Choose the right size storage unit for best storage experience.

How to Pick the Right Size Storage Unit

So you have decided to rent a storage unit. Maybe you’re moving house or relocating your business or maybe you just want to remodel or declutter your current home. Either way, you need more space. But how much space exactly? How do you decide on the right size storage unit? After all, they’re not as easy to try on like a pair of pants. Especially if you’re renting storage for the first time, you will definitely need a bit of help with choosing the right space. So we’re bringing you a useful guide on how to pick the right size storage unit that suits your needs.

Does size really matter?

Yes, size really does matter. At least when it comes to choosing a storage unit. Storage units vary in size greatly, from something that resembles a walk-in closet to places that can store boats. You may be tempted to just go with the largest size available. Except you’re not always going to need that much space. And in the world of storage, bigger means more expensive. You can, of course, find cheap storage Brooklyn in all sizes. But you will certainly save money by not renting above your needs.

Step one: take inventory

The first step to knowing the right size storage unit for your needs is knowing what you’ll be putting in it. So take stock of what you want to store. And this doesn’t just mean jotting down all the items you’re putting away and calling it a day. You want to know at least approximate if not exact dimensions and size of the items. Whip out the measuring tape for furniture and large appliances, count your stackable boxes and don’t forget to note any irregularly shaped items that can’t be stacked as they may take up extra space with their awkward shapes.

Assorted measuring tapes.
Measure the items you’re storing to gauge how much space you need.

Common storage concerns

An inventory doesn’t just help you gauge how much space you need. It also gives you an idea of what to look for in a storage unit. Not all things can be stored the same way. Knowing exactly what you’re storing is therefore useful in choosing the right type of storage unit too.

Security

Are you planning on storing valuables? Extra security might be a concern when looking at storage facilities.

Wood and other sensitive materials

If you want to keep your wood furniture safe and sound or plan on storing other sensitive materials like old paper, plants, and even some types of appliances, climate-controlled is probably the way to go.

The environment: going green

If you want to minimize your impact on the environment, you will want to keep your storage unit eco-friendly. So choose a facility in line with your values or one that will let you implement the necessary changes!

Step two: decide on the layout

Knowing what you’re putting in storage is only part of the answer to what the right size storage unit for you is. The other thing you need to plan for is how you intend to use your storage unit. If you only need to put stuff away for a while, intending to come back a while later and get it all out at once, then you can probably get away with the minimum required space for your possessions. If, on the other hand, you want to have your storage organized for easy access, you will need some extra space to move around in.

Storage with extra space for moving around.
Do you need extra space for easier access?

Step three: understand dimensions and what they’re for

You can certainly maximize your storage space with some neat tips and tricks. But let’s be honest for a second – you can’t cram an elephant into a teacup. So before you go on a hunt for the right size storage unit, familiarize yourself with the different dimensions available, how much fits into them and what they’re commonly used for.

Storage size breakdown

Storage units are typically sized by length and width. This gives you an estimated square footage size of the floor. But don’t forget – the height of the ceiling in a typical storage unit is 8 feet. That is quite tall and more than enough to rest beds and sofas sideways. So even a smaller space can go a long (or rather, tall) way.

5’x5′

How big is that really? About the size of a large closet.

What does it fit? A dresser, small mattress, and a couple of boxes. Or you may want to use it for sports equipment, off-season clothing, holiday decorations and the like. It’s the perfect size for that little extra space to keep things you don’t use regularly, but you are highly unlikely to make use of it when moving or remodeling.

5’x10′

How big is that really? Approximately as big as a walk-in closet.

What does it fit? Pretty much the same things as a college dorm or a one-bedroom apartment. This would be the right size storage unit for when you’re remodeling a room, downsizing or moving from and to a small place.

10’x10′

How big is that really? About half a standard garage or a little smaller than a bedroom.

What does it fit? Furniture from two bedrooms or a single living room. This is another size useful for remodeling and sometimes for moving, but mostly for extra space.

10’x15′

How big is that really? Just under the size of a single-car garage.

What does it fit? It fits approximately the items of three bedrooms, but you might want to use it for bulky items like musical instruments or large appliances.

10’x20′

How big is that really? As big as a one-car garage.

What does it fit? The logical answer is a car. If you’re storing a classic vehicle, this one’s for you. But with good packing and use of space, you can also easily fit a whole three- or four-bedroom house or apartment and use it while moving or remodeling.

10’x30′

How big is that really? Very big. Think a one-and-a-half-car garage.

What does it fit? Just about anything you can think of including a boat. What you are more likely to store in it though is a five-bedroom house with all of its furniture, appliance and even outdoor equipment. Whether you are moving, remodeling or storing a vehicle, this size of a storage unit can fit you.

Useful tips and tricks for picking the right size storage unit

Still unsure about the right size storage unit for your needs? Here are a few more things you can do to help you decide.

See it before committing

It will help you avoid self storage problems in Brooklyn to know exactly what the unit is like and where it’s located. If you have trouble visualizing the size based on measurements, seeing the space in person should help. You will also be better prepared for what to expect in terms of accessibility, security and climate conditions.

Use a moving truck for an estimate

If you’re using a moving truck, its size can help you estimate the right size storage unit as well. The space in a 25-foot moving truck is about the equivalent of a 10’x20′ storage unit. If you’ve managed to fit your stuff in a 20-foot truck, on the other hand, a 10’x15′ unit should be enough for you as well. And when a 15-foot truck is enough so is the space of a 10’x10′ storage unit.

Trucks parked next to each other.
Truck sizes correspond to certain storage unit sizes.

Bigger is better

Although a bigger unit means more money, you should go a size up when in doubt. It’s better to have some extra space than cram your storage too tight. If you do end up with a bigger unit than you strictly speaking need, you can use the extra space for ease of access or come back to store more items in the future.

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