How Much Storage Space Do I Need? A Comprehensive Guide For Renters

cardboard box

How Much Storage Space Do I Need? A Comprehensive Guide For Renters

How much storage space do you really need?

Are you looking to create some space around your home or workplace? Whether you’re decluttering, downsizing or temporarily storing your belongings while you move or renovate, renting a self storage unit is a convenient and practical solution. 

But… with an ever-increasing number of storage facilities out there, all offering a wide range of storage units styles and sizes, choosing the right unit to suit your needs can be tricky.

Naturally, you’ll want enough room to safely store all your belongings, while still being able to find and retrieve things easily. However, you don’t want to be wasting money on storage space that you don’t really need and opting for a smaller unit or a taller unit can help you save money on monthly rental fees.

In this article, we will walk you through the process of figuring out exactly how much storage space you need and help you to choose the right size storage unit to suit your requirements and your budget. 

Assessing your storage needs

book with a list in it

Create an inventory of items for storage

The first thing to do is to make a comprehensive list of all the items you need to store. Be sure to include the measurements (width x length x height) of each object in your inventory. 

For example, your list might look as follows 

  • 6 x boxes of books (W 43 x L 41 x H 60 cm)
  • 1 x four-drawer filing cabinet (W 46 x L 62 x H 132.10 cm)
  • 2 x desks (L 180 x W 80 x H 73 cm)
  • 2 x office chairs (L 50 x W 65 x H 100 cm) 

Make optimum use of your storage space

The most efficient and cost-effective storage strategy involves planning the layout of your stored items to make optimal use of the space available in your storage unit. This involves organising and stacking items efficiently. 

Think about how you could stack and arrange the items in your inventory so they take up the least amount of room, while still being accessible. If possible, try to sketch out a plan that will help you visualise the layout (or you can use this quick tool to help you find out how much volume you need). 

If you’re storing a large amount of stuff, you should also factor in space to walk between rows of stored items. This will make it easier to find and retrieve items from their stored locations. 

Once, you’ve come up with a good layout, calculate the area and height (volume) your stored items will occupy and choose a unit size that fits your needs without excess space. 

Here are a few quick tips to get you started:

  • Think in three dimensions and utilise all the space available by stacking items on top of each other.
  • Store smaller items in boxes and/or stackable bins.
  • Place heavier items or boxes at the bottom and lighter items on top. 
  • Use shelves and/or bookcases to store boxes, tools, and other items. 

With sensible packing, you’ll be able to store more in less space and save on rental fees.

Browse storage unit listings

Another way to select your storage unit is to browse through the list of units on offer at your selected storage facility (you can take a look at the available units at Silo Storage by simply clicking here). 

Let’s take a quick look at some of the most common unit sizes. This will help you make sense of the listings, visualise the space available, and determine which units suit your needs.

Pro storage tip: Take notice of the height of the unit as well as the floor space as this can make a big different to the amount of total volume you have in your unit to store your belongings ie a 3.0m high unit like at Silo Storage will give you 25% more space than a 2.4m high unit). 


Small storage units

Small storage units usually measure around 3m X 3m (9 sqm) and are about the same size as a garden shed or half of a single garage. 

When packed correctly, these units are ideal for storing the contents of a single room or office, such as a bed, mattress, bookcase, filing cabinet, desk, chair, boxes of seasonal decorations, sporting gear, tools, sales props, appliances, TVs, computers and electrical goods. 

Medium storage units

Medium self storage units range in size from 3m x 3.6m to 3m x 4.8m (10.8 sqm to 14.4 sqm). 

Approximately the size of a half to a full garage, these units are ideal for storing the contents of one, two or three rooms, including tables, desks, entertainment cabinets, bedroom suites, dining room suites, beds, mattresses, appliances and electronics, boxes and more. 

Larger medium storage units are also useful for storing vehicles, such as golf buggies, vintage or sports cars, jet skis, motorcycles and trailers.

Medium / Large storage unit example (garage / double garage)

Large storage units

Large storage units range from 3m x 6m to 8.6m x 4.3m (18 sqm to 36.98 sqm). These spacious units easily accommodate:

  • Furniture, such as sofas, tables, chairs, beds, dressers, cabinets, and bookshelves.
  • Appliances, such as refrigerators, washers, dryers, dishwashers, or stoves.
  • Business inventory, products, supplies or equipment. 
  • Recreational equipment, such as bicycles, kayaks, canoes, camping gear, skis, snowboards, or other sports equipment. 
  • Collectibles and memorabilia, including vintage vehicles, antiques and artwork. 
  • Business records and important documents, files, and archives that need to be retained for legal or compliance purposes. 

Pro storage tip: Remember to consider any specific storage requirements for delicate or sensitive items, such as insulated storage units for temperature-sensitive belongings or specialised storage for artwork or valuable collections.

  • Household goods such as boxes of seasonal decorations, clothing, kitchenware, books or other personal belongings that you may not have immediate use for but want to keep. 

Pro storage tip: Before storing any items, make sure to check the storage facility’s policies and guidelines to ensure compliance and optimal storage conditions.

  • Vehicles, such as cars, motorcycles, boats, or recreational vehicles (RVs). 

Use an online storage space calculator

If you’re struggling to work out how much storage space you need, try using an online calculator, such as the Silo Storage space calculator here to estimate your required storage space. 

Simply choose the type of storage you need (e.g., moving house, creating more space, vehicle storage, or business storage). Then enter the number of rooms (large and small) and/or the number of large/small items and/or boxes you would like to store. 

Click on ‘Find My Unit Size’ and let the calculator do the rest.  


So before you click on the rent now button, take a quick 5mins assessing how much space you will need and then picking the right sized (especially height) unit will ensure that you get the most affordable solution for your self storage needs. This way you will feel comfortable storing your goods for as long as you need. 

Ask the self storage experts

If you’re still unsure about your space requirements, or you have questions and concerns about how to pack and store your items, you can always ask the friendly and experienced staff at your local Silo Self Storage facility or give us a call today to discuss your requirements and/or book a tour of the facility.