How to Select the Right Self Storage Unit for Your Needs

If you’re like many Americans, you probably have a lot of possessions but a shortage of space. Renting a self-storage unit is the perfect solution for safely storing your belongings and freeing up extra space in your home. Whether you just need a small locker to stash seasonal items, or a temporary place to store the contents of an entire home during a move, there are several storage unit sizes available to meet your needs.

Whether you're storing family heirlooms or everything from your apartment, find a storage unit sized perfectly for your needs.
Whether you’re storing family heirlooms or everything from your apartment, find a storage unit sized perfectly for your needs.

Determining the Storage Unit Size Perfect for You

At Imperial Self Storage, we offer four different unit sizes with rates ranging between $29 and $219 per month. The range of sizes allows you to pay for just the amount of space that you need. Determining which size unit to rent may seem tricky, but here are some helpful pointers:

  1. Make a List: Begin by making a list of the items you want to store, being sure to count the number of boxes and taking note of large pieces of furniture.
  2. Determine the Purpose: Are you storing items for a short period with the intention of emptying the whole unit later at one time? If so, you can pack the unit full. If you’ll be removing items frequently, then you’ll need enough space to walk around without having to pull items out.

With these two things in mind you can look at the storage sizes available to find the perfect fit.

Storage Unit Sizes

It can be difficult to envision how much will fit in a space based purely on square footage or volume numbers. Often, people are surprised at just how much will fit in even a small storage locker. Here are some guidelines on what the various self-storage units will typically hold:

Extra-Small Spaces

Storage lockers are anywhere from 5 to 10 cubic feet though exact configurations of these spaces vary. To give a visual, the approximate size of a top-loading freezer in a standard, single-door refrigerator is five cubic feet. A 10-cubic-foot locker would therefore be the size of about two top loading freezers, measuring 24 inches x 20 inches x 36 inches. Lockers are great for small items like hand tools, luggage, seasonal décor, a couple of document boxes, or out of season clothing.

A storage locker may be all the space you need to store some of your important documents.
A storage locker may be all the space you need to store some of your important documents.

Small – 5’ x 10’ Units

A 5’ x 10’ unit offers 50 square feet of space, which can accommodate the contents of a 1-bedroom apartment. One combination of items that would fit in this sized unit is a bed, a chest of drawers, two night stands and two chairs. Alternatively, this unit can hold a sofa, patio set, motorcycle, a couple of bikes and tools for gardening.

Medium – 8’ x 10’ Units

This medium-sized unit offers an area of 80 square feet, which is enough space to store the contents of a two-bedroom apartment, including beds with mattresses, sofas, chest of drawers, chairs, a dining room set, office supplies, and boxes.

Large – 10’ x 10’ Units

These spaces are the approximate size of your typical one-car garage and can accommodate the contents of an entire home. This unit can hold furniture from 2-3 bedrooms, sofas, a coffee table, washer/dryer, kitchen table and chairs, and some boxes.

Maximizing the Space in Your Unit

Once you’ve settled on a storage unit, pack it the right way to maximize your space and make it easy to navigate.

  1. Boxes: Try to use boxes or plastic containers that are heavy duty and of the same size. This makes stacking much easier.
  2. Aisles: Start by lining the back and side walls of the unit, then start filling in space in the middle of the unit making sure to leave aisles. This will make it easier to navigate the unit and reach items at the back if needed.
  3. Think Ahead: If you know you’ll need to access certain items, make sure these are placed at the front of the unit where they are more accessible.

Stacking: Place heavier boxes on the bottom with lighter boxes on top. Stacking lightweight boxes on top of furniture and standing mattresses and placing sofas on end are additional ways to conserve space.