How Much Does a Storage Unit Cost on an Average?

How Much Does a Storage Unit Cost on an Average?

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Have you ever wondered why storage units have popped up around you in recent time? Or maybe what are people storing in them? Or how much does a storage unit cost on an average?

People hire storage units

  1. To keep the home and workspace neat and tidy
  2. When they are renovating the home
  3. When they move to a small home and need to store household belongings 
  4. When they plan to relocate somewhere and every belonging is to stored for a few months till they are back
  5. When children move out and their belongings need to be stored so that their rooms can be used for other purposes
  6. When you lose someone and his/her belongings need to be stored but not at home

What are the benefits of hiring a storage unit?

Hiring a storage will help

  • Store your household or business belongings for a short term or longer period
  • Secure your valuables for a specific period as per the contract
  • Access and check the belongings as per you need

When we think about hiring a storage unit, the primary question that pops-up in the mind is ‘how much does a storage unit cost. Let us analyze what is the average storage unit cost and how it is determined.

How can you prepare a storage unit cost estimate?

It is nothing less than a challenge to prepare a storage unit estimate as there’s no fixed menu on storage unit price. According to SpareFoot, online storage marketplace, the average monthly price for a storage unit, is $87.15 a month for all unit sizes and the average price per square foot is $0.97 per square foot. But before you fix it in the mind, let us remind you that this is an approximate value and there are many factors based on which the cost is finalized.

A storage company’s cost menu is based on various factors and it’s your call to determine if those are the parameters that want to meet while hiring the unit.

What are the common factors that play an important role in storage unit price?

Let’s see how a storage unit quote is determined.

Where is the storage unit located?

While hiring a storage unit, its location is highly significant. Those who are living in urban areas will find the nearby storage unit highly expensive because of the high demand and the rent for the prime location. If you are not particular about the location, hire a unit somewhat far away, or at the country as it can significantly bring down the storage unit quote.

What is the duration for which you are hiring the storage unit?

The duration for which you are hiring the storage unit is a big factor in determining the price. Generally, storage units are hired on a monthly basis. And interestingly, a few companies offer a first-month free option which is highly tempting.

This monthly package deal is convenient as it provides you the benefit of hiring a unit without getting into complicated contract hassles.

However, this depends upon the company you approach. A few companies go for 3-month contract and a few for more duration. It’s your call and you need to analyze which is the best suitable for you.

What’s the size of storage unit that you are looking for?

One of the most important factors in the whole process is the storage unit size. You need to know that storage units come in multiple sizes and before you hire one, you need to be sure of the storage size you need.

Deciding the storage size is not that simple as you assume. It is easier heard than done. You need to take a stock of the total belongings that are to be transferred to the storage unit. We will suggest you to take the wise decision of moving only those required items as the less volume can cut down the storage unit cost. 

If the storage unit you hired is smaller than required, it would serve no purpose. The belongings will not fit into it and you will have to hire a new unit. On the other hand, if the size is too big, it would be wastage of money as more than half of the space would be empty. 

Throw away all unnecessary items or sell them off. Take a proper stock of your belongings and decide the size of the unit you require. Do not hesitate for an expert opinion as none of us are veterans but only amateurs.

What’s the level of service you expect from the storage company?

When you compare multiple storage unit quotes, you will realize that each company offers a different set of services, based on which the quote is prepared. And maybe the same company will offer a different set of services and the costs will be different. And for those who think what will be the services like – they can be pick-up and delivery, round-the-clock access, or the quality of materials used in storage or maybe something more like this.

Do you have any add-ons?

If you have any add-ons, be prepared to cough up more. For example, if you decide to purchase storage bins or packing supplies from the storage facility, your overall cost is going to increase. Several storage facilities offer customers the option of purchasing labor assistance as well.

What are the items stored inside the storage unit?

If you’re looking for a unit to store your car, bike, or another automobile, you will need to pay more as the storage units that can keep these items are specially designed.

