You can also drill them into the walls. These racks and shelves will be very useful to store items like alcohol bottles, collectibles, or wrapped art pieces.


Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How much does a 10’ x 10’ Storage Unit Cost?

A 10’ x 10’ storage unit is the most popular storage unit and thus always in high demand. The average cost of renting out a 10’ x 10’ storage unit is about $98 per month for both climate-controlled and non-climate-controlled storage facilities.

See also: Average Cost of Renting a Storage Unit

2. How tall is a Storage Unit?

Most of the storage facilities have storage units with a height of 8 feet. This is the standard height of a storage unit, however; you will find certain facilities that will have larger storage units with a height of 10 feet or more.

See also: Renting a Storage Unit: Everything That You Need to Know

3. What if I choose the Wrong Size of Storage Unit?

You will be surprised to hear about the number of customers that end up choosing the wrong size of the storage unit. If you rent out a unit that is too small or too large for your stuff, you can simply talk to the manager of the facility and get this matter resolved. He/she will assist you while you search for the right size of the storage unit for yourself.

However, do not forget that any changes in the storage unit will also lead to changes in the rental agreement. You will not get a larger unit for the same amount of money you have paid for the unit you have currently rented out. Similarly, you will be able to save your money if you choose to rent out a unit that is smaller than the unit you have currently rented out.