If you’re thinking about hiring a self-storage unit, you’re in good company. There are 48,233 self storage facilities in the United States and the demand for them is growing all the time. Whether you want to store your family heirlooms or a jetski during the winter, they’re super useful and convenient.

But nobody wants to spend more than they have to. That’s why it’s important to choose the right size for your needs. One that will hold everything comfortably but won’t leave you paying for empty space.

Let’s take a deep dive into how to calculate self storage unit size so you get exactly what you need.

Starting Point: What Are You Storing?

Finding the right size storage unit for your needs is more a science than an art. The key is taking the element of surprise out of it. For that, you’ll need:

  • A clipboard
  • A pen
  • A measuring tape
  • A systematic approach

Create an Inventory

Go into every room in your house and create an inventory of everything you plan to take in that room. Start by the door and work your way around. You can go clockwise or counter-clockwise – the choice is yours.

But it’s a good idea to have a fixed starting point and thoroughly work your way around the room, noting down what you want to take. If you charge into the middle of the room and start writing things down randomly, you’ll miss something important.

Another option is to take photos of everything you want to take. You can then use them to create a written inventory afterward. Plus, you’ll have a catalog of all the items you’ve stored and it’ll be easy for friends and family who are lending a helping hand.

Take Measurements

It’s important to measure bulkier items so you’re sure that they’ll fit. This means items of furniture like beds, sofas, and chairs. Also, measure any packing boxes and how many you’re using.

This will help you choose the correct storage unit size and create a plan for how to arrange your things.

Don’t Forget Home Storage Options

Before you start paying for 24-hour storage units you want to make sure that you’ve exhausted all your home storage options. 

Is there any space in your garage that you could use? What about your basement or loft? If you have some space, this could be the best place to store items that you use most frequently. 

Calculate the Size of Your Belongings

When you have completed the inventory of every room, you’re ready to calculate the storage unit size you’ll need.

If you have the space, collect all the items you want to store together. Stack them like you would in a storage unit. It’s best practice to leave an alleyway in the middle of your storage unit to access all items easily.

Then measure the length, width, and height of your stuff.

Another way to do this is to mark out the size of the storage unit on the floor using painter’s tape first.

If you don’t have room for this approach, go back to the measurements you’ve already taken. Sketch a plan of where you’ll store the items. Use the measurements to estimate the size of storage unit you’ll need.

Standard Self Storage Unit Sizes

Storage units usually come in standard sizes. The self storage company will give you an idea of how much you can store in them.

Small Storage Units

5′ x 5′ self storage units are about the size of a standard closet. They’re suitable for small items of furniture, stacking boxes or plastic crates, and small household items.

5′ x 10′ units are similar in size to a walk-in closet. You could store a small bed in here, along with stacks of boxes and other small items of furniture.

Medium Self Storage Units

10′ x 10′ storage units can fit the contents of a one-bedroom apartment. That means:

  • One bedroom set
  • Living room furniture
  • Dining table and chairs
  • Storage boxes

This is perfect if you want to clear your condo before you sell it. It’s also great if you need temporary storage during a house move or to clear your home for staging.

10′ x 15′ units can store the contents of an average two-bedroom apartment or small house. 

Large Self Storage Units

10′ x 20′ units are about the size of a standard one-car garage. They’ve got a lot of capacity and can comfortably accommodate the contents of a small house or large apartment. Make the best use of this space by stacking whatever you can.

10′ x 30′ self storage units are the largest size commonly offered. Perfect if you need to store the contents of a large family home if you are relocating or need to sell your house before you’ve found another.

Climate Controlled or Non-Climate Controlled?

Many self storage facilities now offer you a choice of climate controlled storage units. They’re great for anything that is sensitive to changes in temperature.

Here in Mt Juliet, we experience big swings in temperature during the year. The summers are hot and humid and the winters are cold and wet. If you’ve got any of the following items, climate controlled storage units may be best for you:

  • Antiques
  • Wooden furniture
  • Leather furniture
  • Artwork
  • Collectibles
  • Sports equipment

You want to find your items in great condition when you come to take them out of storage. So if you’re in doubt, price up a climate controlled unit for peace of mind.

One Final Piece of Advice

We can all have a tendency to be a little optimistic about the amount of space we actually need. Our advice is to go one level up. If you think you need a 10′ x 15′, getting a 10′ x 20′ will give you peace of mind.

Choose Tri-Star for All Your Mount Juliet Storage Needs

Calculating the size of self storage unit you need takes a little time and patience. But it’s worth doing your homework and getting the correct size.

At Tri-Star Storage, we offer small, medium, and large self storage units in Mt Juliet, TN. We have two sizes in each category, giving you lots of options to choose from. We also offer covered and non-covered parking options.

Sign up online or call us at (615) 246-7065 to discuss your options today!