Storage 101: The ultimate guide to self-storage (2023)


There's a lot to consider when renting a storage unit for the first time. Which storage unit size is best for you? Need temperature control? Fortunately, the experts at Extra Space Storage make finding the right storage solution easy. Use this guide to learn the basics of self-storage, and feel free to reach out to our friendly and knowledgeable team at any time for assistance.

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Storage 101: The ultimate guide to self-storage (1)


in motion

store belongings whilemove to a new house, transitioning between rentals, living in temporary housing, and moving across the country are some of the most common reasons to rent self-storage.

life transitions

Whether it's a divorce, downsizing for retirement, looking after a family member's property, or working through a natural disaster, self-storage can lighten the burden when it strikes changesto emerge.

Of course

The best way to avoid moving to a bigger home or office whilekeep your space clutter freeis moving items you want to keep but don't necessarily need right now to a storage facility.

apartment living

Using self-storage can dolive in an apartmenteasier. Especially if you live in a studio or one-bedroom apartment that doesn't have a lot of storage space, renting a storage unit can help you get more space.

Storage of a vehicle

Cars, motorcycles, RVs, boats, trailers, commercial trucks and much more can be safely stored inside avehicle storage unit.

home renovations

Renovating a home or office can take several weeks or months and may require you tomove furniture and appliancesOut of the way. Moving these items to a storage unit temporarily is a convenient solution.

enterprise storage

Small and medium-sized businesses and contractors often usecommercial storage unitsfor additional space where they can store inventory, materials, files, equipment or commercial vehicles.

college storage

Freeing up space in a dorm, coming home for the summer, or studying abroad for a few months are reasons whycollege students rent warehouseclose to their college campuses.

military life

Active duty military and military families often move every few years and head to different bases. Because these changes can be drastic,military storageit can be an incredible help when moving.

What to Look for in a Storage Facility


When you store your belongings in a self-storage facility, you trust that they will keep your belongings safe. Due to this,safety should be a considerationwhen choosing where to store your stuff. Extra Space Storage utilizes security measures such as well-lit facilities, video surveillance and electronic gate access. Some of our locations take security one step further with features like resident on-site managers, units with individual alarms and security access to just your floor.Learn more about our security features.

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When looking for self-storage, keep in mind the cleanliness of the places you are looking for. Storage facilities that take steps to keep their premises clean show that they care about you and your belongings. Locations that are not maintained should be a red flag. Cleanliness is important to us. At Extra Space Storage, we take comprehensive measures to maintain the quality of our facilities. We want you to feel welcome and comfortable in our facilities, and we want you to know that your belongings are in good hands.

Customer service

The level of customer service that a storage facility provides is important. Many companies don't even have employees on site to help their customers with questions or when something goes wrong. At Extra Space Storage, our team is dedicated to helping you with your storage needs. We pride ourselves on the professionalism, knowledge and positive attitude our team brings to work every day.


The best location for you will vary based on why you are renting a storage unit. If you just need more space at home, something close to home or on your way home from work will be perfect. If you're moving into a new home and using storage to help with the transition, something close to your new home might make the most sense. Think about how and when you will need to go to the facility and determine the most convenient location for you.


Several things go into the cost of a storage unit, including the location of the facility, the size of the storage unit, amenities like climate control, and more. As you begin your search for cheap storage, knowing your budget will make it much easier to decide on the storage location and unit that makes sense for you. In storing additional space,we offer affordable self-storage rentals and special promotionsin many places, including the first month free and the first month without half.


You can store almost anything on a storage unit in Extra Space Storage, with a few exceptions. Exceptions are basically anything dangerous or illegal. Obviously, there are some items that fall into a gray area; therefore, ask the facility manager before renting a unit to see what is allowed on the property.

Items you CAN store include (but are not limited to):furniture, appliances, electronics, clothing, commercial stock, sports equipment.

Items you CANNOT store include (but are not limited to):food, medicine, stationary vehicles, anything that is flammable or combustible (i.e. gasoline, propane tanks, car batteries)

Storage 101: The ultimate guide to self-storage (2)


Self storage providesspace for people to rent and store their personal or business belongings. Storage space, also known as storage units, is typically leased on a month-to-month basis.

Unlike full-service storage services, where the customer has limited access to their belongings and is dependent on the storage provider to store and manage their belongings, self-storage gives you much more control. You can pack and organize the warehouse however you like, access your belongings at any time during the venue's opening hours, and store or retrieve things from the warehouse whenever you like.

What can I store on a storage unit?

