Maybe you live in an apartment or condo that really doesn’t have ample closet space or room to use for storage. You could live in a house where the basement floods a lot and you would rather not keep your valuables down there in the dampness where they can be ruined or damaged. You could be sending your oldest child off to college, and plan to change his room into that man-cave you always wanted and you got to move his stuff somewhere. You could even own or manage a business and your office doesn’t have any storage areas for your important archived documents. These are all great reasons to choose self storage.
Deciding to use self storage is the first step, but where do you go from there? You may ask yourself “What size storage unit do I need?” or “What type of storage unit do I need?” You need to look at what you plan to store in the unit, and figure out which unit size and type you want to use. Here we provide a breakdown of the most common unit sizes and types, along with an idea of when you would choose each of them.
What Type of Storage Unit Do I Need?
First, we will start with unit types. Not all facilities offer every unit type listed below, and this is not meant to cover every possible type that exists. However, these are the most common self storage unit types.
- DRIVE UP.
A drive up self storage unit means just that, you can drive your vehicle right up to the door to access it. Normally these units have roll-up doors, similar to a garage door, with cement floors and metal walls. Often times the ceilings are high as well, allowing you to store bulky items like an armoire.
An interior self storage unit is one that you need to enter by a main door from the outside and have access from an inside hallway. These units can have roll-up doors like the drive-up units, and sometimes have a regular metal or wooden door like you would find in your home. These units can only be accessed from inside a hallway, there is no way to access them from outside.
- TEMPERATURE or CLIMATE CONTROL.
Self storage units that offer a set temperature, regardless of the weather outside, are called temperature control or climate control. Similar to your home, they are heated and/or cooled to a set temperature based on the season. Temperatures will range but units are generally kept at 55° F during the fall and winter months. This prevents sensitive items from freezing. During the warmer seasons, the temperature is set in the high 70s with the goal to limit the humidity as much as possible. These units are perfect for storing sensitive and valuable items such as photographs, antique furniture, electronics – anything that cannot be exposed to extreme temperature shifts.
Normally, parking spaces are outdoors, often on stone areas. Paved spaces are also common at newer facilities and ones located in cities and industrial areas. They are designed to park cars, trucks, RVs, boats and trailers when not in use, and also provide plenty of room to gain access and maneuver larger vehicles such as boats and RVs. Sometimes there can be a metal roof structure to provide some protection from the sun, rain and snow. There are even indoor parking spaces available at some facilities giving you the choice to essentially “garage” your vehicle rather than parking it outside.
What Size Storage Unit Do I Need
Now, we move on to unit sizes. Again, not all facilities offer the same unit sizes. These are the most common ones and are considered the standards within the industry. The measurements are in feet.
- 5 x 5.
These are usually the smallest units you can find, and are even referred to as lockers. The 5×5 unit is perfect for storing totes or boxes of out of season clothes, holiday decorations or a few smaller pieces of furniture like end tables and lamps. These are available as drive-up and interior units and often temperature control as well.
- 5 x 10 and 5 x 15.
These storage units are favorites among the Motorcycle crowd. They are the perfect size to store your bike out of the elements with enough room left for tools or a few boxes. They are also great for storing furniture from a small one bedroom or studio apartment. The 5×10 and 5×15 are common as both drive-up and interior units as well as temperature control.
- 10 x 10 and 10 x 15.
These are usually the most popular units because they are not too small and not too large. These units can handle the contents of a large one or two bedroom apartment, or a small house with minimal appliances. If you are downsizing but want to keep your extra furniture until you decide what to do with it, these would be a great size for you. These units can be drive-up or interior and may offer temperature control.
- 10 x 20.
If you are moving and your new home isn’t ready, this is most likely the size you’ll need to store your belongings until you can move in. It can handle a three or four bedroom apartment or home including some major appliances. This is also a great size unit for that classic car you want to park inside for the winter. Normally this size unit has drive-up access and occasionally offers temperature control.
- 10 x 25 and 10 x 30.
These units are typically the largest ones at a self storage facility. This is some serious storage space and can handle the contents of a four bedroom home, including major appliances and garage items like tools and a lawnmower. The 10×30 can even handle a small truck or boat if you want to keep them out of the elements. These larger units are usually drive-up units that are not available as temperature control.
Most modern self storage facilities list the sizes and types they offer on their website and even show the current rental rates. The last thing you want to do is guess, and then realize while you are moving everything into your unit that you didn’t choose one that is large enough!
Your best bet when asking “What size storage unit do I need?” is to talk to the property manager at the facility you are planning to rent your self storage unit. At Moove In Self Storage, our property managers are very helpful and knowledgeable, and can assist you in determining which unit type and size will best suit your storage needs. Stop by today!