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Storage Unit Size: A Guide to Choosing the Right One for Your Needs

Don’t have enough space to store your belongings? Fret not; a storage unit can provide you with all the space you need to store your items safely.

When a particular circumstance in your life necessitates you to rent a storage unit, one crucial thing to consider is to choose the right unit size. Selecting a secure storage unit is usually easy, but deciding on the right storage unit size can be somewhat complicated.

Here are some useful tips to help you determine the right storage unit size for your needs.

1. Take an inventory

What are you going to store inside your unit? Your answer to this question will determine how much storage space you need.

Create a list of all your items for storage including appliances, furniture, and equipment. This is a crucial primary step in helping you determine the correct storage size. When creating an inventory, don’t forget to also consider the following:

  • Use a measuring tape and list down the dimensions (length, width, and height) of large items like appliances or furniture.
  • Make an estimate of how many boxes you’re going to store.
  • Take note of irregular-shaped items that you can’t put in boxes or stack such as bikes or lamps.

2. Use a size guide

Most storage companies will offer a “size guide” to help you gauge the correct unit size. If your chosen storage facility doesn’t have one, you may want to examine the unit personally to get a proper estimate.

The following are standard-sized units that most storage facilities offer:

  • 5×5 – can store several boxes, drawers, small mattress set, and other off-season clothing or items
  • 5×10 – can store small furniture, queen-sized mattress, TV set, and serve as perfect temporary storage when moving
  • 10×10 – can store bookshelves, coffee tables, dressers, sofa, and other large items
  • 10×15 – can store the contents of three full bedrooms and other large-sized furniture
  • 10×20 – can store cars and vehicles, and may function as business storage for equipment and supplies

Gauge the space by using a moving truck

If you’re renting a moving truck to transport your items, the vehicle’s dimensions can help you estimate how much storage space you will need. The truck size is usually one size larger than that of a storage unit. For instance, if you have a 25-foot moving truck, you’ll be able to fit your items into a 10×20 unit.

3. Understand the dimensions

Generally, storage units are sized by length and width to give you an estimate of floor space square footage. You can calculate your storage needs either by square footage or the number of rooms. However, keep in mind that units usually have a ceiling height of eight feet, so add a bit of leeway in your calculations.

Remember, you can stack several boxes and turn beds or couches sideways to maximize your storage space. By understanding the dimensions of your unit and your items for storage, you can pick the best size for your needs.

4. Go larger when in doubt

Most people underestimate their storage needs and pick out a unit that may be too small. Even if you think you only need a small-sized unit, try to inquire about the size of the next size. Often, the next larger size unit only costs a few bucks more.

For easy access to your belongings, go with a unit that’s one size larger so that you can create a path to reach your items.

Declutter before storage

Regardless of which unit size you choose, make sure to declutter first before storing anything. If you have too many items to declutter, book a cleaning service to help you sort through items. This will help you eliminate unnecessary items and only store those that are important to save on and maximize available space.

Keep in mind the four tips above to correctly determine the right storage unit size for your needs. These tips can help you narrow down your facility choices so that you don’t end up choosing more than what you need, and make sure to weigh your options wisely.


Chris Humphrey is the General Manager of Easytruck Moving & Storage. In 2013, the company combined their expertise in professional moving services and storage to create an entirely new approach to the business – and mobile storage was born! Easytruck now operates over 30,000 sq.ft. of air-conditioned facilities in three convenient locations in Dubai and is the only Mobile Storage operator in the UAE.