The Ultimate Guide for Storage Unit Sizes

Storage unit sizes can seem overwhelming and confusing with all of the options out there. We have put together this complete guide to every storage unit size from 5×5' to 10×30' units and everything in between. This guide will help you understand the different sizes of storage units and help you choose the right size for your needs

Most apartments do not have enough space for their tenets. Normally, they are just big enough to store your everyday essentials. For everything else, you need a self-storage unit.  However, because storage rental is as expensive as whole apartments, you want one that matches your storage needs and budget.

While there are no industry standards, most storage provider providers offer similar sized units and classifications. By understanding what these size classifications are, you can evaluate them to determine the right size storage unit for your stuff. 

What is Self-Storage?

Self-storage is rentable space people can use to store business or personal items. Often called storage units, these spaces are usually a garage or closet acquired through a publicly accessible facility. Although, some apartment complexes offer private units as well.

In either case, you have full access to your self-storage unit. Once inside the gate, you can arrange, add, remove, and pack your items as you see fit. Some providers only give you access during office hours, while others let you stop by anytime. Either way, this feature is in contrast with full-service storage which requires you to access your items through an agent. 

A self storage unit facility.
You can rent self-storage units monthly or yearly to store your personal and/or business items efficiently.

People use self-storage units for numerous reasons, but the most common ones are:

  • Temporary storage during life changes such as natural disasters, marriage, divorce, caring for a loved ones, and retirement
  • Transitional storage when moving to a new home, temporary housing, transitioning between leases, and cross-country relocations
  • Vehicle storage to keep your driveway or garage free
  • Temporary storage for home improvement projects
  • Extra storage for decluttering your home or office or college dorm

Self-Storage Units Come in Several Sizes

While they come in all shapes and sizes, there are no industry standard sizes for storage units. However, most providers do offer the same selection of sizes. The few who deviate from these sizes do not stray far from them either. 

A group of people unloading.
Depending on what you are willing to store, you should select the corresponding size for your self-storage unit.

Some common storage unit sizes include:

Unit SizeAvailable Space (sq. ft.)General Purpose
Locker<25Small seasonal items
5 ft. x 5 ft.25Small items
5 ft. x 10 ft.501-bedroom apartment
5 ft. x 15 ft75Large 1-bed apartment
10 ft. x 10 ft1001- or 2-bedroom house
10 ft. x 15 ft.150Climate control or 2-bed home
10 ft. x 20 ft.2003- or 4-bedroom house
10 ft. x 25 ft.250Climate controlled storage
10 ft. x 30 ft.3005- or 7-bedroom house

Some storage providers may offer larger or more specialized units for longer or wider items, but you are guaranteed to find these 7 sizes in most locations. Either way, you will never find a unit smaller than 5 by 5 feet or larger than 20 by 20. 

Storage Lockers for Seasonal Storage

Storage lockers are not always available, but they are the smallest storage units on the market. Coming in under 25 square feet in size, these small units only provide up to 200 cubic feet of space. Often referred to as reduced height storage units, they are perfect for seasonal storage. 

A storage locker.
Storage lockers are the smallest self-storage units that can be used for storing seasonal items, clothes, or decorations.

People tend to use lockers to store:

  • College dorm items between semesters
  • Small personal items
  • Seasonal clothing and decorations

5-by-5 Small Item Storage

Often compared to a closet, the 5’ by 5’ unit is the smallest of the regular sizes, though not every storage provider offers it. If available, these units are the perfect storage solution when you need a little extra room for your stuff. 

While you cannot put everything in a 5 by 5-foot unit, people use them to keep their seasonal and extra gear in a safe place. Some of the more common uses include:

  • Seasonal decorations and clothing
  • Storage for shipping boxes
  • Sports gear and equipment
  • Books and magazine collections
  • Personal and business documents and inventory
  • Twin mattresses

5-by-10 One Bedroom Apartment Storage Units

Comparable to a small room, you will find this size in both 5’ by 10’ and 10’ by 5’ configurations. Both formats offer the same 400 cubic feet of space but with different orientations and door sizes. Either way, these units provide enough space to fill a studio or a one-bedroom apartment. 

People typically use a 5-by-10 unit to store such items as

  • Recliners, couches, as well as sofa and chair sets
  • Twin and queen-sized mattress sets
  • Televisions and entertainment centers
  • Dressers, tables, and nightstands
  • Bicycles and sports equipment
  • Seasonal clothing and archived household items

5-By-15 Storage Units for Large 1-Bed Apartments

They are not common, but you can find the occasional 5 feet by 15 feet storage unit. These units provide up to 75 square feet or 600 cubic feet of space for your extra-wide items. They are a great solution if you must transfer items between large one-bedroom apartments. They have the room to hold up to a 15-foot moving truck’s worth of stuff.

