Why New Yorkers Need More Storage Than Most

About 8 million people call New York City home, which is 48% of the entire population of the state of New York. Most people who live in NYC live in apartments, and that means storage is challenging. Here are four reasons why New Yorkers need more storage than most.

Learn more about unique self-storage issues in New York

The Size of NYC Dwellings

New York City is expensive to live in and the apartments don’t offer a lot of storage. The average apartment size is about 700 square feet (and $3,700 a month). Even the average size of a two-bedroom apartment is 550 square feet. 

Plus, a recent trend for single New Yorkers are micro-apartments, which can be as small as 150 square feet! Even the most dedicated minimalist will have trouble finding space for all their possessions. And if you’re a book lover, you’re going to run out of shelf space quickly. 

One easy solution is off-site storage where all the out-of-season patio cushions, holiday decorations, sports equipment, book collections and other items can be stored, leaving more room for the everyday essentials. 

Paying for self-storage on top of NYC living expenses may seem out of the question. But in the long run, it can actually save you money. For more, see: 5 Situations Where a Self-Storage Unit Can Save You Money

Four Seasons (and Lots of Clothes)

New York swelters in the summer, freezes in the winter and also has spring and fall. You need a variety of coats, jackets, sweaters, boots, shorts, sandals … and that stuff takes room. 

New Yorkers love their fashion, so that’s four seasons worth of clothes and that takes space -- especially if you are dealing with a micro-apartment with one closet. Keeping out-of-season clothes, coats, boots and evening wear in an off-site storage facility makes sense. 

And, most self-storage units offer climate-controlled options to keep personal items safe so you can consider it as an extended walk-in closet. 

The Artist Lifestyle

New York City is home to three of the most prominent fashion design schools in the world, and BuiltinNYC.com lists 189 fashion start-ups. As a center for fashion, arts and theatre, many artists get their start from their homes, but fabric, art supplies and inventory take a great deal of space. 

Take theatre, for example: With 40 Broadway theatres and considerably more off-Broadway and repertory theatres, stage managers often have more costumes and props than they have space, especially if they rent theatre space. 

With commercial properties averaging $30 to $70 a square foot, many startups rent self-storage units to hold supplies and inventory. Self-storage spaces are significantly less money, more convenient and possibly a business deduction. 


Life moves fast in NYC, and when life happens -- sometimes good, sometimes bad -- New Yorkers pull up their bootstraps and do what needs to be done. That said, many New Yorkers have experienced drastic and unexpected changes in the past year or so. 

For example, as the global pandemic hit, many employees began working remotely and many plan to continue. Many New Yorkers left, too. According to Reuters, 3.6 million people left NYC in 2020. 

Plus, there is always going to be a break up (whether it’s with a roommate or a love interest), and that means people need to figure out a new living situation. If you are moving because of a change in relationship, time is essential. (Renting a self-storage unit for a couple of months can make the transition easier!) 

And there is the loss of a loved one. Losing a loved one is a life transition that often leaves family or friends to deal with that person’s belongings. Bringing another apartment’s worth of stuff into an NYC apartment is impossible, so a self-storage unit offers a safe transition to make decisions without the pressure. 

At the end of the day, self-storage facilities offer many options to let New Yorkers be New Yorkers. If you’re a New Yorker in need of more space, check out all our NYC self-storage locations.