How to Select the Best Storage Unit Size for Your Needs

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What storage unit size should I rent? The answer to this question depends heavily on your needs, since storage units come in various sizes and features. Factors such as the intended use, the number and types of items you want to store, and availability of units also influence your decision of finding a storage unit that is best suited for you.

Here are 4 useful tips to select the best storage unit for you!

1. Determine the storage unit’s primary function

To select a storage unit that best suits you, the first step is defining the main function of the storage unit. For example, are you renting a storage unit so you can declutter your home for staging? Are you moving abroad for 12 months and are looking for a long-term rental? These are fantastic questions to ask yourself to get yourself started on finding a suitable storage unit.

Other relevant questions you can ask yourself are:

  • Am I looking to store business inventory for the next three to six months?
  • Is it likely that I’ll need extra space six months down the road?
  • Do I need temporary storage for a move or home staging?
  • Do I need to store some items indefinitely?
  • Will I be rotating items in and out of the unit?

By clearly answering some of these questions, you will have a better idea of the storage unit size you should seek. For example, if you plan to store business inventory for the long-run and are expecting to store more items in the future, you can rent a larger unit with some room to grow. 

On the other hand, if you only need to store items during a temporary move, you can pick a unit that is suitable for your belongings. Since  the amount of items in your storage unit is unlikely to change, you will not need to rent a storage unit that has excess room.

2. Create an inventory list

You may have a general idea of which items you want to store in the storage unit, but walking through your house and developing a list is the ideal way to clearly identify items you want to store. 

Sometimes you may not even realize how many items you need to store until you list them all.

When making your inventory list, remember to also do the following:

  • Count the number of items that will go into storage.
  • Get approximate measurements of your items to calculate the amount of space you need.
  • Place all the items you want to store in one location at your home to visualize and measure the amount of space you need.

3. Measure the Amount of Storage Space You Need

If you have a hard time conceptualizing space, you can try this trick: in your driveway or another open area, use masking tape to mark off the space of an approximate size of a storage unit you need. For example, you can mark off 5 feet by 5 feet or 5 feet by 7 feet. Then, place items you want to store inside to see if all the items fit in the marked area.

4. When in Doubt, Rent a Large Unit Size 

Being more economically conservative by selecting a storage unit that is smaller than you need is not always a good idea for safety reasons. For example, you should avoid packing boxes more than four feet high. Also, you should avoid stacking more than two pieces of furniture. Doing so could result in damage to your belongings or become a hazard when unpacking.

Additionally, take note that sometimes a larger-sized unit is only a couple more dollars a month. In some cases, a larger unit might be less expensive if there is more availability. You could also save money on a larger storage unit if the rental is not climate controlled. Do not let the larger size deter you before you have a chance to run the numbers.

Questions? Feel free to call us at 1.866.647.8673 or contact us online at and our staff will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have!

Looking to reserve a storage unit? Find a self storage facility near you:

  1. Self storage Burnaby or Vancouver
  2. Self storage Chilliwack
  3. Self storage South Surrey or White Rock
  4. Self storage Parksville
  5. Self storage Nanaimo
  6. Self storage Victoria