How to Choose the Right Size of Storage Unit

February 11,2021
How to Choose the Right Size of Storage Unit

Once you have chosen your preferred downtown Calgary self storage facility, you will need to decide on the storage unit size you need.  You will want to have enough space for your items but you also don’t want to pay for space that you won’t need.

If you’re new to storage, making this decision might be difficult, but Bow City Storage wants to help with taking the guesswork out of this decision. Our team has put together a checklist of things to ask yourself in order to help you arrive at the right decision.  Of course, if you prefer to talk to us and see the spaces yourself, we are open 7 days a week and the team is happy to show you the variety of climate controlled storage spaces we offer.  We also have a size guide available that is helpful. 

Some questions to ask yourself when choosing the right size of storage unit

How much do you want to put in to storage?

Do you have a lot of items that need storing or just one closet? One room? Two rooms, a whole apartment or house?

If possible, the best way to start is by putting all the items you’ll need to store into one room. Stack things, and move them around until you find the best way to save space. Once you’ve put all those items in one room, you’ll be able to measure how much space you need.

Making a quick list on your smartphone of all the things that need to go in to storage will be very helpful as well to help visualize the space you might need.

Do you think you will be adding items to your storage unit?

If there’s a chance you’ll be adding to your storage unit, then it’s always best to have some additional space.  Moving storage units can be tough, so don’t put yourself in that position. If you think you might need some extra storage space, we recommend sizing up so you can keep everything conveniently in one unit. 

What is the shape of the items you’re storing?

If you’re storing mainly boxes, you’re in a great position. Boxes are easy to stack and are very easy to measure.  If you have fragile or oddly shaped items such as a couch, a mirror, a fragile sculpture, or other household items you might need to consider having some extra space.  These things likely aren’t stackable and will need some extra floor space in order to make sure they don’t get damaged while in storage. We recommend sizing up if you have some fragile and oddly shaped items.

Now that you have a better idea of your storage needs, check out your different options

Small 5’X5’ (25 sq. ft.)

Compares to: regular closet

What it holds: personal items, clothes, boxes, small furniture items, documents, children’s toys.

Think of this as an extra closet. It’s perfect for someone who doesn’t need a ton of storage, or someone who wants to store documents or a few other items away from their home in the case of an emergency.


Small 5’X10’ (50 sq. ft.)

Compares to: walk-in closet

What it holds: some furniture (sofas, chairs, dresser, mattress), plus small items and boxes.

This is perfect for you if you are downsizing and need extra storage space, or someone with a few pieces of furniture they don’t have room for but do not want to get rid of because of their value, even if there’s no room for them at home. It’s also perfect for storing documents, seasonal clothing items, and those tools, seasonal equipment and all the things that make your garage feel very cluttered. 

Medium 10’x10’ (100 sq. ft.)

Compares to: half of a one-car garage

What it holds: Major appliances, typical furniture items, boxes, and smaller items.

This size of storage unit is perfect if you’re downsizing, or if you need to clear out a spare bedroom to make room for a home office.  If you’re doing home renovations or staging your home for sale, this storage unit size can hold more than you think.  Think of this as a one-bedroom apartment.


Large 10’x15’ (150 sq. ft.)

Compares to: a little less than (about ? of) a one-car garage

What it holds: items from a two-bedroom apartment or house, including appliances, furniture, boxes, and miscellaneous oddly-shaped items.

If you’re selling your home and need storage, this is the typical size that helps you store your items while you’re in transition. If you have a few rooms in your home and the typical amount of furniture, this unit is perfect for you. There’s plenty of room to stack your furniture, boxes, and anything else you may not need at the moment. 

Large 10’x20’ (200 sq. ft.)

Compares to: standard one-car garage

What it holds: the standard three-bedroom house; major appliances, furniture, and plenty of boxes.

You can essentially fit your entire house in here; so if your family is traveling for an extended period of time or in between moves, this is perfect for you.  You will have room for all of your items and make it possible to create a bit of a hallway to get to those items you stored in the back.

Extra large 10’x30’ (300 sq. ft.)

Compares to: standard two-car garage

What it holds: standard four-to-five-bedroom house; major appliances, furniture, and lots of boxes.

This is the largest unit we have and includes enough room for everything in a large home or for our business customers, this can serve as flexible warehouse space. These are larger than most moving trucks, so if you can fit all of your items in a truck, you can fit them all in this unit.


Still unsure what size of storage unit you need?  No problem! Call us for more details or stop by our downtown Calgary Bow City Storage location if you’re interested in and we’ll show you not only our unit sizes but also our heated loading bay and show you how convenient our smartphone entry system is.

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