The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Size for your First Self Storage Unit

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By Jacob Maslow

Property prices are on the rise, and space is a luxury. Self-storage units have become a saving grace for those short on space but with lots of belongings. Whether you’re downsizing, moving, or simply seeking to declutter your living space, getting a self-storage unit can be a game-changer. However, choosing the right size for your first self-storage unit is crucial.

A whole host of storage size options are available, making finding the perfect fit seem daunting. By doing a bit of planning and research, you can get a storage unit that is the best price and size for you. Here’s the ultimate guide to choosing the right size to discover the ideal storage unit.

Step 1: Assess Your Current Needs

Before choosing a self-storage unit option, stock what items you need to store. Create a list of your belongings and categorize them based on size, frequency of use, and conditions for storage (e.g., is it fragile? Does it need to be in a climate-controlled area?).

This initial assessment will give you a good understanding of how much space you need, allowing you to select an appropriately sized unit.

Step 2: Consider Future Needs

While you should be choosing a unit based on your current storage requirements, it’s a good idea to consider any future storage needs. For example, if you’re planning on buying a bicycle in a couple of weeks and want to store it in the storage unit, be sure to get one that is big enough to hold it along with your other belongings.

Opting for a slightly larger unit than your current needs can provide flexibility and accommodate any future acquisitions or changes in circumstances.

Step 3: Measure Your items

Take measurements of the most oversized items you plan to store. It may be tedious, but it will save you both hassle and cost in the long run. Items such as furniture, appliances, and large boxes should be measured as they will occupy the bulk of the space.

This will help you understand the space needed to accommodate these items within the storage unit. Considering the shape and dimensions of your items will help you visualize your packing so you can maximize the utilization of space within the unit.

Step 4: Understand Unit Sizes

Self-storage units come in various sizes, from small lockers to large warehouse-like spaces. The most common unit sizes include 5’x5′, 5’x10′, 10’x10′, and 10’x20′.

Having a good understanding of the dimensions of each unit size will assist you in selecting the option that is most suitable for your needs. While smaller units may be more economical, larger units offer greater flexibility and storage capacity.

Step 5: Online Tools and Calculators

Many self-storage facilities provide online tools and space calculators to help customers estimate what unit size would be appropriate for them based on the items they wish to store.

These tools may require you to input the number and type of items you plan to store, generating recommendations for the ideal unit size, or they may indicate what you can fit in each size. While these estimates are helpful, use them as a guideline rather than a definitive answer.

Step 6: Visit the Facility

If you can, try to take a trip to visit the facility in person to get a firsthand look at the available units. This will allow you to assess the layout, accessibility, and security features of the facility.

Additionally, speaking with the facility manager or staff can provide valuable insights and assistance in selecting the right size unit for your needs.

Step 7: Optimize Space Efficiency

Once you’ve chosen a unit size that is right for you, think carefully about how to make the most of the available space. Vertical storage options, such as shelving units or stackable containers, are a great way to maximize the unit’s height.

Consider investing in storage bins or vacuum-sealed bags to condense bulky items like extra pillows or duvets to minimize wasted space. Having a strategic organization plan in place will also help you optimize the use of your storage unit effectively.

Step 8: Think About Accessibility

Consider how often you’ll need to access your belongings when selecting a unit size. If you plan on using the storage unit as an extension of your house and anticipate frequent visits to retrieve or add items, opt for a unit size that gives you space to move around, making it easy to access your belongings.

Another thing to consider is the location of your unit. If you plan to access it often, you’ll want the facility to be close to your house and a unit close to its entrance. Note whether extras such as drive-up access or climate control are necessary for your storage needs.

Step 9: Review Rental Terms and Costs

Before finalizing your decision, review the rental terms and costs associated with the selected unit size. Remember things like rental fees, insurance costs, and security deposits.

There may also be additional features you can pay for, so try to keep those in mind. Be sure to compare pricing and terms from multiple facilities to ensure you get the best value for your money.

Step 10: Reevaluate

You may need to change up your storage unit size after a while. Reevaluate the size and suitability of your storage unit now and then so that it always meets your current needs.

Consider upgrading or downsizing if your current unit is too small or too big. However, ensuring that you regularly declutter and organize your storage space can help you optimize its efficiency and ensure that it continues to serve you effectively for longer.

In summary, choosing the right size for your first self-storage unit is crucial in storing your belongings. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that you pick the right size unit from the start. Some research and planning will go a long way toward helping you maximize the space available to you.

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