A man and a woman stand in front of a small storage unit with a checklist and several boxes.

What do People Keep in the Smallest Storage Units?

Storage units come in various shapes and sizes, from compact solutions ideal for storing seasonal clothing, decorations, mementos, and home décor, to huge spaces that can accommodate everything from large furniture to vehicles and business equipment. 

You might assume that hiring the smallest storage units available would limit your options. However, even a small storage unit will often be large enough to give you plenty of extra space for all of the belongings you want to keep safe. 

Here’s your behind-the-scenes guide to some of the things you can keep in the smallest storage units, and how you can make the most of the space you hire.

What Can You Keep in a Small Storage Unit?

For most companies, the smallest storage unit offered will usually be around 10 square feet in size. That usually gives you enough room to store around 6-7 boxes, or 5 stacked chairs. 

10 sqft storage units are about the same size as a large cupboard, so they’re not always ideal for storing large pieces of furniture, like your sofa or bedframe. However, they still offer plenty of space for storing a range of items.

Some of your options might include:

  • Home clutter: If you want to clean the excess clutter out of your home or attic, but you don’t want to throw items away, a small storage unit could be a great option. It’s ideal for storing décor for the holiday season, artwork, books, collectibles, and photos. 
  • Clothing and linens: For homeowners with overflowing cabinets and wardrobes, a small storage unit is an excellent alternative. You can store seasonal clothes you don’t need right away, like winter coats and jumpers. Or you could store valuable keepsakes like baby clothes. 
  • Small furniture: Some smaller storage units give you enough space to store certain items of furniture, such as a chest of drawers, or a number of stacked chairs. You could also store things like bedside tables, or kitchen cabinets. 
  • Kitchenware: Plates, cups, pots, pans, small appliances, and all of your pantry staples are fantastic for a small storage unit. Just make sure you don’t store any perishable foods or beverages, as these are often not allowed in storage units.
  • Office supplies: If you’re in the middle of shifting from a home office environment back into the traditional office, you can use your storage unit to store filing cabinets, electronics (like a printer) and office décor. 
  • Recreational goods: Is your hobby taking up too much space in your home? You could use your unit to store your skis, camping gear, golf clubs, and even a bike (depending on the design of the storage unit. Not to mention all of your sporting clothing. 
  • Business items: If you’re running your own small business, or launching the occasional pop-up store, a small unit could be a great place to keep your cash register, any left-over inventory, labelling machines, and files. 

How Versatile is a Small Storage Unit?

The size of the “smallest storage unit” offered by the company you choose can vary. Some organizations only go as small as 25 square feet, which is plenty of room for a lot of the extra items you wouldn’t be able to fit in a 10 sqft storage unit, like larger furniture or multiple filing cabinets.

Depending on the size of your unit, you may have more freedom to use your space for everything from extra room when you’re moving house, to keeping art safe. 

The most important thing to remember when you’re choosing a storage unit, is to speak to the company. Find out exactly how large the unit is, and ask for a picture, or a tour if you’re unsure. Additionally, make sure you’re aware of any items you won’t be permitted to store, such as:

  • Live plants and animals
  • Waste or trash
  • Toxic materials or chemicals
  • Perishable foods
  • Flammables, combustibles, or hazardous materials
  • Illegal goods or stolen items

How to Make the Most of your Storage Unit

Choosing a small storage unit over a larger option could be a great option, particularly if you have a limited budget, and not much furniture or items to store. Just because your unit is a little smaller, doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get a lot of it. Here are our top tips for ensuring you maximise the space available to you:

Choose Your Unit Size Carefully

Sometimes, the right “small unit” for your storage needs might not be the smallest option available. You might find that upgrading to a slightly larger unit gives you more freedom to store the items you want to keep safe, without eating too far into your budget. Explore all of the options your company can offer before you make your decision. 

Master the Art of Packaging

You’ll find you can get a lot more into your small storage unit when you’re using the right boxes to organize all of your items. You can choose from a range of different boxes, depending on the size of your items, and we recommend labelling each box clearly. This should ensure that you don’t have to spend too much time searching for the right belongings when you come back for them.

Use Clever Packing Techniques

Sometimes, you can take advantage of specialist solutions for packaging that can help increase your available space. For instance, if you’re storing soft toys, bedding, linen, and clothing, consider using vacuum packaging bags. This will condense the size of your clothing, ensuring you can get a full wardrobe’s worth of item into a smaller space. 

Use the Vertical Space

Some smaller storage units will be taller than they are wide. This is your opportunity to use the vertical space as effectively as possible. Stack your boxes carefully (placing the heaviest items on the bottom, along with the ones you’ll need least often). Consider installing wall mounts and shelves (if it’s permitted), so you can take advantage of all the wall space. 

Group Categories Together

Storing similar items together can also help you to waste less time searching for items when you want to retrieve them from your storage unit. You might put all of the belongings you want to keep from your bedroom in one pile, and all of the items from your kitchen in another. Remember to keep all of your labels facing outwards, so you can identify each box instantly.

Even the Smallest Unit Makes a Big Difference

If you have limited space in your home, but you don’t need a huge storage unit to keep plenty of furniture and clunky items safe, the smallest storage unit could be the right choice for you. Even a small unit can make a huge difference to your life, giving you a secure place to keep your belongings, while minimising the clutter in your home. 

Contact Blue Box Storage for insights into the sizes of storage unit we can offer, and tips on how to choose the right size for your needs. 

Centres in Watford , Maida Vale (Permanently Closed) , Hemel Hempstead , Farnborough Call us FREE on 0800 9171221