5-by-15 units can store everything you can put in a 5-by-10 unit, but they are deep enough to hold large and long items horizontally. Some common uses for these narrow units include:

  • Recliners, couches, as well as sofa and chair sets
  • Love seats
  • Twin and queen-sized mattress sets
  • Televisions and small entertainment centers
  • Dressers, tables, and nightstands
  • Bicycles and sports equipment
  • Major appliances such as dryers, washers, and refrigerators

10-By-10 Storage Units for One Bedroom Homes

Half the size of a one-car garage, the 10 feet by 10 feet units have the room for everything a small family would want to store away for later. These 800-cubic-foot spaces are also the most common storage units out there, making them the most cost-effective units as well. 

You can put the equivalent of two full bedrooms of stuff in these places. Some of the times people stored in these units include:

  • Large Televisions and entertainment centers
  • Full living room furniture sets
  • Mattress sets of every size
  • Coffer and end tables
  • Major appliances

10-By-15 Climate Controlled Storage Units

While they are not widely available, you need a 10-foot-by-15-foot unit if you need to store your stuff under certain environmental conditions. To that end, these storerooms offer 1200 cubic feet of air-conditioned space. They are also great places for your stuff if you need a drive-up unit. Just make sure you have a 20-foot truck to move it all. 

Just smaller than a single-car garage, 10’x15’ units have enough room for:

  • Sofa and chair sets
  • Multiple king mattress sets
  • Dining room sets
  • All major appliances
  • Entertainment centers
  • Music instruments and equipment

10-By-20 Medium-Sized Storage Units

Coming in at 10 feet by 20 feet, these storage units are the size of garages, and they can store as much stuff as you can fit in one. With 1600 cubic feet of space to work with, you can store a small house inside complete with furniture and appliances. You can even use them to stow your car or truck in the 200 square feet of floor space.

Items commonly stored in a 10-by-20 unit include:

  • Cars and trucks
  • Living and dining room furniture sets
  • Bedroom furniture and mattresses sets
  • Major and minor appliances
  • Patio and lawn furniture
  • Exercise and sports equipment

10-By-25 Large Climate Controlled Storage Units

10-by-20 storage units are effectively 2000-cubic-foot 10-by-20 units with climate control. They let you store the same amount of stuff. You do get 600 cubic feet of extra storage though. That is enough space for stowing away boats, water skis, and other recreational vehicles. You may need to bring a cargo trailer if you want to fill them in one go. 

A climate stoage unit facility,
10-by-20 storage units are effectively 2000-cubic-foot 10-by-20 units with climate control.

Items commonly stored in 10-by-25 units

  • Small and major appliances
  • Boats, ATVs, Recreational vehicles, cars, and trucks
  • Water skis, surfboards, and other water recreational toys
  • Multiple bedroom furniture
  • Couches, sofas, and chair sets
  • Dining and living room furniture
  • Rugs, kitchenettes, clothes, and other household items
  • Patio and lawn furniture

10-By-30 Large Storage Units

The size of a standard 1.5-car garage, 10-by-30 units are typically the largest space available in any storage lot. Designed for the largest households, these units provide up to 2400 cubic feet of space with a 300-square-foot footprint. You can empty four fully furnished bedrooms and a garage into these small warehouses. You can even stow a 40-foot moving van in these things. 

Some commonly stored items include:

  • Cars, trucks, recreational vehicles, and boats
  • Multiple major and small appliances
  • Living and dining room furniture
  • Multiple Bedroom furniture sets
  • Sports and exercise equipment
  • Shoes, clothes, and other household items
  • Business supplies and furniture

Other Available Storage Unit Sizes

While the above storage unit sizes are the most prevalent, they are not the only storage sizes available. You may see a few specialty sizes designed for extreme storage needs. These units are typically for small business owners, but you can use them for personal items if you have a rather large household. 

While the sizes of these specialty units can vary from one provider to the next, the most common sizes are:

  • 12 feet by 30 feet
  • 20 feet by 20 feet

How to Choose the Right Storage Unit Size

Storage units often store more items than you expect. This is because most people cannot visualize their storage needs. A part of the problem is that many people fail to realize that they can store items vertically as well. The average storage unit comes with 8 feet of height to help you optimize the arrangement of your stuff.

