Choose the Perfect Storage Unit Size with Our Handy Guide!

May 14, 2023 / Alyssa Duranty

public storage employee showing customer storage unit sizeAfter moving from his hometown of Chicago, Michael Watson made his way to Los Angeles and found himself with a bunch of stuff and not enough space, like many others in the City of Angels. With a second move on the horizon, he’s decided to put some of it in storage, but what size storage unit?

“My family rented storage previously, but this is the first one I’ve had on my own,” he said. “I wasn’t sure what size I needed initially, I thought the smallest one would be too small even though I’m not moving big furniture.”

“Thankfully, I’m not packed to the gills.”

He went to his local Los Angeles Public Storage to find out which storage unit size could meet his needs and his budget during the transition, and got help from the storage experts at his location.

If you’re in need of some tips to save time and money – no matter how much stuff you have – please read on, because we’ve got all the insider information you need! And we have the best self storage size guide below, with a handout you can download and take with you.

In addition to that and our video, you can also check out our animated size guide.

Make a List of What You Want to Put in Storage

view of clean interior denver storage unit the orange rolled up and showing units on other side of hallway

Before you start packing, make a list of what you plan to keep with you and what you need to store, so you can choose the unit with enough space at the right price.

Check out the graphic (above) to get a better idea of how much can fit into the different sizes of storage units available at most Public Storage properties.

“The majority of the time customers think they can fit into a smaller space, but most the time it won’t work unless they get rid of some items,” said Shannon Lowell, an 8-year Public Storage employee in Pasadena.

After evaluating what he needed store, Watson determined that he could fit his small stockpile of things in one of our smaller units.

“Mostly, I just wanted to keep a mattress, all the clothes that I didn’t need right now and snowboarding equipment since the season is over,” he said. “I used the (Storage Size Guide) on the Public Storage website to see if I could fit in a 5-by-5.”

Measure Out the Storage Unit Before You Move

measuring tape laid out on the foreground and public storage moving box in the background

To make sure your things will fit in a certain-size space, use a tape measure and painters tape to create a similar-sized box on the floor and push the soon-to-be-stored items in the middle.

“I used a measuring tape and put a couple things on the floor as markers so I had a general idea,” Watson said. “That also helped me organize the things in my home before I moved.”

Don’t forget ceilings are usually about 8-feet high in Public Storage facilities, so don’t build any Empire State Building sized stacks, because the stuff won’t fit.

Measuring first is an especially good plan for cross-country movers, since they can’t see the storage unit size in person, Lowell said.

“It’s a good option for people who are away from the city.”

Visit Your Local Public Storage to See the Storage Unit

well-lit public storage hallway with storage units

But if you are local, the best way to understand which space you will need is to visit your local Public Storage and see it in person!

“By looking on the website or at pictures, you might not fully grasp what you’re getting,” Lowell said. “But when people physically see a storage unit, they can visualize how they can fit their stuff in the space.”

Which is exactly what sealed the deal for Watson and his now-rented 5-foot-by-5-foot unit.

“The manager was extremely helpful and didn’t even try to talk me into the bigger unit,” Watson said. “He showed me the unit and made sure I knew how to use the lock.”

Watson’s current Los Angeles storage unit may be temporary, but his experience was so good, that he may be quick to find another Public Storage in the future.

“Now that I see how easy storage is, I might get a storage unit closer to wherever I move,” he said.

Still asking “What size storage unit do I need?” Download and print the best storage unit size guide ever created!

The Best Storage Unit Size Guide Ever Created

  • 5 feet by 5 feet (25 square feet) – Looks like a hall closet, fits small furniture, boxes, a twin mattress set

  • 5 feet by 10 feet (50 square feet) – Looks like a walk-in closet, fits a studio apartment

  • 5 feet by 15 feet (75 square feet) – Looks like a large walk-in closet, fits a one-bedroom apartment

  • 10 feet by 10 feet (100 square feet) – Looks like a standard bedroom, fits a two-bedroom apartment

  • 10 feet by 15 feet (150 square feet) – Looks like a master bedroom, fits a three-bedroom apartment

  • 10 feet by 20 feet (200 square feet) – Looks like a small garage, fits a four-bedroom apartment

  • 10 feet by 25 feet (250 square feet) – Looks like a large garage, fits a large, four-bedroom home

  • 10 feet by 30 feet (300 square feet) – Looks like a two-car garage, fits a five-bedroom home

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