How to choose the right storage unit size

Anyone that finds themselves in need of storage always wants to know one key thing: How much storage space do I need? Even people that have had storage before often find it hard to work out exactly how much space they’ll need again. Whether it’s a four-bedroom house or a few archive boxes, if you don’t have storage expertise measuring up your items to the huge range of storage unit sizes can be a challenge. To avoid paying for more space than you need or filling your unit only to realise there’s not enough space for everything, this brief storage size guide should cover everything you need to know to get started.

What to consider

The storage unit size you need will depend on a few things, primarily what you’ll need to be storing and how much you can afford to pay.

You need to consider what you're storing to figure out the right storage unit size

What you’re storing

The items themselves will have a huge influence on the size you need. Some items can be stacked while other more fragile items may need a space of their own. Similarly, stacking a load of archive or cardboard boxes means you can neatly fit your items into the storage space, while furniture items with more awkward shapes like lamps will naturally take up more space despite their smaller size.

Don’t forget that though it may seem bulky, lots of furniture items can be dismantled. Depending on the furniture this may be a relatively easy and quick task, or it could be a lengthy process if the furniture wasn’t built to be dismantled flat-pack style. How much time and energy you have to put into your move along with your budget will all influence how far you want to go with dismantling your furniture. If you’re on a tight budget with a whole house worth of items, you may want to consider putting in the extra effort to flat-pack as much as you can.

Accessing your storage unit

Another key consideration, partly influenced by what you’re storing, is whether you need to access it and how regularly. A business storing archive boxes, for example, may need to access the documents from time to time. This will limit how many boxes should be stacked and will also need walking space to get into the unit and access all the boxes, requiring a bigger unit than usual. A family looking for short-term storage while they move, however, will likely pack essential items separately to keep with them and won’t need to get their other bulkier items until moving day.

How long you need your unit

Speaking of short-term, you also need to think about how long you’ll be storing your items as this will influence our previous point about storage access. If it’s just short-term storage between moves, then you probably won’t need to access it. If, however, you’re a student storing extra items that you can’t fit into your university accommodation, you may be looking for a long-term stay. During this time, it’s likely you’ll want to get something from your unit or even put something else in, so a bit of extra space to start with could be crucial.

You need to consider how much you can spend and how much storage units are to pick the perfect size space

Budget and cost

That fact is more space means more money. You may, however, be surprised by how affordable storage solutions can be. If you find that the minimum storage space you might need is well within your budget, then you may consider going up a size. This could give you extra space to get to your things whenever you need or leave you more room to store some extra items you might have squeezed in elsewhere.

If your budget is really tight or you’re just looking to save money, you may want to choose a size smaller. You can do this by decluttering, expert packing or even just finding some other space at relatives and friends houses to keep anything extra.

The unit size itself

Don’t forget to consider the unit size itself, including the full height of the unit. For some storage, like archiving, it could be dangerous or simply impractical to use the full height. For bulk furniture items and packing boxes, however, it’s important to remember you can use the full space of the unit. Taking advantage of the full height could save you precious room on the ground.

Our storage size guide

We have a team of people with years of experience in the storage industry, so we know a thing or two about storage unit sizes. Over the years we’ve worked out a rough guide to storage sizes but be warned that this is only a guideline. Everyone is different and the below guideline does not take into account what you’ve got to store.

Our storage unit size guide

35 sqft

  • Small garden shed size
  • Estate car size
  • 40-50 archive boxes stacked 5 high

50 sqft

  • Transit van load (up to 50 sqft)
  • 1 – 2 bed flat
  • 75-90 archive boxes stacked 5 high

75 sqft

  • Small Luton van
  • 2 bed flat – 1 bed house
  • 110-130 archive boxes stacked 5 high

100 sqft

  • Modern single garage
  • 2 – 3 bed house
  • 150-175 archive boxes stacked 5 high

150 sqft

  • 3 bed house
  • 230-270 archive boxes stacked 5 high

200 sqft

  • Modern double garage
  • Removal lorry (up to 200 sqft)
  • 4 bed house
  • 250-360 archive boxes stacked 5 high

Top tips for choosing the right storage size

  • Inventory all the items you need to store before you start so there are no nasty surprises last minute.
  • Flatpack and reduce the size of any furniture you can and make sure you measure these items in their flat-pack form.
  • Talk to one of our team for extra guidance and work with your removals company if you have one.
  • Don’t store unwanted items! Make sure you declutter before you decide on storage and make the move so you’re not wasting money on junk.

Find the perfect sotrage unit for you with our storage estimate and storage size guide

Packing Pug

Packing Pug

I'm Percy the Packing Pug. What I don't know about self storage isn't worth knowing! Check out my latest blog posts for top tips on storage solutions near you.

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