How To Select The Right Storage Unit

How To Select The Right Storage Unit

Looking for a step-by-step guide for choosing the right self-storage unit for your needs? Especially when added to a move or other major life change, it can be daunting to find a self-storage unit that is sufficient for your needs. How much space do I need? What hours will I access the unit? Is it safe? What happens if I don’t have enough space for my things? How do I know what is a fair rate? This list goes on and on, and that can be overwhelming for smart and discerning renters.


Fortunately for you, we at Utah Storage Center are experts in helping our customers assess their storage needs. We have created this simple guide to help take the stress out of determining what will be the best storage unit for you. Following these steps can provide some much-needed peace of mind during a potentially overwhelming time becoming a first-time homeowner, downsizing, dealing with movers and pick-up, moving large items yourself, choosing renters insurance, or letting go of sentimental items or collectibles, and more – along with everything else in your day-to-day life needing your attention.

Step 1:
Gather & Pack Your Storage Items

Begin by creating a designated area in your home or yard to begin gathering and packing your items for storage. As you accumulate items, begin a list of what you will be storing to keep it as organized as possible. As you add boxes, bins, and other items to your designated area, you can begin to visualize how big a storage unit size you will need.

Step 2:
Get that Measuring Tape Ready

Once you have your items packed and in your designated area, pull out your measuring tape and measure how much space these items take up. A great way to have that visual representation is to use painter’s tape to help distinguish those exact measurements. If you have larger pieces of furniture that you will be storing and are considering a larger unit, use your painter’s tape to mark out the additional items and extra space that will be needed in the storage unit.

measuring tape

Step 3:
Visit Your Local Storage Location

The best way to understand what you need is to visit the storage companies you’re considering and view the unit size(s) in person. This will help give you the full picture of the size of the unit and allow you to imagine how your stored items can best be organized there. The storage facility manager should be able to assist you with specific questions you may have about the facility or unit size and help you select the best option for your needs. 

Another consideration is the amount of time you’ll need that storage space – is this a short-term stopover only (for example, you already have a move-in date for your new place)? You might want a simple month-to-month agreement and care more about having plenty of space for a quick and easy move. If you’ll need the space long-term perhaps you’re hoping for a contract that will lock in a predictable rate as long as possible. You might prioritize different features or types of storage units for long-term storage rentals.


Pro Tip: Ask the manager if they have any active move-in specials. You might save a little extra money just by asking!

Step 4:
Ask the Right Questions

When looking for the perfect storage solution for your needs, it is important to ask the right questions both for yourself and for the potential self-storage facility.  Some items to keep in mind while looking for the best storage option may include:


  • Do I need a climate-controlled storage unit, and does this facility offer that?
  • What type of doors are used on the units?
  • Is there drive-up access for an easy move-in?
  • What is my price point?
  • What types of stored items do you accept? (ex: vehicle storage, if needed)
  • Are locks either provided or for purchase on-site?
  • What security measures do you have in place?
  • Is insurance required or optional? 
  • What are the access hours for this facility?

These questions are helpful and are easily overlooked in the hustle and bustle of trying to secure a storage unit. Understanding these and what importance they are to you can assist in making the best decision for selecting a storage unit and facility.

Step 5: Reserve Your Storage Unit

Once you have an understanding of the space and a visual understanding of the facility and specific unit, it is ideal to make a reservation. At Utah Storage Center, you can reserve a unit for up to 24 hours before putting it under contract, as all units are first come, first served. 


Pro Tip: To get the most out of your storage unit, stack boxes and items to make full use of the vertical space available. Overhead space is just as important as floor space and can help you save money by fitting more things into a smaller unit.

Begin Your Move-in!

Once you have gotten your right-size storage unit, you are ready to begin moving your belongings in! The best way to keep organized is to pack your items in the order in which they will be arranged in the unit. Doing so will allow for a smooth unloading process and will prevent the need to reorganize the unit once the items are in it. 

Example: The items that will be stored toward the back of the storage space will best be packed last in a moving truck, thus making the unloading process easier by having the first items to be unloaded toward the door of the moving vehicle. 


Pro Tip: Label boxes by number and have a master list of where each box is in the unit along with the items within it. This will allow for easy access when searching for items while they are being stored, alleviating the mess and stress of tearing through the boxes to find the item you need. 

Finding the right storage facility with the best size unit to hold your belongings can be stressful, but following these steps will help streamline that process. Utah Storage Center’s friendly staff is here to guide you through finding the best options for your individual needs!

Self-storage that
won't break the bank

Browse our facilities and find an option near you.