How much storage do you need?

Question: How Much Storage Do I Need?

A woman emailed me to ask how much storage she’ll need for her one-bedroom apartment. She’s moving overseas and needs to keep it in a safe place for an undefined time. She also has some items that are valuable and is concerned about leaving them behindTo answer both questions, here’s a guide to storage size and security.
Answer: First, let’s tackle storage size. The sizes below are pretty standard for most companies. Some companies can accommodate what you need by rearranging movable walls. (Note: the measurements below are represented as L x W x H in feet)

  • 5 x 5 x 10 = Small items, boxes, books, etc…
  • 5 x 10 x 10 = Small 1 bedroom home
  • 10 x 10 x 10 = 1 bedroom home
  • 10 x 15 x 10 = 2-3 bedroom home
  • 10 x 20 x 10 = 3-4 bedroom home
  • 10 x 30 x 10 = 5-7 bedroom home

I always recommend that you check out the storage facility in person, ask to see the space then gather as much information as you can. Storage professionals are really good at assessing the size you might need even if you have a hard time judging the space required.

For the second question, just like movers, you need to thoroughly investigate a storage company. Make a list of companies, check their records with the Better Business Bureau, ask friends, colleagues and relatives their experience with storage companies, then conduct your own assessment. Set up a time to inspect the facilities, ask questions, take notes; you can also contact the local police department to see if there have been any reported incidences. I also recommend visiting the storage facility during off hours, for example, on a weekend or in the evenings and talk to staff.

Finally, if possible, ask a friend to check on your things from time to time while you’re away. Give them a list of items you’re storing, and arrange for them to have access to the storage unit.

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