Clothes, furniture and appliances are among the most common items stored in Extra Space Storage storage units. However, storage units can also be used to safely store any number of your home or business items including vehicles, medical supplies, construction tools.

Description of types of access to storage units

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Outdoor vehicle access

Comparable to garage space,outdoor storage units with vehicle accessthey are incredibly popular due to their convenient accessibility. Pull your vehicle (including moving trucks and even semi-trucks in some locations) to the storage unit to load and unload items.

internal access

internal storage unitsthey are located inside a building, making them more like a closet than a garage. Not only does this provide protection from the elements, but it also means having access to self-storage features like temperature-controlled storage.

self-storage videos

How can I benefit from self-storage?

There's a lot to consider when renting a storage unit for the first time. Everyone from homeowners to business owners can benefit from a storage unit.

How to choose a self-storage facility

From identifying the right size storage unit for your needs to determining the features and amenities that will give you the storage experience you are looking for.

Self-storage services to consider

Extended access hours

With extended access hours, Extra Space Storage customers can access their storage units whenever it's convenient for them. Although our office hours are normally from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. m. at 6:00 pm, our access or boarding gate hours are usually from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm. m. at 10 pm, seven days a week. There's no need to worry about getting to your storage unit during business hours with Extra Space Storage.

Access 24/7

For some customers, our regular storage door hours (6am to 10pm) do not work. That's why Extra Space Storage is proud to offer an alternative for those with different schedules. With 24/7 door access, you can stop by your storage unit whenever it's convenient for you. Be sure to speak with the facility manager to see if 24/7 access is available.

Air Conditioned Storage

Temperature-controlled storage units are typically kept between 55 and 80 degrees to help protect temperature-sensitive items from extreme heat and cold. Some facilities may even have humidity controlled storage or heated storage to provide additional protection from outside conditions.Learn more about climate-controlled storage.

vehicle storage

Extra Space Storage provides secure vehicle storage solutions forcars,motorcycles, trailers, motorhomes,boats,trailers, and other vehicles. Storage options vary from facility to facility, but there are three standard types of vehicle storage available: indoor storage, outdoor storage and covered outdoor storage.

Learn more about vehicle storage

storage cabinets

For storage needs small enough that even a 5×5 storage unit is too big, storage cabinets provide the perfect solution. Cabinet units range from 2x2 to 4x5 with low ceilings. This convenient option ensures you only pay for the space you need.

Learn more about storage cabinets

commercial storage

We offer unique commercial storage services such as self-storage, workshop units and offices for rent to accommodate small businesses, contractors and other commercial self-storage customers. Some of our self-storage facilities even have additional business features for your convenience like office space, package delivery acceptance and much more!Learn more about enterprise storage

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wine storage

Need a safe place to store a wine collection? Select extra space storage locations offer wine storage as a service to keep your valuable collections in pristine condition. Whether you're moving and need a short-term solution or looking for something long-term closer to home, Extra Space Storage wine storage could be the perfect solution for you!

self storage insurance

While your storage unit is often covered by homeowner's insurance or renter's insurance,self-storage insurance through Extra Space Storage has its own unique benefits. From being able to get more coverage to avoiding the possibility of increased insurance premiums, it pays to know more about insuring your storage unit.

Learn more about storage insurance

Packing and storage materials

Need a lock for your storage room? Want extra packing material for your move? Extra Space Storage sells moving boxes, packing supplies, locks and more at our locations.

Learn more about packaging materials

Self-storage FAQ

Do I have to sign a contract?

Self-storage rentals are usually monthly, so there are no long-term leases. This allows you the flexibility to stay as long as you need.

How tall are the storage units?

The typical storage unit at Extra Space Storage is eight feet tall, but we offer units in select locations with higher ceilings to accommodate larger items and vehicles. We also have low units in large cities where space is limited to help you save.

Can I store a car or motorcycle in a warehouse?

Yes! As long as the vehicle is in working order, you can store vehicles in storage units.

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Can I live in a storage unit?

No. It is against the law to live or sleep in a storage unit.

Can I use a storage unit as a workshop?

No. We cannot allow tenants to use their space as a workshop.

Are there promotions or discounts for cheap storage?

Yes! With competitive rental rates and special promotions like first month free and first month free half available, Extra Space Storage offers great deals and affordable storage units for customers!

Do I need to take out insurance for my storage unit?

Whether through homeowner's or renter's insurance, or the self-storage insurance you purchased with us, your self-storage unit must be insured.


