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How Much Storage Space Do You Need?

Mar 27, 2008
When you move out, downsize your home or go traveling for awhile, you almost always need to find a storage unit to keep some or all of your things in until you figure things out or settle down. The question is how much space do you need? How can you figure out exactly how big of a storage unit you need without having to move all your stuff in and then find out that it's either way too big or way to small, both of which are a problem?

If you get a unit that is too small, you either have to upgrade your unit and move all your things into the new one, or get rid of things until you have enough space. If your unit is too large, you are paying extra for space that you don't even need and chances are, you could really use that money for whatever reason you are storing your stuff for. There are some fairly basic sizes that you can rent units as and most places will tell you approximately how much you can fit into a unit. The normal sized units are as follows.

- 5' x 5' self storage unit - 25 square feet.

This unit is like a small walk in closet. It' a good space to keep an overflow of things such as seasonal items (winter or summer clothing, pool toys, sleds and toboggans), toys, boxes and miscellaneous household and office items.

- 5' x 10' self storage unit - 50 square feet

This size unit is more like a large walk in closet. You can hold a couple of larger items such as a couch, dresser and/or mattress set as well as boxes and other small items. You can always keep bikes, yard equipment and other off-season items like lawn mowers and patio furniture.

- 5' x 15' self storage unit - 75 square feet

A unit this size would hold the entire contents of a studio or a small one bedroom apartment. It is enough space for one or two peoples things but only if both people are light on belongings.

- 10' x 10' self storage unit - 100 square feet

This storage space is the size of a standard one car garage. It can hold the entire contents of a two bedroom apartment and easily can hold the belongings of two people or you could always use it as a garage and store a vehicle or small boat in it instead. If you plan on doing this, make sure that you get a unit that opens to the outdoors rather than into a hallway.

- 10' x 15' self storage unit - 150 square feet

This storage space is larger than a one car garage and can hold the entire contents of a three bedroom apartment or home as well as things like motorcycles and exercise equipment.

- 10' x 20' self storage unit - 200 square feet

This unit is almost the size of a two car garage. You could use it to accommodate a car, truck, boat or RV as well as some furniture and boxes. This storage space will easily hold a large three bedroom home or apartment or larger and still have some space left over. It is the best unit for families of four or more.

You can either use this as a guideline, or talk to your self storage provider to see what they suggest as the appropriate sized unit. Either way, it is better than trying to guess and do it through trial and error.
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