Do you want the storage company to provide insurance for the items stored?

As you are storing the valuables inside, it is essential to insure them against damage or loss. And most storage companies offer insurance. If you feel like taking an insurance coverage against the household or office belongings, it will add up to the total cost. You can check with the storage provider how their services are and in case of the absence of insurance, will the provider be able to help you sign an insurance with a third  party insurance provider.

Do you know that there two type of storage units?

Before moving forward we need to know that storage units are of two types – interior or indoor and drive-up access or outdoor.

What is an indoor storage unit?

Indoor storage units are located inside buildings, which means getting your belongings into your unit might require some extra legwork. However, they are safer than outdoor storage units.

Interior units are better secured against pests and theft and can be climate-controlled. This is the reason why you need to go for inside storage units for valuable or fragile items.

What is an outdoor storage unit?

Outdoor units are more akin to garages. There may be drive-up access to such storage facilities and they are more convenient to unload from a truck or any other vehicle. However, outdoor storage units may lack certain facilities such as electrical access and climate control.

You will find interior facilities in urban areas as they’re more space-saving, while drive-up access storage facilities—which can accommodate cars and are larger—are typically found in rural areas.

How much does a storage unit cost on an average?

As per the 2020 Self-Storage Almanac, the average national rental rate for a 10′ X 10′ storage unit is $107.11 and $132.97 for a 10′ X 15′ storage unit. This is an approximate amount and as discussed above, the storage unit cost varies significantly depending on location and other factors.

The storage unit quotes in the US are the modest. However, you may require paying more in metros like Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles or New York City. For example, a standard 5’x10’ unit costing $65.23 will require you to spend $149 in Los Angeles and the average for a climate-controlled 5’x10’ unit of $76.30 will cost $171.

In general, a storage unit may cost anywhere from $60 to $225 per month depending on the location, the size of the unit, and whether or not it is climate-controlled. There can be fluctuations based on the location and this needs to be considered while preparing the storage unit estimate.

Climate-controlled storage units will always be expensive by about 25% to even 50%

Can we now compare storage unit costs as per their sizes?

Let’s us take a look at the basic storage unit sizes and their average costs. Again, we remind you that these are average costs and the final quote depends upon various factors including the company and your negotiation skills.

Average Price5’ x 5’5’ x 10’10’ x 10’*10’ x 15’10’ x 20’
Average price per month$60$70$110$130$180
Average climate-controlled price per month$75$88$138$163$225
Works forFew boxes or furniture itemsStudio or 1-bedroom apartment2-bedroom apartment1–2-bedroom house; small vehicle or boat3–4-bedroom home; large vehicle, trailer, or boat
Best forCollege students storing items for the summerStoring seasonal itemsStoring a few rooms’ worth of stuffRenovations/remodelsHome remodels
*Most popular storage unit size to rent
To calculate costs for this table, we averaged the average storage unit costs in all fifty states. Climate-controlled storage costs are based on a 25% increase over regular storage unit prices.

Although the storage sizes listed in the table are the most popular, we also found these storage options in our research:

  • 5’ x 15’
  • 10’ x 15’
  • 10’ x 25’
  • 10’ x 30’
  • 12’ x 15’
  • 12’ x 25’
  • 15’ x 20’
  • 17’ x 20’

While the most expensive place to hire a storage unit is Queens, New York, where a 10 x 20 climate-controlled unit costs $691 a month, the least expensive standard units of all sizes is Shreveport, LA.

Here’s a list of 10 most expensive cities to hire a self-storage unit along with the average costs as per LifeStorage Blog

New York CityNY$202$420$691
Los AngelesCA$171$278$473
San FranciscoCA$167$254$449
Pearl CityHI$152$238$406
Long BeachCA$120$201$299
Santa ClaritaCA$116$181$325

What should be my storage unit size?

