This is the Most Popular Size Storage Unit

While it may seem like a small space, a self-storage unit can house all types of belongings -- from lawn mowers to designer clothing and collectibles. If you're considering renting a storage unit, it's helpful to know what size space you need

The storage unit industry in the United States is huge and expanding rapidly.  Many people wonder, with all the available choices, what is the most popular size storage unit?

The most popular size storage unit across the United States is 10 feet by 10 feet.  Industry-wide, this size of storage unit accounts for 23 percent of all units rented. The 10 feet by 20 feet size follows closely at 22 percent.

Different storage unit companies offer an array of different size storage units.  You shouldn’t choose your storage unit size strictly on what is the most popular choice.  We’ll help you decide by evaluating what you must store, the size of the objects that will go into a 10 feet by 10 feet storage unit, and your budget. 

How Many Ten by Ten Storage Units do you Need?

The first thing you need to consider is what you plan to store.  It can be hard to figure out what will fit into a storage unit.  With things and furniture scattered around your house, it is hard to visualize how they will fit in a storage unit.  Industry sources suggest the following as guides to what can fit into a ten by ten storage unit.

  • Two bedrooms – A ten by ten storage unit will usually hold the contents of two bedrooms, including furniture and clothing.
  • Your living room – An entire living room ensemble will fit into a ten by ten storage unit. There should be room for boxes to hold your keepsakes and other small items.
  • Dining room or breakfast area furniture – A dining room, including a hutch or buffet, a dining table, and six chairs should fit easily into a ten by ten space.  There will be plenty of room for boxes to hold china, flatware, and other common items.
  • Appliances – An entire household worth of appliances will fit into a ten by ten storage unit.  Appliance storage includes
A storage unit.
10-by-10 sized storage units are among the most popular options in the US.

A ten by ten storage unit gives you 100 square feet and 800 cubic feet of storage space.  A few measurements of your household goods and boxes will give you a good estimate of what will fit into a ten by ten storage unit.

Estimate the Space you Need

The furniture and appliance industry in the U.S has established standard sizes for most household furniture and appliances.   These standard sizes allow you to make a reasonably accurate estimate of how much storage space you will need.  These are a few of the most common items found in homes and their usual sizes.

  • Three cushion sofa – 35 inches by 84 inches by 34 inches
  • Loveseat 35 inches by 60 inches by 24 inches
  • Armchair – 35 inches by 35 inches by 34 inches
  • Coffee table – 48 inches by 30 inches 
  • End table – 24 inches by 24 inches
  • Dining table – 72 inches by 36 inches
  • Dining Chairs18 inches by 18 inches
  • Twin size mattress – 39 inches by 80 inches
  • Double mattress – 54 inches by 80 inches
  • Queen size mattress – 60 inches by 80 inches
  • King Mattress – 72 inches by 84 inches
  • Chest of drawers – 30 inches by 18 inches
  • Stove – 30 inches by 36inches x 25 inches
  • Refrigerator – 30-36 inches wide by 67 – 70 inches tall by 29 – 35 inches deep
A group of people unloading the boxes.
To rent the right storage unit, pack your belongings and consider the dimensions of the boxes or containers.

Remember that many of these items have open space or can store items inside drawers or shelves.  Planning your storage in advance of moving anything is important to maximize the storage space your unit provides.

How Much Can I Expect to Pay for a Ten by Ten Storage Unit?

Costs vary widely across the United States to rent a ten by ten storage unit.  Several factors can figure into the overall monthly rental charge.

  • Is the unit climate controlled?
  • Can you access the unit 24 hours a day?
  • What is the location of the storage facility?
  • Is there 24 hours security on site?

Overall, industry statistics show the average monthly rental cost for a ten by ten storage unit is approximately $100 per month.  This average monthly cost derives from sources across the industry.

Are There Things I Can’t Store in a Rented Storage Unit?

You should check with the storage rental company to list materials and items you cannot store in your rented storage unit.  The rental contract usually lists what you can and cannot store in your unit.  Overall, the storage unit industry prohibits the following items and materials.

  • Flammable or combustible materials.  These materials can include some common household cleaners.  Spray paint is one of the most common items that rental companies forbid.
A flammable liquid symbol.
The rental contract usually lists what you can and cannot store in your unit. 
  • Hazardous materials.  If the material has a hazardous substance label, you shouldn’t store the material in your storage unit.
  • Anything that will attract pests doesn’t go to a storage unit.  Never put food items in your storage unit or anything else that will attract rodents or insects.  This includes pet food.
  • In a non-climate controlled unit, many items may mold or mildew.  These items can include fabric, such as clothing or bedding materials.  You should take steps to protect any of these items if you put them into your rental storage unit.
  • Don’t take your houseplants or anything else alive to your storage unit.  Practice a little common sense.

What does Climate Controlled Storage Mean?

Unfortunately, there is no industry standard on what is required to advertise climate-controlled storage.  In general climate-controlled storage is storage areas that temperature controlled.  Climate controlled storage provides a more stable environment for your stored goods.

However, without clear industry standards on what constitutes climate-controlled storage, there are wide variations in what you may find.   In some areas, climate-control is nothing more than an additional doorway between your unit and the outside. 

A climate controlled storage thermostat.
Climate-controlled storage units offer extra protection for items that cannot resist humidity and cold/hot climate.

Ask the Right Questions

Before you rent a climate-controlled storage unit, ask the right questions about what the climate-control provides.

  • Is the building heated and cooled to control the interior temperatures?
  • Do the doors seal adequately to keep out dust and moisture?
  • Are the individual units sealed or do they share a common opening with other units?
  • Is the unit insulated, especially the roof?

Expect to Pay More

Across the U.S, true climate-controlled storage units cost between 25 percent and 50 percent more than a standard unit without climate control.  Climate-controlled storage units are more expensive to build and more expensive to operate than non-climate controlled units.

Don’t Forget to Protect Your Valuables

If you read the contract with the storage rental company, you will learn that the rental company does not provide any insurance coverage for your valuables.  Many rental companies require you to prove that you have insurance on your stored valuable before they rent you a unit.

Two person having a meeting,
If your rental company does not offer insurance coverage for your valuables, consider getting an insurance on your own.

Be wary of any rental company that offers to sell you property insurance as part of the contract.   In most instances, the price for this coverage is inflated.  You can find better deals on property insurance coverage through a private insurance provider.

In some states, you may add an insurance rider to your homeowner or rental property insurance policy to cover anything you store in a rented storage unit.  These policies are usually much more economical than buying the same coverage through the rental company.

Making the Move

There are many questions to be answered and considerations at hand before you make a move with your extra stuff to a rented storage unit.  Doing a little pre-move planning can save you money and frustration in the long run.  

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