How to pick the correct-sized storage unit and other tips!
In our first article, we addressed the difference between storing items at a moving company warehouse, versus a mini-storage unit. Another common question we get is, “What size storage unit do I need?” If you are choosing to store your items with a moving company, the answer is easy – you will not need to know. The salesperson/coordinator at the moving company should be able to inventory what you are moving to storage and give you an estimate of cost based on this.
If you are storing at a storage unit, the answer is a bit more complicated. Typically, there are different-sized units available such as –
The next question to ask, is how tall the units are. Items can usually not be stacked much taller than 5 or 6 ft. We will take the most popular size, 10ftx10ft, and assume items can be stacked 5ft tall. 10 multiplied by 10 multiplied by 5 is 500 cubic feet (10x10x5=500). Each cubic foot holds 7lbs, thus a 10×10 unit holds about 3500lbs (500ft3multiplied by 7). An average room holds about 1500lbs, thus 3500lbs will be the equivalent to a 2bedroom apartment.
Things to consider that may affect the size space you need, would be how ‘stackable’ are the items. Is this a lot of furniture that is square, ,like end tables and night stands, or bulky, like a sofa or sectional? Are you moving a lot of boxes and totes, that are easy to stack, or rather items that cannot be stacked, such as garden tools and floor lamps?
If you are planning to use a mini-storage, and plan to do the move without the assistance of a moving company here are some tips:
- Don’t lay a TV on its side, it will affect the electrical components
- Don’t pack with newspaper, the print will rub off and dirty items and your hands while unpacking.
- Empty all appliances of water, and let them dry, and tape down loose parts.
- Stack heavy boxes/items on bottom and light on top.
- Think about moisture, and use pallets on the ground, and moving pads to protect.
- Cardboard boxes placed on furniture can scratch the surface (small particles on bottom can rub). Use pads in between
- Place items in front that you will need access to – such as décor for holidays, vacations, etc.
- If you have shelves, make them functional and use them to stack boxes and smaller items.
If you plan to use a moving company to assist with the move out of the mini-storage, consider the access to the unit. Especially if you are moving long-distance, it would be advantageous to be able to fit a semi-truck in, to load up. If not, there is the potential a smaller truck would be needed to move the larger truck, and the cost will be higher due to extra handling.