When you decide to hire a storage unit, one of the biggest questions that pop up in your mind is what should be the size of the storage unit. Do not worry, as we have created a list of items that major three storage unit sizes can hold.

A 5×10 unit is right for you if: You’re looking for a space to store your lawnmower and other yard equipment, a sofa, and a chest of drawers that don’t have a place or your home right now, or a dozen boxes.

A 10×10 unit is right for you if: You’re looking to store furniture and the contents of a one-bedroom apartment, including a few large appliances.A 10×20 unit is right for you if: You’re looking to store a few rooms worth of furniture and belongings. This size unit is designed to house the furnishings and appliances from a 2-3 bedroom home.

Here’s our guide to know how much space you need to store your home belongings

Unit sizeTotal space (sq. ft.)What it fits
5 ft. x 5 ft.25Small personal items
5 ft. x 10 ft.501-bed apartment
10 ft. x 10 ft.1001-bed home
10 ft. x 15 ft.1502- to 3-bed home
10 ft. x 20 ft.2003- to 4-bed home
10 ft. x 30 ft.3005- to 7-bed home

How much is a 20×20 storage unit?

When you shop for a storage unit, you’ll be surprised to find that there are units something as small as a 5×5 to something as big as a 20×20 that can store up to 6 rooms worth of furniture.

A 20×20 storage unit is not usually meant for home purposes but is recommended for business purposes as it is too large. When you think about a 20×20 unit, you need to know how much capacity it has and do you need it.

Typically, a 20×20 storage unit can hold:

  • 6 sets of office furniture
  • 6 bedroom sets
  • Car/truck/vehicle
  • Large appliances
  • Large outdoor equipment
  • Large quantity of boxes or storage containers

A 20×20 unit is more of deluxe storage and is considered best to house very largely, oversized items or large quantities of items. It’s ideal for commercial storage or housing vehicles on a long or short-term basis.

What should you consider while hiring a storage unit?

It is fine that you are now clear with the size of the storage unit but before you move ahead to hire one, you need to know what amenities do the storage unit offer you.

Let us take a walk through various amenities offered by a storage unit

  • Is it well lit to walk through and organize 
  • Does it provide CCTV access
  • Can you have remote access to the storage unit
  • Is it climate-controlled
  • Does it have 24×7 security
  • Does it provide insurance against loss or damage of your belongings

Is it worth it to hire a storage unit?

When you require downsizing your home or decluttering it for one reason or the other, there is no better way than to hire a storage unit. You can shift your belongings to a storage unit nearby for a specific period against a fixed rent.

Before you hire a storage unit, go through the reviews on them, evaluate the cost involved, compare it with other units, and confirm you need it. We’ll suggest you not to hire a unit just for the sake of it but you should avail the facility only if you require it.

If you are hiring a reputed storage company’s service and the unit is of the size that you need, it is worthy.

Is there anything that I should not store in a storage unit?

Hiring a storage unit does not mean that you can store every belonging at home inside. A storage company will have guidelines on what to store and what not to store and you are expected to follow them. Though the ‘dos and don’ts’ differ with companies, there are a few rules that apply to every storage unit.

Here’s a list of items that you cannot store in a storage unit.

  • Flammable or combustible items
  • Hazardous materials
  • Items that will attract pests
  • Items that are susceptible to mold or mildew
  • Anything living (plants, animals, people)
  • Scented or wet items
  • Perishable food (meat, cereal, dairy products)


You might be wondering how much should be your budget to hire a storage unit to store your dorm stuff or how much should be the size of the unit to stack your one-bedroom apartment stuff. Do not worry as we have the answers.

What size storage unit do I need for seasonal decor or extra home goods?

5 ft. x 5 ft. unit: 25 square feet

If your storage unit is if 5’x 5’, it is great to stash the seasonal decor, a twin-size bed, gardening goods, camping, and outdoor recreation gear, and off-season clothing. But it won’t be wise to expect it to fit furniture beyond a small dresser.
If you aim to pack just the contents of your dorm room (without the furniture), this size should provide enough space.

