Self Storage Unit Size Guide
Choosing the ideal storage unit size
Self storage is an increasingly popular service that comes in handy when you need extra room to keep various items away from your home. Whether you are looking to store your camping gear or golf clubs, boxes packed with miscellaneous items, some old furniture or a small boat, self storage can help.
There are several standard unit sizes to consider, including small units (5'x5') and large units (10'x10', 10'x15'). Small units are suitable for a few miscellaneous items and some boxes whereas larger units can hold the contents of a 2-bedroom home. There are also extra-large units such as the 20'x20', similar in size to two-car garages. They can generally fit the contents of multi-bedroom homes as well as different types of vehicles, from cars and trucks to ATVs and smaller RVs and boats.
To help you decide on the type of storage unit you need, we've created a guide to walk you through each unit size. Naturally, it depends on how many things you plan to store, if they are bulky or not, and also on your organizational skills. Keeping your storage unit organized is essential for maximizing space and for easily accessing your items whenever you need them.
Below, check out the most common storage unit sizes and how much can fit inside them!
One of the smallest unit sizes available, the 5'x5' unit might be able to fit your belongings if you are looking to store a few relatively compact items. This type of unit can accommodate a small desk, an office chair, seasonal items, hobby gear and a few boxes.
If you're a minimalist, this unit size is perfect for storing some household items that you're using only some times of the year, including seasonal clothing, popcorn makers and other less frequently used kitchenware, and holiday decorations.
When remodeling your apartment, you should consider going for a 5'x10' storage unit. It is the perfect size for storing small furniture items such as coffee tables, nightstands and lamps, plus a number of moving boxes.
The 5'x10' unit is also popular with college students looking for a place to store their dorm room stuff over the summer months.
If you need a medium-sized self storage unit, the 10'x10' type, also referred to as the standard unit size, might be ideal for you. It is as large as an average bathroom or a small bedroom.
A 10'x10' unit can be the best one for families looking for a place to keep extra furniture and appliances that are not used on a daily basis. Outdoor furniture, seasonal gear and bulky clothing are some of the items that are also frequently stored in this type of unit.
Larger units are great for storing belongings that would normally fill several rooms.
The 10'x15' storage unit is as large as a spacious bedroom and has a volume of about 1,200 cubic feet. It can accommodate the contents of a couple of rooms and can be ideal for families moving from an average-sized two-bedroom home.
When you need to store a lot of bulky items, a large-sized unit is called for. A 10'x20' unit can help by temporarily housing them. You can store couches, wardrobes, double beds, kitchen appliances and many boxes inside a 10'x20' unit.
This unit is ideal for families not only when they are moving but also when they are staying put, helping them keep their homes uncluttered. A car can also be kept in a unit of this size.
Renting a 10'x30' space is suitable for storing most kinds of vehicle, whether it is a vintage car, a campervan, a pickup truck or even a small boat.
This unit size is also ideal for families that are moving, remodeling their houses, or leaving the country long-term. Additionally, businesses can also use this space to store tools, bulky equipment and merchandise.
Quick Overview of Storage Unit Sizes
Selecting the correct size of a storage unit is essential for making the most of the space you’re renting away from home to hold your belongings. The size you choose also has a big influence on the price you’ll be paying for your storage unit, making it even more important to choose the right unit for your needs.
We've summarized the key things you need to consider before booking a storage unit in the infographic below.
Frequently asked questions
How do I know what size storage unit to rent?
To help you find out what storage unit size you need, you should start by making an inventory of the items you wish to store. You might have boxes or larger belongings such as couches, beds and much more besides. Measure the items, and based on the calculations pick a storage unit that can accommodate them. For a few boxes, a 5'x5' unit would probably be sufficient, but for bulky items, anything upwards of a 10'x10' unit would probably be needed.
What is the most popular storage unit size?
Also called a standard unit, the 10'x10' unit is the most rented self storage unit. It can fit a few large appliances and pieces of furniture, such as desks, couches and dining room sets, plus some boxes.
What is the smallest storage unit you can get?
A 5'x5' unit is typically the smallest unit you can rent, but there are also 'locker' size units, which are even smaller. These range between 9-25 square feet and are great for storing smaller items such as seasonal decorations and winter clothing.
What should I keep in storage?
There are a lot of items you can put in storage, including furniture, appliances, gardening equipment, holiday decorations, clothing, books, antiques and physical media.
What shouldn't you put in a storage unit?
As a general rule, items such as food, hazardous materials, cash or currency, plants and live animals should not be put in a storage unit. Make sure to check with the self storage facility you are renting from for a full list of items you cannot store with them.
What should be stored in a climate-controlled unit?
While some items are not prone to damage while in storage, others are more sensitive. Rent a climate-controlled unit to protect sensitive items such as leather furniture, wooden musical instruments, paper-based products, collectibles, and other important things that could deteriorate if they are not in an environment with the right temperature and humidity levels.
What is the best way to pack a storage unit?
Start by placing larger items such as furniture at the back of the unit. Stack boxes against the walls, leaving a pathway in the middle of the unit so you can easily access everything. Make sure to put heavier boxes on the bottom and lighter ones on top. Remember to label your boxes so you can easily find what you are looking for on your next visit to the storage unit.
Can renting a storage unit affect my credit score?
There are some credit-reporting self storage companies that make monthly reports on the status of your bill, similarly to a credit card company. If you are up to date with your payments, your credit status may improve. However, if you are behind on your storage rent, your credit score might be negatively impacted.
Can you run a business from a storage unit?
In general, you are not allowed to run a business from a storage unit. However, you can use your unit as part of your business by keeping merchandise and other business-related items there. You should always check with your facility manager about whether using a storage unit for business purposes is allowed.
Can you live in a storage unit?
Living in a storage unit is not permitted. They are not designed for human living as they lack basic amenities such as water supply and appropriate heating and ventilation.
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All data related to self storage was compiled by RentCafe, an apartment and self storage search portal featuring apartments and self storage units all across the U.S.
The self storage statistics were sourced from our sister company, Yardi Matrix, the industry's most comprehensive market intelligence tool for investment professionals, equity investors, lenders and property managers who underwrite and manage investments in the multifamily, student housing, self storage, office and industrial sectors. Yardi Matrix maintains operational profiles for over 30,000 self storage facilities across the U.S.