Calculate the Space You Need

As such, you must get creative when searching for the right storage unit size to rent. Bigger units let you stow more stuff, but they also cost more. Therefore, you want to know how much space you need before you head towards the storage lot. 

A pile of boxes.
You should select the size of a storage unit considering the space you need to store your packages.

There is no quick solution to this. The only way to know how much space you need is to directly measure the dimensions of your stuff. There is no right procedure either, but you can use the following steps to get you in the right place.

  • Make an inventory of your stuff
  • Measure the dimensions of as many items as you feasibly can with a tape measure. 
  • Take note of the results
  • Guess the size and number of the boxes you will need
  • Set aside enough room for non-stackable items such as furniture and floor lamps

Once you measured everything, you can add up the results to determine your desire storage unit floor space and volume. These values will help cut out the units that are too small. 

How Will You Access Your Storage Unit?

An important consideration you may not expect is how you will access your storage unit. This is because most people do not live next door to their storage. You usually must travel to the location before navigating the lot until you get your unit. Some units may require that you enter a building or go up or down flights of stairs. 

While this traveling is fine if you only need a temp space during a move, it can get tedious if you must access the unit daily. Therefore, you may want a unit with good access, and that may restrict the sizes available to you. 

How Much Outdoor Space Do You Have?

Most storage units are fixed structures located on a dedicated lot, but you will find a few portable and semi-portable units out there. These units offer adequate space for those who must live near their stuff. However, you must have room on your property to have one. 

Select a Budget

Larger units cost more money. You can shop around all you like, but you will find that statement true everywhere. Therefore, your available budget will be a big component of your decision. The right storage unit for you is the one that offers the space you need at a price you can afford. 

Cash on hand.
Keep in mind that larger storage units are more expensive than smaller ones and this is why you should always consider your budget.

If you have the funds to go bigger, you may want to get the next size above your requirement, especially if you think you will need it soon. However, you should never overdo it. You may end up not being able to cover your monthly fees and losing your stuff. 

Other size factors to consider

The size of your stuff and rental costs are your most important consideration when deciding on an external storage solution. These things help you narrow down your choices from which you can then choose based on your access needs. 

Boxes outside.
Consider the size and shape of your packages to make sure they can fit inside a specific storage unit.

However, they are not the only things that may affect your decision. These extra considerations may even affect the top three if you do not account for them.

  • The shape of the storage unit: While most units are cubic, some have slanted roofs or other obstructions that may limit how you can use the space.
  • Irregular sized items: Household items come in different sizes and shapes, and they must all fit inside the unit such that you can easily open and close the door. 
  • Built-in shelving: You can pack and use shelves, drawers, and boxes to compact your stuff so you can add more to your storage unit.

What Size Storage Unit Do I Need for a 1 Bedroom?

The guidelines for choosing a storage unit size works for all of them and any reason you may want one. In other words, you can follow the tips to find the right one for your single bedroom apartment. Just note that you must make some of the decisions before you have the apartment.

Take an Inventory

For instance, you must take an inventory of the stuff you are bringing with you from your previous space. Are you moving from one apartment to another? Or are you relocating from a college dorm or a house? In either case, you need a unit that is large enough to hold your possessions while you move.

Once you have an inventory, you may want to consider how much more stuff do you plan to buy. That way you will always have enough space available when you need it. You can perform this procedure after settling down in the apartment as well. 

Check with Your Landlord

Some apartment complexes provide private storage units for their tenants. If your place offers them, you should check to see if your assigned unit is big enough for your needs. This private storage may let you save money by selecting a smaller unit if you must use public storage. 

Two person planning.
Communicate with your landlord to make sure the private storage is big enough to accommodate your packages.

Understand Your Limitations

Most storage provides will allow most household furnishing and items, but they might restrict a few potentially illegal or dangerous items. These restricted items include:

  • Perishable and/or non-perishable food which can attract pests and mold
  • Chemicals, paints, and cleaning compounds as then can cause fires
  • Anything that illegal to store for any reason

Recommended Sizes for Single Bed Apartments

With that said, most one-bedroom apartment renters should do well with any of the 5-foot units. These units have the space to fit typical small apartment items with rent low enough to let you have money left over. You can go with a 10-by-10 if you need the extra space, but you should not go over it. 

Conclusion

Public storage units come in several shapes and sizes. While they may vary from one provider to the next, most of them fall under 9 different categories based on the square footage of their floor space. Each size category has a specific purpose, making it easy to select the right one for you if you know what you need. 

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