Guide to Choosing the Right Size Storage Unit

Elderly couple carrying storage boxes

Figuring out what size storage unit you need is difficult, especially if it is your first time renting one. Too little space can leave you with nowhere to put your belongings, while too much will cost you extra money.

In this blog, we’ll discuss some tips for assessing how much storage you’ll need and a few other things to keep in mind when storing your stuff.

Assessing Your Storage Needs

  1. Use a calculator. If you need a place to start, try a storage calculator. These apps use the average size for common items like boxes, TVs and furniture to give you a rough estimate of what size storage unit you may need.
  2. Make a list. List all the items you plan to store, including furniture, appliances and boxes. Be sure to include any irregular or awkwardly shaped items that will not be packed in boxes, like lamps, bikes, and art. Not only does this help you visualize how much you’re storing, but it will also provide you with a list of what you’re storing. Your future self will thank you!
  3. Measure large items. Choosing a storage unit can be a bit like ordering a meal. Sometimes, our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. What looks like it will fit and what actually fits are two different things. To prevent overstuffing your unit, measure your largest items like furniture and appliances and write them on your list. Don’t forget to include height!
  4. Do a practice run. If your storage needs are relatively small, like a dorm room, consider doing a practice stacking at home. Find a clear space and tape out a box on the floor. Storage units are typically measured in 5-foot increments but get exact dimensions if possible. Try a few different configurations to see if everything fits or if you need to size up. Remember to be strategic with placement. If there are items you will need to access often, these need to be easy to get to.
  5. Look up. People tend to overlook vertical space when thinking about what size storage unit they need, but utilizing vertical storage is critical to maximizing your space. The average storage unit is 8-10 feet tall, while storage lockers are around 4. Try storing wide items on their side to create more space or storing loose light items on top of stacks to give you more floor room.

Other storage considerations

Space isn’t the only thing to consider when choosing what size storage unit you need. Think about how you will be utilizing the space.

What are you storing?

Items like bikes, sporting equipment and large furniture aren’t easy to stack and will take up more floor space. If you’re storing collectibles, antiques, or other fragile items, you don’t want to damage them by cramming them into too tight a space.

How long are you storing your items?

If you’re doing short-term storage, you probably won’t need to access your items often and can opt for a smaller unit to pack more densely. For long-term or ongoing storage needs, a unit with a bit more room makes adding or taking away items easier without having to unpack the whole unit.

How often will you need to access items?

Suppose you’re using a unit to store access inventory for your business or keep your personal belongings during a renovation. In that case, chances are you’ll be coming to your unit often. A bigger unit can make it easier to organize and find items quickly.

Will you need more space in the future?

If you’ll be adding stuff to your unit in the near future, it’s better to select a unit size with that amount in mind instead of what you’re starting with. Paying for one slightly bigger unit is cheaper than adding a second because you ran out of space.

If you’re still unsure what size unit you need, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Our friendly staff at Storage Post can make recommendations based on the items you need to store and what you need the storage for.