Where can you find small storage units NYC?

Pop quiz: When we say "self-storage," what's the first thing that comes to mind? We bet you immediately thought of a large, echoing unit with a teetering pile of boxes and furniture just waiting for you to play storage unit Jenga!

But did you know there are also small storage units available that provide an economical way to keep things like craft supplies, documents, photos or books safe and sound? Let’s take a look into small storage options and find out how to locate them in NYC.

New Yorkers have self-storage challenges that others may not, so it only makes sense to choose wisely. Like Goldilocks' chair, it cannot be too small or too large, but just right

Why Go Small?

Sometimes you just need some extra space for things you don’t use that often, but need to keep.

Do you like to entertain but have no room in your kitchen for serving platters and your grandmother’s china set? Do you like to preserve the bounty of local foods during summer and fall, but canning pots and bottles take a lot of space? Even the smallest storage unit can provide you with valuable extra space.

Do you have an impressive shoe, hat or accessories collection, or an amazing assortment of vintage typewriters? Do you have lots of warm blankets, seasonal throw pillows, wreaths and other bulky home decor? Do you have an extensive collection of ornamental owls that you rotate to suit the season?

All that stuff takes up valuable room, and as anyone who has ever rented an NYC micro-apartment knows, space is valuable. Small storage is your solution.

While we understand that cost is always important, there are a few other things to keep in mind when you are comparison-shopping for a small self-storage unit:

  • Location, location location:  How often will you be accessing your self-storage unit? If you don’t own a vehicle, because you live in NYC and who can find parking anyway, do you really want an hour-long subway/train/bus ride or white knuckle taxi/uber ride every time you need to access your self-storage unit?
  • Safety and security: Many self-storage facilities offer 24/7/365 access, so if you are there in the wee small hours of the morning, are you going to be safe? What safety measures are in place for you and your stuff?
  • If you are storing fragile items such as clothing, photos, books or paperwork, it will be worth the extra money to rent a climate-controlled unit so you won’t have to worry about what temperature fluctuations will do to your possessions. After all, Mother Nature likes to throw all four seasons at New Yorkers, sometimes in the span of 24 hours.

How Small Is “Small?”

Our Storage Post locations in and around the Big Apple have storage lockers as small as 3’ x 4’, and small storage units up to 5’ x 5’. (Of course, we also have much larger options available but it’s all about the small ones for the purposes of this article.)

A 3’ x 4’ unit might sound tiny, but it’s actually 12 square feet of storage space. Similarly, a 5’ x 5’ unit works out to 25 square feet.

Storage locker or storage unit: The main difference between a storage locker and a storage unit is size, and a locker usually has less ceiling height. Also, they are often stacked on top of each other, which allows the storage facility to fit more of them, but if you’re short of stature, you need to know whether you can reach your unit if it’s on the top row.

Let’s look closer at small storage sizes and what you can fit.

3’ x 4’ Storage Locker

A typical school locker is 1’ wide by 1’ deep, to give you some perspective. So a 3' x 4' storage locker is approximately three lockers wide and deep, but isn't quite as tall as a full-sized locker.

A small 3' x 4' storage locker can hold:

  • Suitcases.
  • Out-of-season clothes.
  • Boxes of photos, books or documents. (if you’re storing fragile articles, you should consider climate-controlled storage to protect them.)
  • A couple of medium or large storage bins. (Be sure to check the measurements beforehand, though.)
  • Boxes of canning jars, the turkey pan and fancy tableware.

4’ x 5’ Storage Unit

With 20 square feet of potential storage space, a 4’ x 5’ storage unit gives you the same amount of space as a small closet. That will fit:

  • Small pieces of furniture, such as night stands, side tables, a couple of chairs or table lamps.
  • A few boxes.
  • Kids bike, helmets, car seat or small wagon.
  • Garden tools, shovels or planters
  • A small bookcase (you can then use its shelves for even more storage).
  • Seasonal clothing or decorations.

If you are really good at organizing, you can fit a great deal of items in a 4’ x 5’ storage unit.

5’ x 5’ Storage Unit

With 25 square feet of total storage space, you will be working with the equivalent of a large closet if you rent a 5' x 5' storage unit. That will fit:

  • A twin or full-size mattress.
  • A small chest of drawers (with added bonus storage in the drawers!).
  • A large bookcase or coffee table.
  • Electronics and appliances such as a TV, microwave or window air conditioner.
  • Sports equipment like golf clubs or mountain bikes.
  • Boxes, clothes, and dishes.

Do you want to be bent over trying to get something out of the bottom, or conversely, stretching on tiptoes to stack boxes in the top? Our security feeds have captured some impressive storage- locker- versus- owner Jenga matches, and we have to say, most of the time, the pile of stuff in the locker wins.

To maximize your storage space, you want to be strategic about how you place your items in the unit.

How Much Do Small Self-Storage Units Cost?

Factors like location, availability, accessibility and climate-controlled options all play a part in how much small self-storage units in New York City cost.

According to Sparefoot.com, the average national cost of a 5’ x 5’ self-storage unit is around $55, and climate-controlled storage costs approximately 30–40% more.

Around the NYC area specifically, a 5’ x 5’ locker can cost between $19 and $55, depending on whether the location is in a high-demand area. Smaller lockers cost less, and offer all the amenities that a larger self-storage unit can offer, such as climate-controlled, 24/7/365 security, elevator access and an interior unit. Some small 4’x4’ lockers can cost as little as $9 a month.

These prices are an average and don’t include things like special promotions, discounts or other kinds of incentives. Prices are often cheaper in low-demand times of year (like mid-winter when no one wants to go outside).

On the other hand, the beginning and end of the college term are high-demand as people scramble to move in or out of college residences or housing. So if you’re trying to find a small storage locker in September, you could have a problem.

Tips for Maximizing Small Storage Spaces

To make the most of your small storage space, be sure to keep a few tips in mind.

  • Make a list of contents, and make sure you label the boxes clearly, and not just on the top. You want to be able to grab what you need quickly, and if you only label the top, there could be lots of moving boxes to find what you need.
  • Take advantage of the additional levels created by bookcases, desks or chests of drawers and place things on or inside them.
  • Ask if you can use shelves or hooks (always check before attaching anything to the walls of the unit).
  • If you live in a place with temperature fluctuations, consider a climate-controlled option, and use pallets or shelves to keep items off the floor.
  • Label everything clearly, including how heavy a box is. You don’t want to pull all the muscles in your back trying to lift a box of vinyl records that you were sure was filled with pillows.
  • Put your heaviest items on the bottom.
  • Consider how often you plan to access the unit, and for what items.
  • Remember to check around your unit for any signs of creepy crawlies. If you see any evidence of some, report it to the office immediately. Critters can move in and take over quickly, and not only will your possessions thank you for vigilance—so will your neighbors’.
  • There are also a few things that you shouldn’t keep in a self-storage unit. Here is some information about what never to store.

Even the smallest self-storage unit can give you the added space you need. With a little creativity and organization, you can free up space in your home and keep your belongings safe and secure.

Storage Post has professionals waiting to help you choose the right storage solution for you, and they've learned a thing or two about organizing them along the way. Stop into one of our convenient NYC locations today to find the perfect small self-storage unit for you.

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