What are the 3 most important things about storage areas? ›

When looking for a good storage facility, you need to find one with these qualities. The facility needs to be able to keep out pests, thieves, temperature, and humidity while providing insurance, pickup services, and a wide range of unit sizes.

Can a 5x10 storage unit hold a couch? ›

Yes! Your couch can fit into a 5x10 storage unit.

Will a king size bed fit in a 10x10 storage unit? ›

King-sized mattress sets require additional space due to their larger size. Choose a medium-sized storage unit like the 10×10 to store your king-sized bed. This unit will also accommodate furniture, a home entertainment center, a washer and dryer, boxes, and much of the content from a two-bedroom apartment.

What should you not put in storage? ›

What you can't put in a storage unit
  1. Food.
  2. Hazardous materials.
  3. Stolen and illegal goods.
  4. Weapons and ammunition.
  5. Living items (and dead ones)
  6. Wet items.
  7. Priceless and irreplaceable items.
  8. Money.
Jun 7, 2021

What are the 3 principles of storage? ›

Principles of storage
  • Control of respiration. Respiration is a breakdown process; hence storage method should provide a means to minimize this metabolic process. ...
  • Control of transpiration. ...
  • Prolonging the Dormancy period/Control of sprouting and rooting. ...
  • Control of spoilage.
Dec 15, 2011

What are the five storing techniques? ›

There are five methods of storing vegetables and fruit: drying, canning, curing and salting, freezing and common storage.

What are the 5 types of storage? ›

Types of storage devices
  • SSD and flash storage. Flash storage is a solid-state technology that uses flash memory chips for writing and storing data. ...
  • Hybrid storage. ...
  • Cloud storage. ...
  • Hybrid cloud storage. ...
  • Backup software and appliances.

Can a king size bed fit in 5x10 storage? ›

A king-size bed set, including a box spring, can fit in a 5x10 storage unit. An average king-size bed takes up about 18 of the 50 square feet of available storage space.

Can a washer and dryer fit in a 5x10 storage unit? ›

The 5x10 storage unit is great for storing garage items such as lawn equipment, sporting equipment, small furniture, holiday decorations, or lots of boxes. Unused large appliances such as your washer and dryer can also be stored in 5x10 storage until you need them.

Can a washer and dryer fit in a 5x5 storage unit? ›

Can you fit a washer and dryer in a 5x5 storage unit? Yes, you can fit a washer and dryer in a 5x5 storage unit.

How many bedrooms can fit in a 10x10 storage unit? ›

A 10x10 unit is a good size for the stuff found in two bedrooms, an entire family room or a modest one- or two-bedroom apartment. A few large appliances and pieces of large furniture can easily be stored in a 10x10 storage unit as well as mattress sets, desks, couches, dining room sets and multiple boxes.

Can a car fit in a 10x15 storage unit? ›

For smaller vehicles, a 10x10 or 10x15 storage unit is your go-to because it's very similar in size to a one-car garage.

Will a TV get ruined in a storage unit? ›

When choosing a storage unit, you need to guard against the risks of humidity and extreme temperatures. Humidity results in moisture accumulating on the electronic components. Extreme cold can cause parts of your TV to get misshapen and warped. For these reasons, it is best to rent a climate-controlled unit.

Is it OK to put TV in storage unit? ›

Use a Climate Controlled Storage Unit

To protect your TV from damaging fluctuations in temperature, use a climate controlled storage unit rental. A climate controlled storage unit will maintain a steady range of temperature ideal for storing a TV.

Do things get ruined in storage? ›

A majority of the time your belongings will be just fine and there's nothing to worry about, but self storage always come with a risk – albeit a small one – that items will get damaged or lost.

What are the important tips in proper storage? ›

Storage Basics
  • Refrigerate or freeze perishables right away. ...
  • Keep your appliances at the proper temperatures. ...
  • Check storage directions on labels. ...
  • Use ready-to-eat foods as soon as possible. ...
  • Be alert for spoiled food. ...
  • Be aware that food can make you very sick even when it doesn't look, smell, or taste spoiled.
Jan 18, 2023

What are the 3 types of storage areas? ›

Each storage facility may offer one, two of three of the following types of self-storage: inside storage, outside storage, and drive-up storage.

What are the two storage location strategies? ›

A storage strategy is a strategy by which you determine where to store your products. Roughly, two storage strategies can be distinguished. The first one is a random storage strategy. The other strategy is the ABC storage strategy.

