Are You Overpaying? How to Get the Right Storage Unit Size for the Right Price

Choosing the right size storage unit is essential to avoid overpaying for a space that’s too large or too small. In this article, our team will guide you through finding the perfect storage unit size for your needs. By understanding your storage needs, assessing your items, and maximizing the space, you can save money and ensure your belongings are stored safely and efficiently. Whether you are downsizing, decluttering, or need extra space, finding the proper storage unit size can save you both time and money in the long run.

The importance of choosing the right storage unit size

Choosing the right storage unit size is crucial for several reasons. First, it helps you avoid overpaying for unused space. Renting a unit that is too large means wasting money on space you don’t need. Conversely, a unit that’s too small may require you to rent an additional unit or cram your belongings into a tight space, risking damage.

Additionally, selecting the appropriate storage unit size ensures your belongings are properly stored. A unit that’s too small may force you to stack items haphazardly, making it difficult to access them later and increasing the risk of damage. A well-organized storage unit saves time and protects your belongings from potential harm.

Factors to consider when selecting a storage unit size

Before searching for a storage unit, consider a few key factors to determine the right size for your needs. Understanding these factors will help you make an informed decision and avoid unnecessary expenses.

Understanding Your Storage Needs

The first step in choosing the right storage unit size is understanding your needs. Are you downsizing your home and need to store furniture and appliances? Are you a business owner needing extra space for inventory? By identifying your specific storage needs, you can narrow down the size options and find a unit that suits your requirements.

Assessing the Items You Need to Store

Take an inventory of the items you plan to store. Categorize them into groups based on size, fragility, and frequency of use. Large furniture pieces, such as sofas and beds, will require more space compared to smaller items like boxes of books. Fragile items may need additional protection, which could impact the space necessary. By assessing your items, you can get a clearer picture of the storage unit size that will accommodate them comfortably.

Estimating the Storage Space Required

Once you have a comprehensive list of the items you need to store, estimate the required storage space. Most storage unit facilities provide size guidelines to help you determine the suitable unit. Consider the unit’s dimensions, including height, width, and depth. Visualize how your items will fit within the space and ensure enough room for proper organization and easy access. By accurately estimating the storage space required, you can avoid the unnecessary expense of renting a larger unit.

What Size Storage Unit Do I Need?

Finding the right storage unit size can be tricky, but with proper planning, you can fit more items than you might expect. Efficient packing from bottom to top, utilizing the entire floor area and stacking belongings up to 8 feet high, maximizes space. Here are some helpful tips to determine the ideal storage unit size for your needs:

What Do I Plan to Store?

Start by listing all the items you need to store. Measure larger items like furniture, count your boxes, and consider items that need to fit neatly or stack easily, such as floor lamps or lawn tools. This list will help you clearly understand the space you need.

How Much Access Will I Need?

Consider how frequently you’ll need to access your stored items. If you’re using storage for a move and won’t need to retrieve items until you’re settled, you can maximize the unit’s capacity. However, if you need periodic access, organize a pathway within the storage area to avoid unloading numerous items to reach specific belongings. For occasional access, plan your storage by keeping frequently needed items at the front.

How Much Driveway or Outdoor Space Do I Have?

If using a portable storage container, assess the available space for its placement. For instance, a service like PODS requires an area measuring 12 feet wide, 15 feet high, and 40 feet long. If your driveway is smaller, the container can be parked on the street, but ensure the designated spot is flat, level, and free of obstructions for a smooth setup.

What if I’m Not Sure What Storage Unit Size I Need?

If you’re unsure about the required storage space, consider the cost of the next size up. Often, the price difference between sizes is minimal compared to the peace of mind it provides. Alternatively, use portable containers, especially if you might need more space than the largest available unit. Many container companies offer flexible delivery arrangements, billing you only for the space used. For example, with PODS, you can book multiple containers and schedule their deliveries in stages, canceling any unused containers without charge.

