How to estimate the storage unit size you need

When deciding to rent storage, you need to estimate the storage unit size you need. The price difference between a small and a medium storage unit can add up to even 800$ per year. This is exactly the reason why you need to make a rough estimate of the size of the storage unit you need. It doesn’t matter if you’re interested in short-term or long-term storage, you should still pay attention to these details. Here at Master Moving Guide, we’ve created a list of things you can do to choose the perfect storage unit. Let’s get into it!

What are the sizes of various storage units?

First off, let’s clarify that there are various sizes of storage units. You will determine later which size you need, but we wanted to go over them first. Many storage or moving companies offer various sizes, but there are three standard sizes. You can choose between a small, medium, and large unit. For more specific storage options, you can always ask the storage service you’re renting from. There are dozens of in-between sizes to choose from! Small units are up to 50 square feet in size, medium units are up to 150, and large units can even fit 300 square feet of belongings.

A climate-controlled storage unit
There are many unit sizes on the market

Now, let’s go over the sizes once again:

  • Small – Small storage units usually hold from 25 to 50 square feet of items. The dimensions are 5 x 5 to 5 x 10 feet, so you will need to plan accordingly. These units can fit around 1 room of items, or maybe a room and a half.
  • Medium – Medium storage units hold from 75 to 150 square feet of items. Their dimensions are from 5 x 15 to 10 x 15, and in these units, you can fit up to 3 whole rooms! We’ll get into it later, but you will need to measure everything and create a detailed plan.
  • Large – Now, when it comes to large storage units, their size goes from 200 to 300 square feet. The dimensions are from 10 x 20 to 10 x 30. In these storage units, you can fit up to 5 rooms at once. That can even be your whole home, so keep that in mind. These are truly huge.

Also, most of the storage units are around 8 feet tall. This means that everything you may have can fit! So, don’t stress too much, and let’s get into how you can estimate the storage unit size you need!

Storage units
You can always find even the perfect in-between storage unit size if you ask around!

1. Create an inventory of your items

First off, you need to see just how much stuff you have. Look at all of the items you plan to place in a storage unit and write them down. This list doesn’t need to be extensive, just enough so that you know how to calculate later. Count all the boxes you have and all of the items that don’t fit into boxes. This includes beds, couches, tables, chairs, bookshelves, wardrobes, etc. Just be sure to write down everything you need so you can look at it later.

And, even though cheap storage sounds appealing, often the cheaper storage units can be of worse quality. We’d urge you to always go and see the storage unit in person. This way you’ll see if it’s damaged, if it’s what you’re looking for and you can see its size in real life. Also, not all cheap storage needs to be bad, you just have to be persistent and visit many places until you find the one.

For example, if you’re storing a guest bedroom, your list could look like this:

  • 3 small boxes
  • 2 large boxes
  • 1 bed
  • 3 paintings
  • 1 lamp
  • 1 wardrobe

2. Check if there is any way to fit some of the items into your home storage

After you’ve created your inventory list, it’s time to check if you still have some storage room in your home. You could save some money on renting a storage unit if you can fit a few bigger items into your garage, for example. We’ve already mentioned how big the price difference can get, so it’s worth double-checking. Also, you can look at some storage tips online, and maybe they will help you out immensely.

Our suggestion is that you try and store as many items in your home as possible. You might be able to rent a small storage unit and fit the rest while also sparing your wallet. There is no need to waste the money, instead treat yourself more often!

A car parked in front of two garages
An unused garage will provide perfect storage space.

3. Time to calculate!

This step is the most complicated and time-consuming one. You will need to measure all of your belonging, both boxes and everything that goes into storage without a box. We’d recommend that you stick to square feet when calculating. Multiply the width and length of your items and you will get a good rough estimate. If you want to truly pin it down, we advise you to place your items all next to each other and on top of each other. Then you can multiply the height and width of all of your items at once and arrive at the perfect size for a storage unit.

Either measure each item individually, or all of them together in a pile. You can also even measure the height and do the calculations on paper of whether a certain item fits on top of the other. You really can’t go wrong with your approach! For some extra help, you can always consult your moving and storage companies or a good furniture measuring guide.

4. Think of specific measurements

The final step to estimate the storage unit size you need is to consult with the company you have chosen. Maybe they offer even smaller units if your items are smaller. Maybe they offer the perfect size between a small and a large. You can save money by finding the perfect-sized unit instead of having a lot of leftover space. Good luck and remember to be thorough!

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