Storage containers in different colors

How to pick the right size storage unit

There are many reasons one might need a storage unit. You might be in the middle of relocation or you might just need some extra space to store your items. Whatever the reason, you will need to know how to pick the right size storage unit. After all, going too small will mean you won’t be able to fit everything you need. On the other hand, go to big and you will be paying for space you won’t be using. That’s why we’ve compiled this article – to help you pick the right size storage unit, for you!

Understanding storage unit sizes

Storage spaces come in many different sizes. These may depend on the storage provider however, Kokusai Express Japan tend to stick to the standard sizes. These are:


The smallest unit size fit for storing:

  • Boxes
  • Clothes
  • Christmas decorations
  • Chairs
  • Floor lamp
  • Children’s toys
  • Suitcases and bags

Think of it as a small, walk-in, closet. We’ve heard people describe this unit size as such that if a person would outstretch their arms inside they would be touching both walls.


A bit bigger than 5’x5’ storage units but still in the small category. These units are fit for storing a few pieces of furniture, a motorcycle or other items of comparable size. You could also fit in a few boxes on the side. You could think of them as enough for storing one room worth of items. So if you’re looking to pack a smaller office or bedroom for remodeling, this might be the right size for you.


The first storage size on the medium list, the 7.5’x10′ are similar to 5’x10′ with a little more room for chairs, boxes, and other smaller items. Think of it as sufficient for storing a mid-sized bedroom or an office.


The 100 square foot space of this storage unit should make it enough for storing the items that would fit into a one-bedroom apartment. Perfect for people looking to store their belongings somewhere while looking for a new home. We’ve heard tales of people fitting a two bedroom apartment inside, but it all depends on how many items you are packing. Then again that applies every time one thinks about how to pick the right size storage unit.


If you need to pick the right size storage unit for your standard two-bedroom apartment or home, you might want to go with a 10’x15′ unit. This also applies to people moving a single bedroom apartment that have other bulky items say a piano or a large TV. Cramming these is not advisable so a larger unit size should be the right choice. It’s 150 square feet of space should be enough for storing all your appliances as well. With a bit of cramming you could store an even larger home inside. However, do not expect too much space for accessing your items then.


Large storage units such as these can easily accommodate a three or four-bedroom house or apartment with all the appliances. This makes it perfect for families during the relocation. It is also great for relocating offices of smaller businesses.


Now, this is a large storage unit! It could easily fit a family boat. So you can imagine how it can accommodate a five or even more bedroom house. It has enough room for a medium sized office business too. In our daily operations, we’ve heard of people storing up to a seven-bedroom house worth of items inside. With all of the appliances!

Measuring tapes and a floor-plan. To pick the right size storage unit for your needs, take into account the size of your items.
There are many different storage unit sizes roughly corresponding to room sizes.

How to pick the right size storage unit

Now that we’ve taken a look at standard storage unit sizes, you know how large they are. But that information isn’t enough in itself to help you find storage before you relocate to Japan. They key to this is knowing what you will be packing. Another important thing is to plan to store your items well. When going through our storage units in Mishawaka we’ve seen vastly different cases. From people cramming their full house in a medium-sized unit to people leaving ample room for movement and access, by renting out a larger storage unit. It all depends on your needs. So let’s talk about planning and packing for a bit.

Planning your storage

When planning on how to store your items there are several things to keep in mind. First of all, what items will you pack for storage? Then, you need to consider if you need any kind of special storage. Finally, you will have to consider where and how to get your storage unit. However, there’s no need to worry, as we’ve covered all these:

What to pack

First of all, you need to consider what items you will want to pack. As every move is a chance to de-clutter, you should think about what items you won’t be needing anymore. Make a list of your belongings and divide them into three groups. One for the stuff you will keep, one for the items you will gift or sell and one for those that you will be throwing away. This way, you will make packing them all much easier for yourself. After all, by dividing your items like this, you will avoid unnecessary packing. Additionally, this will be a great help when you pick the right size storage unit for you. Knowing what items you want to store and how large they are is obviously very important here.

What kind of storage will you need

Another step, tied closely to the previous one, is deciding on the type of storage you will need. If you plan on packing artwork, furniture, electronics or similar items, you will need climate or humidity controlled storage. Check with your storage provider to see which storage size options can accommodate these needs.

Paintings in a room
Any special conditions your items might require, add another dimension to the question of how to pick the right size storage unit

Pick the right size storage unit depending on your needs

Yet another thing to keep in mind is how often will you have to access your items. Cramming them all in a storage space until your move is done can work fine. However, if you will be needing to access some of your belongings in the meantime, plan your storage in a way that makes them accessible. This will mean either packing the items you will need closer to the entrance or leaving a small corridor in between. We prefer the second option as you never know what you might need during the storage period. Keep in mind, however, that this will also mean that you’ll need a bit larger storage unit. If you are planning to send your belongings overseas, pick the short term storage until everything is prepared.

Securing your perfect storage unit

Finally, when it comes to planning, securing the right storage unit for your need is crucial. After all, there isn’t an unlimited amount of self-storage spaces available. Knowing how to pack your items and how to use self-storage facilities is all fine, but it won’t do you much good if you’re left without your self-storage unit. So plan well in advance and contact your storage providers. They will probably allow you to reserve a unit of your choosing beforehand. Additionally, with everything move-related, setting ample time for planning aside is important. The same goes for planning your storage.

Measuring tapes and a floor-plan. To pick the right size storage unit for your needs, take into account the size of your items.
Any special conditions your items might require, add another dimension to the question of how to pick the right size storage unit

Being prepared to pick the right size storage unit for you

After reading through our article, you should be well prepared to pick the right size storage unit for your needs. Just plan it right, think about what you need rationally and you will be fine. When your belongings are safe in a self-storage unit, you will be able to rest easy. This will allow you to focus on other things, whether your move, finding a new home or anything else. And when you need your items, they will be there, waiting for your return.

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