What Is the Ideal Size for a Storage Room?

The ideal size depends on your needs. If you’re storing items like musical instruments that you’ll frequently access, choose a space that allows comfortable movement. For storing furniture and items during a move or transition, use a storage unit size guide to find the right fit. Ensure enough room to organize and protect your belongings.

What Size Do You Need? Comparing Containers, Storage Units, and Rental Trucks

Estimating the appropriate size of a portable container, storage unit, or rental truck often depends on the square footage of your home. It’s essential to consider all areas where items will be packed, including the garage, attic, basement, and patio. Remember that these estimations are general guidelines; the capacity may vary based on furniture size, furnishings density, delicate items, and your packing and loading approach.

Estimation Chart for Storage Needs

Home Size / Square FeetPODS ContainerSelf-Storage UnitRental Truck or Van
Small Studio Apt (Less than 400 SF)8′ or 12′5′ x 10′Cargo Van or 10′ Truck
Studio/1 BR Apt (600 SF)8′ or 12′5′ x 10′ or 10′ x 10′10′, 15′, or 16′
1 to 2 BR Apt (800 SF)16′10′ x 15′15′ or 16′
2 BR Apt/Home (1,000 SF)Single 16′ or 16′ + 8′10′ x 15′ or 10′ x 20′15′ or 16′
2-3 BR Apt/Home (1,200 SF)Single 16′ or 16′ + 8′10′ x 15′ or 10′ x 20′15′, 16′, or 18′
3 BR Apt/Home (1,600 SF)16′ + 8′ or two 16′10′ x 20′ or 10′ x 25′20′, 22′, or 26′
4 BR Home (2,000 SF)Two 16′10′ x 30′26′ (May require multiple trips)
4-5 BR Home (2,500 SF)Two 16′ + 8′ or three 16′10′ x 30′ (May require more)Multiple trips or other options
5-6 BR Home (3,000 SF)Three 16′10′ x 30′ plusMultiple trips or other options
More than 3,000 SFOne 16′ per 1,000 SF10′ x 30′ plusMultiple trips or other options

This chart assists in determining the approximate size of the storage unit, container, or truck you might require based on your home’s square footage. Remember, these estimates are versatile and subject to variation based on furniture size, the density of your furnishings, the fragility of items, and your packing methodology.

Is a 10′ x 10′ Storage Unit Enough Space?

A 10′ x 10′ storage unit is typically sufficient when moving from a compact studio to a small one-bedroom apartment. This size unit can comfortably accommodate essential furniture items such as a bed, sofa, dining table, and chairs, along with several boxes of personal belongings and small appliances. The space allows for organized storage, making it easier to access your items as needed. It’s also a practical choice for those needing temporary storage during a move, providing enough room without being overly large.

Tips for maximizing storage unit space

Once you’ve determined the appropriate storage unit size, here are some effective strategies to make the most of the available space:

Utilize Vertical Space

Maximizing vertical space is crucial for efficient storage. Here’s how:

  1. Shelving Units: Invest in sturdy shelving units that can hold heavy boxes and items. Adjustable shelves are ideal as they can be customized to fit various item sizes.
  2. Stacking Boxes: Use uniform, stackable boxes. Place heavier boxes at the bottom and lighter ones on top to maintain stability.
  3. Hanging Solutions: Install hooks or pegboards on the walls to hang items like tools, bags, or even bicycles. This keeps the floor clear and makes use of otherwise wasted vertical space.

Optimize Storage Containers

Choosing the right storage containers can make a significant difference:

  1. Uniform Containers: Opt for containers that are the same size and shape. This makes stacking easier and more stable, maximizing the available space.
  2. Clear Bins: Use clear bins to easily see what’s inside without having to open them. This saves time and helps maintain organization.
  3. Heavy-duty Containers: Invest in durable, heavy-duty containers that can withstand being stacked and moved around without collapsing.