What size storage unit do I need for a 1-bedroom apartment or dorm room?

5 ft. x 10 ft. unit: 50 square feet

If you are looking to store your 1-bedroom apartment stuff, a 5’ x10’-sized storage unit can comfortably store them in. It can hold a queen-size mattress set, dresser, and TV or up to 15 boxes of clothing or home decor from your dorm or apartment.

What size storage unit do I need for a 2-bedroom apartment?

10 ft. x 10 ft. unit: 100 square feet

An average bedroom measures 10 ft. x 12 ft. Hence, you can consider a 10 ft. x 10 ft. unit as either a bedroom or a small, one-car garage. A unit of this size can hold two bedroom sets (including mattresses, nightstands, bed frames, and dressers). However, if you need to fit in furniture from a family room, kitchen, and dining room along with your bedroom items, go for a larger size.

What size storage unit do I need for a 2- or 3-bedroom house?

10 ft. x 15 ft. unit: 150 square feet or 10 ft. x 20 ft. unit: 200 square feet

To store the stuff of this size, a 10 ft. x 15 ft. unit is the safe bet. This is just slightly smaller than a standard one-car garage and is capable to hold three full bedrooms’ worth of furniture, several boxes, and a few bulky items like a couch or piano.

However, if the home is choked with furniture and you need to downsize them, choose the larger 10 ft. x 20 ft. unit. It is the best bet to go bigger and can hold three bedrooms’ worth of furniture plus dining room furniture, couches, and big-screen TVs.

What size storage unit do I need for a 5-bedroom house?

10 ft. x 30 ft. unit: 300 square feet

The king among the storage units, the 10 ft. x 30 ft. is the size of a one-and-a-half-car garage and is the largest available at most facilities. Considered as the granddaddy of storage units, you can comfortably fit the contents of a four- to five-bedroom home, including beds, appliances, furniture, a dining room set, and many boxes of personal belongings in it.

What size storage unit do I need for a king-size bed?

10 ft. x 10 ft. unit: 100 square feet

If you feel space is not enough to fit your king-size, go for a 10 ft. x 10 ft. unit. It holds larger mattresses, an entertainment center, bigger appliances like washers and dryers, dining room furniture, and all the goods from your two-bedroom home or apartment.

What size storage unit do I need for a motorcycle?

5 ft. x 10 ft. unit: 50 square feet or 10 ft. x 10 ft. unit: 100 square feet
You have a motorcycle and need to store it along with accessories like helmets and jackets. A 5 ft. x 10 ft. unit size is what suits you the best for you. If you have multiple motorcycles and extra gear, choose a larger 10 ft. x 10 ft. or 10 ft. x 15 ft. unit.
When you hire a unit to store the motorcycle, look for these motorcycle-friendly amenities:

  • Climate-controlled units
  • Drive-up access for easy loading and unloading
  • Video surveillance
  • 24-hour access (so you can go for a ride whenever you like)

What size storage unit do I need for a car?

10 ft. x 20 ft. unit: 200 square feet

To store a car, this size is the best. It’s the size of a one-car garage and can comfortably keep your car over the winter. And the advantage is that and you’ll still have space for extra stuff – like boxes, furniture sets, and seasonal home goods.

Can I live or work from a storage unit?

It’s illegal to live in a storage unit or to convert it to a workstation or a small office. No storage company will agree to it and legally it is unfair to do such a thing. So never even try to do that. Once found guilty, you will be thrown out of the unit without any warning and might lose the deposit you have made in advance.

Can I negotiate for a better storage unit quote?

Like any other business, you can negotiate with multiple companies and reach down for a suitable quote. As the first step, you need to collect multiple storage unit quotes, compare them, and find which one is the best for you. Talk for further tweaks and additions to the service and bargain for a better deal. Everything depends upon your skill to negotiate.