Selecting the Ideal Storage Unit Size: A Comprehensive Guide

Published on 2/14/2024


Choosing the right size storage unit is critical for protecting your belongings and your wallet. Underestimating your storage needs can result in crammed spaces, damaged items, and costly upgrades. Conversely, overestimating can lead to mostly empty units that bleed your bank account dry with needless square footage. By using this comprehensive guide and its accompanying tools, you can confidently select a storage unit size tailored to your needs for convenience and significant cost savings.

This article will cover essential steps like taking detailed inventories, using storage space calculators, researching exact unit dimensions, and employing creative approaches to conceptualize sizes. With the right information in hand, you can optimize your rental for efficiency. Let's begin!

Inventory and Measurement

Carefully cataloging the items destined for storage is the critical first step. Break them into categories like furniture, boxes, appliances, and vehicles. For furniture, measure length, width, and height and take notes. This allows you to calculate total cubic footage occupied.

For boxes, you can estimate quantities by room. For example, determine roughly how many small, medium, and large boxes each room's contents will require. Consolidate all measurements and box estimates on a master list. Tip: Photographing room contents can also help jog your memory later.

Before committing to an external rental, double check closets, attics, basements, and garages for existing storage potential. If space allows, utilize these areas first before expanding your footprint. Evaluate which items can withstand temperature fluctuations if selecting cheaper, non-climate controlled spaces.

Storage Unit Size Estimation

Online tools can simplify the guesswork when choosing a unit size. By inputting your inventory information, they recommend ideal dimensions and unit types. Some even offer visual packing simulations. While estimates provide a sensible starting point, traditional approaches still prove worthwhile.

For instance, you can map out prospective unit sizes in open areas at home using tape. Place boxes inside to gauge fit. This hands-on method often gives the best sense of required space. Visiting facilities to view options firsthand provides similar clarity. Along with validating online data, you can inquire about specialty items directly with staff.

Use these best practice rules of thumb as references:

  • Studio apartments usually need 5x10 or 5x15 units
  • 1-bedroom apartments need 5x15 or 10x10 units
  • 2-bedroom apartments need 10x10 or 10x15 units
  • 2-bedroom houses need 10x20 units
  • 3-bedroom houses need 10x25 units
  • 4+ bedroom houses need 10x30+ units
  • Cars need 10x20 units
  • Motorcycles need 5x10 units

Note that larger units provide flexibility if you decide to store vehicles or anticipate needing additional capacity later. Climate-controlled units also offer enhanced protection for valued items.

Storage Unit Size Descriptions

Understanding dimensions proves vital for optimal selection. Here are common sizes and sample contents:

5x5: 25 sq. ft. Walk-in closet sized. Fits mattresses, small furniture, boxes.

5x10: 50 sq. ft. Large closet. 1-bedroom apartment contents. Queen/king mattresses.

5x15: 75 sq. ft. Master closet. 1-bedroom apartment contents plus vehicles and appliances/furniture.

10x10: 100 sq. ft. Bedroom sized. 2-bedroom apartment contents. Major appliances.

10x15: 150 sq. ft. Master bedroom. 2-3 bedroom apartment contents. More vehicles and inventory.

10x20: 200 sq. ft. 1-car garage. 3+ bedroom house contents. More cars, boats, inventory.

10x30: 300 sq. ft. 2-car garage. Entire house and garage contents. Larger vehicles and inventory.

Carefully compare your total cubic feet occupied to these units' capacities. Select the next size up if borderline.

Additional Considerations

Strategically organize units to enable easy access while optimizing space. Place frequently accessed items near the door. Categorize like items together, using shelves and bins to stay tidy.

Err toward larger units if still uncertain after using this guide's tools. The minor upcharge buys needed wiggle room should situations change. For the best value, choose the minimum size that safely accommodates current needs.

Research exact facility dimensions before signing agreements. Storage companies configure units uniquely. If one location's 10x10 unit falls short of expectations, another provider may offer a layout better suiting your belongings.

Download printable checklists and size comparison charts from facility websites. These simplify decision making. Connect with customer service to receive additional assistance. Their expertise proves invaluable for personalized recommendations and pro tips tailored to your locale and storage requirements.


This comprehensive guide equips you to confidently assess and select storage unit sizes for optimal convenience and affordability. By gathering detailed inventories, leveraging estimation tools, conceptualizing space hands-on, and researching options thoroughly, you can secure the perfect rental for your needs. Remember, assistance stands at the ready should any questions arise during your search. Here's to finding storage tailored to your needs!