Label and Categorize

Efficient labeling and categorizing can save you a lot of time and hassle:

  1. Label Each Box: Clearly label each box with a description of its contents. Use large, easy-to-read labels and place them on multiple sides of the box for visibility.
  2. Color-coding: Implement a color-coding system for different categories of items (e.g., red for kitchen items, blue for books). This adds an extra layer of organization.
  3. Detailed Inventory: Keep a detailed inventory list of all items stored, either in a notebook or digitally. Note down the box number and its contents, so you can quickly locate specific items.

Disassemble Large Items

Disassembling large items can save a considerable amount of space:

  1. Furniture: Take apart furniture items like beds, tables, and shelves. Store the components together and label them to make reassembly easier.
  2. Appliances: Remove detachable parts from appliances (e.g., shelves from refrigerators) and store them inside the appliance to save space.
  3. Protect Parts: Use bubble wrap or moving blankets to protect disassembled parts from damage during storage.

Use Furniture for Storage

Maximize every bit of space, including within furniture items:

  1. Wardrobes and Dressers: Store smaller items like clothes, linens, or books inside wardrobes and dresser drawers.
  2. Hollow Furniture: Utilize hollow spaces in furniture, such as under beds or inside ottomans, to store additional items.
  3. Stacking Inside: Place boxes or containers inside furniture pieces for added organization and space utilization.

Pack Strategically

Strategic packing ensures stability and easy access:

  1. Heavier Items First: Place heavier, less frequently accessed items at the bottom and towards the back of the unit. This provides a stable base and keeps frequently used items accessible.
  2. Lighter Items on Top: Stack lighter items on top of heavier ones to prevent crushing and make them easier to retrieve.
  3. Accessibility: Create a clear path in the storage unit to access items at the back without having to move everything around.

Create a Map

A simple map of your storage unit can be incredibly helpful:

  1. Layout Map: Draw a basic layout map of your storage unit, marking where different categories of items are stored. This visual guide can save time and effort when you need to find something specific.
  2. Digital Version: Consider creating a digital version of your map that you can access on your phone or computer. This makes it easy to update and reference anytime.
  3. Store the Map: Keep a copy of the map in a visible place, such as taped to the inside of the storage unit door, for quick reference when you visit the unit.

By implementing these detailed tips, you can maximize the space in your storage unit, ensuring all your belongings are stored safely, efficiently, and easily accessible.

How do you pack and load to maximize storage space?

Maximizing storage space when packing and loading requires strategic planning and efficient organization. Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide to help you make the most of your storage space:

1. Declutter and Organize

Declutter First: Before packing, go through your belongings and declutter. Donate, sell, or discard items you no longer need or use. This reduces the volume of items to pack and makes the process more manageable.

Categorize Items: Group similar items together. Categorize by type (e.g., kitchenware, clothing, books) to simplify packing and ensure better organization.

2. Gather Packing Supplies

Collect Essentials: Gather sturdy boxes in various sizes, packing tape, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, markers, and labels. High-quality supplies ensure better protection and organization.

Vacuum-Sealed Bags: Use vacuum-sealed bags for clothing, bedding, and other soft items. These bags compress items, saving significant space.

3. Choose the Right Boxes

Size Matters: Use boxes of different sizes to fit various items. Pack heavy items in smaller boxes to make them easier to carry. Use larger boxes for lighter, bulkier items.

Specialty Boxes: Wardrobe boxes are ideal for clothes, allowing you to hang garments to avoid wrinkles. Dish boxes with dividers are perfect for fragile kitchenware.

4. Pack Methodically

Heavy Items First: Start by packing heavier and larger items first, placing them at the bottom of the boxes. This creates a stable base and prevents lighter items from getting crushed.

Fill Gaps: Fill any gaps with smaller items or packing materials like packing peanuts or bubble wrap. This prevents items from shifting during transport.

5. Label Boxes Clearly

Detailed Labels: Mark boxes with their contents and the room they belong to. Use large, clear labels and place them on multiple sides of each box for visibility.