How long can food sit out in a sealed container? ›

TWO HOURS is the MAXIMUM time perishable foods should be at room temperature (ONE HOUR at temperatures 90 degrees F and higher). This INCLUDES the time they're on the table during your meal. Just ONE bacterium, doubling every 20 minutes, can grow to over 2,097,152 bacteria in 7 hours!

How far should food be stored off the floor? ›

Do not store food on the floor. All food should be stored at least 15 cm (6 inches) off of the floor.

What cooked foods last a long time without refrigeration? ›

The best nonperishable foods that last a long time without refrigeration include wheat, rice, flour, pasta, canned and dried meats (see how to store meat long-term without refrigeration), fats and oils, beans and legumes, dried milk and dairy, sugars, dehydrated, freeze-dried, or canned vegetables and fruit, and other ...

What is the best way to store food? ›

Raw food and cooked food should be stored separately in the fridge. Bacteria from raw food can contaminate cold cooked food, and the bacteria can multiply to dangerous levels if the food is not cooked thoroughly again. Always store raw food in sealed or covered containers at the bottom of the fridge.

What 3 questions should you ask yourself concerning the storage of food? ›

Questions and Answers About Storing Food in the Refrigerator
  • Q: What temperature should my refrigerator be? ...
  • Q: How long can my food safely be at room temperature? ...
  • Q: Can I put cooked food that is still hot in the refrigerator? ...
  • Q: How do I safely reheat cooked and leftover foods? ...
  • Q: How do I use a food thermometer?

What are storage strategies? ›

A storage strategy is a method of storing data that serves a particular use case. For example, if you need to store volumes and images for a cloud platform like OpenStack, you might choose to store data on reasonably performant SAS drives with SSD-based journals.

What is the most basic level of storage? ›

24. Identify the most basic level of storage. Answer: C) DAS is the most basic level of storage.

What are the 8 units of storage? ›

Units of storage
Megabyte1024 kilobytes
Gigabyte1024 megabytes
Terabyte1024 gigabytes
Petabyte1024 terabytes
3 more rows

What size storage do I need for a 3 bedroom house? ›

What size storage do I need for a 3 bedroom house? A self storage unit somewhere between 120 and 150 sq ft should hold the contents of a 3 bedroom house.

What is the difference between a 5x10 and 10x5 storage unit? ›

5x10 Unit (50 sq. ft.): Ideal for storing the contents of a studio apartment, including a number of boxes, kitchen appliances, small mattress set, chairs, or even a motorcycle. 10x5 Unit (50 sq. ft.): Identical to a 5x10 unit just with a wider door and shallower storage-depth.

What size room is best for a king-size bed? ›

Room Size Requirements For A King Sized Bed:

According to experts in the industry, the minimum room size to accommodate a Standard King sized bed is 12 feet by 9.10 feet. This will leave at least 30 inches of space around the bed for free movement.

Can a queen-size mattress fit in a 5x5 storage unit? ›

Can a queen-size bed fit in a 5x5 storage unit? Normally, queen mattresses are 60 inches wide by around 80 inches long. Based on these dimensions, a queen mattress could potentially fit in one of our 5x5 self storage units.

Can a 5x5 storage unit hold a king size bed? ›

A 5'x5' storage unit can't hold queen- and king-size mattresses. Both queen- and king-size mattresses are at least five feet wide and over six feet tall, so the only way you could squeeze them into a 5'x5' storage unit would be upright — but it's not recommended to keep a mattress in such a position as this damages it.

Can a king size bed fit in a 5x5 storage unit? ›

Smaller mattresses will fit in almost any storage unit, while queen and king-sized mattresses won't fit in smaller units. Twin and full-size mattress: A 5×5 will easily accommodate all mattresses smaller than a queen-size mattress.

What are the 5 factors necessary for storage? ›

9 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Storage Unit
  • Size. Size matters — when it comes to your storage unit. ...
  • Length of time. ...
  • Self-service vs. ...
  • Location. ...
  • Cost. ...
  • Temperature. ...
  • Safety and surveillance. ...
  • Accessibility and convenience.

What is the importance of storage space? ›

To function smoothly and cater to the customer requests, a proper facility of storing and keeping important documents and files is needed. Storage systems are helpful in keeping all office goods, documents and files in a neat and systematic manner.

What are the benefits of storage area? ›

SAN benefits
  • High performance. The typical SAN uses a separate network fabric that is dedicated to storage tasks. ...
  • High scalability. The SAN can support extremely large deployments encompassing thousands of SAN host servers and storage devices or even storage systems. ...
  • High availability. ...
  • Advanced management features.


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