Before you call the storage facility to reserve a self-storage unit, figure out how to choose the right self-storage unit. Luckily, most storage facilities will have a variety of different units for you to rent. Self-storage units vary by size and amenities like outdoor or indoor storage and climate-controlled units. Choosing the best storage unit will depend on what you need to store. Renting a storage unit that is too small can cause damage to your belongings if things are too tightly packed. On the other hand, paying for more room than you need is just throwing away money!
Here are some of the things you need to consider so you can rent the perfect storage unit for your needs:
Take an inventory of what you’re storing, and estimate your needs by square footage or a number of rooms you’ll be storing. The storage facility can offer moving tips on sizes of their units, but keep in mind they want you to rent the biggest (and most expensive) unit possible.
Size of the Unit
Units are typically sized by length times width, to give you an approximate floor space square footage. Of course, if you pack well and are able to stack things appropriately, you can fit a lot more in a smaller space. Check out this handy Box Guide for help with packing needs.
Here are some typical storage unit sizes– along with some tips on what they can hold:
- 5 X 5 will hold a small mattress and box springs, a dresser, boxes, and smaller items. Many people use this size for Christmas decorations or gardening equipment.
- 5 X 10 will hold furniture from a single bedroom, like a queen-sized bed, dressers, television and storage boxes.
- 10 X 10 is enough to store things from two bedrooms or a family room.
- 10 X 15 will store the contents of three bedrooms or other big items like couches, pianos, tables and chairs and big-screen televisions.
- 10 X 20 will hold the contents of a four to five bedroom home, including kitchen appliances, large boxes, and your washer/dryer.
- 10 X 30 is big enough for a five to seven bedroom house, including a large entertainment center, appliances, couches, and outdoor equipment.
If you plan on removing some possessions before you empty your storage unit, it is critical that you leave enough room to move around in your unit and to move your belongings to get to others.
Certainly, the price is a big consideration for most people. If you are storing things that do not hold sentimental value for you, or would not be expensive to replace, perhaps you can use the least expensive unit that is large enough. If you have delicate or very expensive items, like high-quality furniture or electronics you may want to spend the extra money on a good climate-control unit to avoid extreme temperatures that can damage your belongings.
Another important point about your storage unit is access. Some facilities have 24- hour access to outdoor units, but indoor units can only be accessed during business hours. If convenience is important, be sure you rent a unit you can access as needed.
Once you figure out exactly what you need to store, how much space you need and what special amenities you need, like climate-control and 24-hour access your next step will be to compare self-storage prices and get your belongings properly stored.