Table Of Contents
Whether you’re storing a caravan, work tools or an entire household, size matters when it comes to self-storage. If the unit is too big, you’re wasting money on space you don’t need. If it’s too small, you won’t be able to move or access your items. To avoid these scenarios, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you choose the right-sized storage unit for your needs.
Create an inventory
Before you do anything, list all the large items you need to store, including their dimensions. Organise them by category, such as ‘garage’, ‘bedroom’, ‘kitchen’ and ‘study’. This will come in handy when organising your unit. Next, include a list of smaller items, like the contents of linen closets, cabinets and wardrobes. Be as specific as possible with these. You’ll be surprised by how much space pillows, quilts and towels take up. If you’re planning to store a single item, like a campervan, boat or ride-on mower, this step should be a cinch!
Decide what will be packed or stacked
Now that you’ve got a detailed list, it’s time to mark items that can be packed or stacked. Remember to factor in padding if you’re packing glassware, crockery or delicate items. If you’re storing large items, determine what can be stacked without getting damaged. You might want to stack your microwave on the washing machine or place lightweight boxes on a table. Also, create a list of items that need space and airflow, like pianos and mattresses.
Establish your access needs
Most people pack their units until there’s barely any space left. This is fine if you won’t be visiting your unit during the storage period. But if you’re planning to retrieve items regularly, you need access space. If you can, create aisles or paths around your shelves or furniture. There’s nothing worse than having to empty your entire unit just to pull out a trestle table or power tool.
If you’re running a business, leave clearance for trolleys and forklifts, and make products or packing materials easy to access for staff. While this could mean a bigger (and more expensive) unit, it’ll save you time and stress in the long run – and allow for more storage space during peak sale periods.
Use a space calculator
A great way to estimate your storage needs is to use a space calculator. It allows you to select items from a list and get a rough idea of what your space requirements might be. If you’ve got irregular items that aren’t included in the list, speak to a customer service representative or visit the storage facility.
Book your unit
Now that you’ve followed these steps, you’re ready to book your unit. However, if you’re still unsure, here is a reference guide to popular unit sizes at StoragePlus:
- Small unit – Measuring 1.5 m x 3 m, this unit is a quarter of the size of a standard garage and normally fits the contents of a small one-bedroom house or apartment, including a mattress, lounge, dining set, fridge and boxes.
- Medium unit – Measuring 3 m x 3 m, this unit is half the size of a standard garage and normally fits the contents of a small two-bedroom house or apartment, including a mattress, lounge, dining set, multiple whitegoods, shelves and boxes.
- Large unit – Measuring 3 m x 4 m, this unit is three-quarters of the size of a standard garage and normally fits the contents of a three-bedroom apartment or house, including several mattresses, large lounges, dining set, multiple whitegoods, shelves, sporting gear, tools and boxes.
- Single-car garage – Measuring 3 m x 6 m, this unit is the size of a standard garage and normally fits the contents of a four-bedroom home, including several mattresses, large lounges, dining set, multiple whitegoods, shelves, sporting gear, tools, business stock and many boxes.
What if you’re running a business?
If you’re running a small business or e-commerce store, the units mentioned above could be too small for your needs. That means you’ll have to scale up to a warehouse space. Warehouse-style units are much larger and equipped with extra features, such as higher ceilings for vertical storage (some of our warehouses are 14 m high!) and power points to operate laptops or tools. Businesses can also take advantage of other commercial storage benefits, such as free forklift services, use of pallet racks, outdoor access, mail collection and use of meeting rooms.
Storing your household belongings, vehicles or business merchandise is a big step – and you want to make sure you’re making the right choice. Before you sign on the dotted line, compile a list of what you need to store, find out what can be packed or stacked, establish your access needs and use a space calculator to find the right size for your belongings. These steps will not only ensure that you save time and money on self-storage, but they’ll also allow you to scale up or down as your needs change. If you want to know more about unit sizes – or our business storage options – contact our friendly team today.