Estimating how much space you will need for your storage items can be simple if you know what you want to store. Here are some simple steps to help you plan, and size recommendations based on commonly-stored items.
Step 1: Start by making a list of the items you plan to store.
Step 2: Group the items according to how you will organize them. Start by identifying items that will be packed in boxes and stacked. Next, prioritize boxed items you will want to access most frequently (they’ll go closer to the front of the unit). Then group by fragility or weight – heavier, sturdier items should be stored on the bottom of stacked items, fragile items on top. Then consider awkwardly-sized items that won’t stack well, including how often you will need to use them, and how heavy they are.
Step 3: Make note of how these items will be packed and organized. Boxes and containers should be of uniform size, and should be stacked no more than three or four high, depending on the size and strength of the containers you use. There are several basic sizes of storage units. Below is a quick-reference guide to help you plan what size unit you will need for your personal or business storage:
Storage of Personal Items
5' x 5' (25 sq. ft.) – Will hold a chest of drawers, a small mattress set, boxes and small items. Useful for garden tools, or seasonal decorative items.
5' x 10' (50 sq. ft.) – Will hold furnishings of a mid-size bedroom, including a queen-size bed, dresser, TV, and a few storage boxes. (6' x 12' trailer)
10' x 10' (100 sq. ft.) – Will hold the contents of an entire family room or two full bedrooms.
10' x 15' (150 sq. ft.) – Will hold the contents of up to three bedrooms in this unit. Recommended for larger items such as pianos, couches, tables, or large-screen TVs. (15' moving truck)
10' x 20' (200 sq. ft.) – Will hold the contents of a five-bedroom house, including a refrigerator, washer/dryer, dining room table, chairs and large boxes. (24' moving truck)
10' x 30' (300 sq. ft.) – Will hold the contents of a 5- to 7-bedroom house, including large items such as a couch, bed, fridge, and entertainment center.
Storage of Business Items
5' x 5' (25 sq. ft.) – Will hold the contents of a large office closet filled with files, books, office chairs, and a few storage boxes.
5' x 10' (50 sq. ft.) – Will hold the contents of one office room, including desks, bookcases, filing cabinets and large storage boxes. Ideal for storing equipment and tools.
10' x 10' (100 sq. ft.) – Will hold the contents of an entire office, including desks, chairs, computers and a few storage boxes.
10' x 15' (150 sq. ft.) – Will hold the contents of three office rooms could fit in this size unit, including several desks, computers and boxes.
10' x 20' (200 sq. ft.) – Will hold the contents of five office rooms (desks, computers, bookcases and file cabinets) in this size, or a five-year supply of business and tax files.
10' x 30' (300 sq. ft.) – Will hold the contents of five office rooms – many desks, several large boxes, seasonal storage, a few sets of large storage shelves and/or a few pallets of inventory, depending on how high you stack them.
It is always a good idea to visit potential storage units to get a visual sense of the space you will be working with. Your storage representative can answer any questions you may have, and give you suggestions on how to store your items to maximize space.