Finding the Perfect Fit: How to Choose the Right Size Personal Storage Space

“Getting organized is the first step to determining your storage needs”


Choose the Right Size Personal Storage Space

Whether you’re decluttering, moving, or simply need some extra space to store your belongings, renting a personal storage unit can be a practical solution. It’s even better when that storage space is delivered right to your door. 

However, selecting the right size storage space is crucial to ensure you’re not paying for more space than you need. We offer three different sizes of portable storage, ranging from a 16-foot portable storage container to a 40 foot shipping container storage unit (available in the Central Oregon market only). Here are some tips on how to choose a storage unit that’s just right for your personal storage needs.  

Assess Your Storage Needs

The first step in determining the appropriate storage space size is to take inventory of your belongings. Make a list of the items you plan to store and categorize them based on their size, fragility, and how frequently you’ll need to access them. This inventory will serve as a valuable reference point throughout the decision-making process. 

Estimate the Required Square Footage

Once you have a comprehensive list of your items, it’s time to estimate the square footage you’ll need. Here’s a general guideline to help you get started:

  • Furniture: Measure the dimensions of your larger furniture pieces and calculate the square footage they occupy. It can be hard to determine how much space that you need for things like golf clubs or skis, but other items offer some clues. For example, an average three cushion sofa occupies about 35 cubic feet of space. Irregular shaped items can make it challenging to guess-timate how much space that you’ll need. As a rule of thumb our 16-foot storage containers typically accommodate the equivalent amount of furniture that you’d need to furnish 3-4 rooms. Our 20-foot containers offer enough room to house the equivalent of 4-5 rooms worth of furniture. 
  • Boxes and Containers: Estimate the number of boxes or containers you have and multiply this by the average square footage per box. Standard box sizes are usually easy to find online.
  • Stackability: The more efficiently you can box and organize your items the better use you will make of your space. Boxes and bins stack much better than loose items, so invest in good storage containers. Just remember to organize and label your belongings. There’s nothing more frustrating than tearing apart a storage unit searching for a single item amidst a clutter of unlabeled and unorganized things.
  • Aisles and Walkways: Don’t forget to account for the space needed to access your items. Leave enough room for aisles and walkways to reach items at the back of the unit. You’ll need to subtract this dedicated walkway space from the total square footage to come up with your usable square footage. If you’re using your unit as long-term storage, creating walkways and accessible paths is even more important since you’ll be needing to access items that could be packed away anywhere in your unit. 

Calculate the Value per Square Foot

Now that you have an estimate of the required square footage, it’s essential to understand the value per square foot. In most cases, adding a few more square feet to your storage space is relatively cheap compared to the peace of mind you’ll get from having enough room for your belongings.

To calculate the value per square foot, divide the monthly rental cost of the storage unit by its square footage. This will give you the cost per square foot. While it’s tempting to opt for the smallest unit to save money, remember that overcrowded storage spaces can lead to damage to your belongings and make accessing them a hassle.

Consider Downsizing

If you find that your estimated square footage exceeds your budget or you simply want to minimize clutter, here are some downsizing tips:

  • Prioritize: Identify items you can live without or items you can sell, donate, or give away to friends and family.
  • Maximize Vertical Space: Invest in shelving units and vertical storage solutions to make the most of your storage space.
  • Seasonal Rotation: Consider storing seasonal items at home when not in use to free up space in your storage unit.

Failing to Plain is Planning to Fail 

Choosing the right size personal storage space is essential to optimize cost, convenience, and the safety of your belongings. By assessing your needs, estimating square footage, understanding the value per square foot, and applying downsizing strategies if necessary, you can make an informed decision that best suits your unique requirements. Remember that a little extra space can go a long way in ensuring your peace of mind and hassle-free access to your stored items.