“How much storage space do I need?” It’s a question we get asked a lot. Unfortunately, the answer is usually not one-size-fits-all. Many factors go into choosing the right size unit for your items, such as your budget, the kinds of items you want to store, and the way you plan to store them. Do you want to stack your boxes and take up every last inch of space, or would you prefer some extra room to move around and access your belongings?
You don’t want a storage unit that is too big or too small. As Goldilocks would say, you want the one that is “just right.” To help you navigate the world of storage unit sizes, we’ve provided a handy guide with tips below so you’ll have an easier time narrowing down your options.
Tip #1: Do Inventory
Before you ask yourself, “What size storage do I need?” determine what you want to store. Make a list of all the items you plan to move to a storage unit, no matter how big or small.
Once you have a running list, see if you can consulate all your belongings into one area like your basement or spare bedroom. This way, you can begin to visually estimate just how much space your items will take up.
Can you squeeze all your things into the corner of your closet, or are your belongings overflowing from your two-car garage? Do you have a few big items like couches and dressers, or 50 small- to medium-sized things? Are you going to store them in boxes or loosely pack them away? Doing inventory this way will give you a better feel for what you’re working with.
Tip #2: Grab the Measuring Tape
Sure, you can eyeball it, but why take your chances? If you use a measuring tape to measure your items, you’ll feel much more confident when it comes to making your storage unit decision.
Jot down the measurements next to each item on your list. While you might think your dining room table is only a few feet wide, it’ll be a shame if you arrive and can’t fit it through the storage unit door. This step may seem annoying at the time, but it’s a small task that might save you a lot of time and effort in the long run.
Tip #3: Decide How Often You Need to Access Your Unit
You now have a rough estimate of the space your belongings take up, but you’re probably still wondering how much storage space do I need? You can’t really answer that until you know why you need a storage unit and how often you’ll need to access it. Understanding storage unit organization and how that can impact your packing strategy can help you make the most of your space.
For example, if you plan on using the storage space to temporarily store your furniture and belongings during a home renovation, then you’ll likely want to pack the unit to the brim. After all, you probably won’t need to go back to the storage unit until you’re ready to bring your items home, so you don’t have to worry about being able to easily access certain items that may be tucked in the back or under a bunch of boxes.
However, if you’re looking for a storage unit for recreational equipment that you use every weekend, you’ll want your gear easily accessible. You don’t want to crawl over boxes stacked to the ceiling every time you want to grab your mountain bike or snowboard. In this case, you may actually need a bigger unit even if you don’t use every square inch.
Tip #4: Get to Know Storage Unit Sizes
Another tip in our guide to figuring out how large of a storage unit you need involves familiarizing yourself with some of the storage unit sizes available. Below we’ve listed out some of the standard sizes you’ll run into during your research:
- 5’ x 5’ units: They may be the smallest units many facilities offer, but they sure are popular. This unit is roughly the size of a small closet, making it a good option for storing several moving boxes or compact furniture.
- 5’ x 10’ units: These units are around the size of a walk-in closet. They’re a great option for students looking to store their items over the summer or during a semester, as they feature around the same amount of space as half a dorm room.
- 10’ x 10’ units: Picture the size of a small bedroom. This storage space can accommodate slightly larger items, such as a bed, dining room table, sofa, or several rooms’ worth of boxes.
- 10’ x 15’ units: Offering 150 square feet of space, this unit is the size of a spacious bedroom. The unit offers enough space for items like larger furniture, several rooms’ worth of belongings, a piano, or even jet skis and motorcycles.
- 10’ x 20’ units: When it comes to this unit, imagine the size of a large master bedroom. With 200 square feet of space, this unit gives you the freedom to store several rooms’ worth of items. Some people will even store their car (depending on the size and model) in this unit.
- 10’ x 30’ units: If you need a lot of space, this is your go-to option. About the size of a two-car garage, you’ll have no trouble finding room for your large items in this space.
Tip #5: Take Advantage of Storage Space Calculators
If you’re still having trouble mentally visually how big of a storage unit you need, spend some time experimenting with storage unit size guides online. Many of these storage space calculators let you identify the specific kinds of items (and how many of them) you want to store. Based on your needs, they provide sample storage unit sizes that may accommodate your needs. These online features also offer an easy way to get a feel for what storage sizes are available.
Tip #6: Turn to the Professionals for Guidance
Another option is to turn to a storage facility with on-site employees. At a storage facility like Stor-It, we have trained experts on staff to help you estimate the best unit for your needs. They are eager to answer your questions and provide ways to maximize your storage space and suggestions for properly packing your unit. You can even schedule an appointment to tour different units before making your final decision!
Tip #7: Explore Other Options
Once you’ve landed on the right unit for your belongings, you may find yourself in need of other kinds of storage. Where are you going to keep your boat? What about your RV? You’ll come across many storage facilities that feature vehicle storage space, too. At certain Stor-It locations, we offer indoor RV storage, outdoor covered RV storage, and outdoor uncovered RV storage to accommodate all your preferences.
Learn More About Storage Options with Stor-It!
Don’t make finding the right storage unit more difficult than it should be. Let us help! As Idaho’s largest and oldest storage facility, we know storage units inside and out. At Stor-It, we provide all the best storage and packing tips, and we can even help you narrow down what to keep and what to toss. To top it off, we also offer all the packing supplies you may need, from boxes to bubble wrap, both online and at our self-storage facilities. Turn to Stor-It to find the perfect-sized storage unit today.