Color Coding: Implement a color-coding system for each room (e.g., blue for the kitchen, red for the bedroom) to simplify the unloading process.

6. Utilize Space-Saving Techniques

Disassemble Furniture: If possible, disassemble furniture to save space. Remove table legs, detach bed frames, and store parts together. Wrap and label them for easy reassembly.

Nesting Items: Nest smaller items inside larger ones, such as placing smaller pots inside larger ones, to utilize space efficiently.

7. Use Vertical Space

Stack Strategically: When loading boxes into a moving truck or storage unit, stack them from floor to ceiling. Place heavier boxes at the bottom and lighter ones on top to maintain stability.

Shelving Units: If possible, use shelving units inside the storage unit to create vertical storage spaces. This maximizes the use of height and keeps items organized.

8. Fill Hollow Items

Utilize Empty Spaces: Fill drawers, cabinets, and larger items like wardrobes or suitcases with smaller belongings. This maximizes space and keeps items protected.

Creative Packing: Use the insides of shoes, hats, and other hollow items to store smaller belongings, making every inch count.

9. Protect Fragile Items

Individual Wrapping: Wrap fragile items individually in bubble wrap or packing paper. Ensure that each item is well-protected to prevent damage.

Padding: Use towels, blankets, or clothing as padding between fragile items. This adds an extra layer of protection without needing additional packing materials.

10. Create Aisle Space

Accessible Layout: Leave walkways or aisles in the truck or storage unit to access items easily. Stack boxes against the walls and leave a central space for navigation.

Frequent Access: Place items you might need to access frequently towards the front of the unit, making them easy to retrieve.

11. Secure the Load

Straps and Ropes: Use straps or ropes to secure furniture and oversized items. This prevents them from shifting during transit, maintaining stability and preventing damage.

Secure Tall Items: Anchor tall items like bookshelves and wardrobes to the sides of the truck or storage unit to prevent tipping.

12. Fill Odd Spaces

Utilize Every Inch: Fill gaps between furniture and boxes with smaller items, cushions, or blankets. This not only uses space efficiently but also helps to keep items in place.

Compact Packing: Pack items tightly together to avoid movement and maximize the use of available space.

By following these detailed steps, you can effectively pack and load your belongings to maximize storage space, ensuring a smooth and efficient moving or storage experience.


How do I know what size storage unit I need?

Assess your storage needs by taking inventory of your items and their dimensions. Consider whether you need to access them frequently and any special requirements.

Can I change to a smaller or larger storage unit later?

Most storage facilities allow you to transfer to a different unit size if needed, but it is always best to check with the facility beforehand.

Are climate-controlled storage units necessary?

Climate-controlled units are recommended for storing sensitive items such as electronics, wooden furniture, and artwork, as they help protect against temperature and humidity fluctuations.

How much does a storage unit cost?

Storage unit costs vary depending on location, size, and facility amenities. It is best to research storage facilities in your area to get accurate pricing information.

Are there any hidden fees associated with renting a storage unit?

While most storage facilities are transparent about their fees, reading the rental agreement carefully to avoid surprises is essential. Ask about any additional costs that may apply, such as administration fees or late payment charges.


Finding the proper storage unit size for the right price is essential to avoid overpaying. You can make an informed decision by understanding your storage needs, assessing your items, and estimating the required storage space. Implementing tips for maximizing storage unit space and employing cost-saving strategies will enhance your storage experience. So, take your time to research and compare prices, find the best rental rates, and explore additional cost-saving strategies to ensure you find the perfect storage unit size at the best possible price.

Secure the perfect storage unit for your move! Look no further than SecureSpace. Our flexible options cater to your specific needs, offering convenience and ease during your transition. Get in touch today to find the ideal storage unit size at the best price, ensuring your belongings are stored safely and efficiently. Make your move stress-free with Secure Space!

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