A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Right Storage Unit

Posted on 3 October 2023 | 18 minute read

1800WeStoreIt Mobile Storage

Table of Contents

portable unit you store

In today’s dynamic world, the need for extra space is becoming more pronounced. Whether you’re transitioning between homes, looking for a safe haven for your cherished collections, or simply seeking to declutter, storage units offer the ideal solution. But, like all choices we make, selecting the right storage unit can greatly influence our overall experience. This guide seeks to demystify the process, ensuring that you not only find the space you need but also ensure that your belongings are stored safely and accessible.

Storage units aren’t just about square footage. They represent a commitment to safeguarding your valuables, providing you with peace of mind, and offering flexibility in often turbulent times. Whether it’s a treasured heirloom, important business inventory, or seasonal items, everything deserves a space that ensures its preservation.

However, with the myriad of options available today, making the right choice can seem daunting. What size do you need? Is indoor or outdoor storage better for your items? How can you be sure about security features? This is where our guide comes in. We’ll explore every facet of self storage, providing you with insights and knowledge to make an informed choice.

So, as we embark on this journey together, let’s delve deep, ask the right questions, and find the perfect storage solution tailored to your unique needs.

Storage Unit Size Guide

Choosing the appropriate storage unit size is paramount. Not only does the right size ensure efficient use of space, but it also guarantees that your belongings are stored safely without being cramped or damaged. This section provides a comprehensive guide to various storage unit sizes, helping you pick the most suitable one based on your requirements.

Mobile Storage Unit Sizes and Specifications

  1. 6ft Mobile Storage Unit
  • Holds: Approximately 2 standard bedrooms of goods.
  • Dimensions:
    • Height: 2.6m
    • Width: 1.8m
    • Length: 2.4m
  • Capacity: 10 Cubic metres
  • Features:
    • Sturdy Construction Grade material
    • Handy budget-sized storage
  1. 8ft Mobile Storage Unit
  • Holds: Approximately 2.5 standard bedrooms of goods.
  • Dimensions:
    • Height: 2.4m
    • Width: 2.1m
    • Length: 2.3m
  • Capacity: 11.5 Cubic metres
  • Features:
    • Custom Steel Containers
    • Tie Rails
    • Padlock Protectors
    • Dust & Vermin Proof
  1. 10ft Mobile Storage Unit
  • Holds: Approximately 3 standard bedrooms of goods.
  • Dimensions:
    • Height: 2.6m
    • Width: 2.4m
    • Length: 3m
  • Capacity: 16-19 Cubic metres
  • Features:
    • Custom Steel Containers
    • Tie Rails
    • Padlock Protectors
    • Dust & Vermin Proof
  1. 20ft Mobile Storage Unit
  • Holds: Approximately the contents of a 3-4 bedroom home.
  • Dimensions:
    • Height: 2.6m
    • Width: 2.4m
    • Length: 6.0m
  • Capacity: 33-38 Cubic metres
  • Features:
    • Custom Steel Containers
    • Tie Rails
    • Padlock Protectors
    • Dust & Vermin Proof

Choosing the right size ensures you only pay for the space you need. Remember to anticipate any future storage requirements you might have. If you’re unsure which size to choose or want more detailed dimensions and specifications, consider checking out this comprehensive storage size breakdown.

Best Storage Units for Furniture

Jobs In Melbourne “Furniture Removalist”

When storing furniture, specific considerations come into play. Unlike other belongings, furniture can be bulky, delicate, and valuable. Hence, the storage space should not only be ample but also offer an environment where furniture remains in optimal condition. In this guide, we break down the best storage solutions for furniture, ensuring your prized possessions stay safe and intact.

Why Consider Furniture-Friendly Storage Units?

  1. Protection from Environmental Factors: Wood can warp, and upholstery can fade when exposed to sunlight or moisture. Furniture-specific storage units typically offer protection against these elements, ensuring that your items retain their original charm and quality.
  2. Spaciousness: Given the large dimensions of furniture pieces, like sofas, dining tables, and wardrobes, they require storage solutions that can accommodate them without causing scratches or dents.
  3. Accessibility: Furniture can be heavy. Storage units ideal for furniture often incorporate features like ground-level access or wide doors, making the moving process smoother.

Furniture Storage Solutions at a Glance

Large Furniture

For substantial items like couch sets, wardrobes, and bedframes, the 20ft Mobile Storage Unit is a perfect choice. With a capacity of 33-38 cubic metres and dimensions conducive to sizeable items, this unit ensures your furniture remains damage-free. Its features such as tie rails and padlock protectors add an extra layer of security.

Medium Furniture

Items like chairs, side tables, and smaller couches can easily fit into the 10ft Mobile Storage Unit. Holding approximately three standard bedrooms of goods and having a capacity of 16-19 cubic metres, it is optimal for storing an average household’s furniture.

Smaller Furniture & Fixtures

For smaller fixtures, decor, or individual furniture pieces, 6ft and 8ft Mobile Storage Units are ideal. They are compact, yet spacious enough to store items without cramming.

All these units come with custom steel containers, ensuring the safety and protection of your furniture against external elements. Also, the presence of tie rails, padlock protectors, and dust & vermin proofing ensures that the furniture remains in the same condition as when you stored it.

It’s not just about space; it’s about preserving the value, functionality, and aesthetics of your furniture. So when considering storage units for your furniture, think of it as an investment in the long life of your possessions.

For an in-depth look at various storage unit sizes and features best suited for furniture storage, check out this detailed furniture guide on storage solutions.

Comparing Indoor vs. Outdoor Storage Units

When seeking storage solutions, one of the first choices you’ll likely face is whether to opt for an indoor or outdoor storage unit. Both types have their distinct advantages, and the best choice often depends on what you’re storing, your accessibility needs, and budget considerations. In this guide, we’ll explore the pros and cons of indoor vs. outdoor storage units, equipping you with the information you need to make the right choice.

Indoor Storage Units


  • Climate Control: Many indoor units offer climate-controlled environments, making them ideal for items sensitive to temperature fluctuations, like artwork, electronics, or vintage furniture.
  • Enhanced Security: Being inside a building often means more security layers, including surveillance cameras, key card access, and sometimes even security guards.
  • Less Exposure to External Elements: Items in indoor storage units are less prone to damage from rain, sun, or pests.


  • Cost: Typically, indoor storage units might be pricier than their outdoor counterparts due to the added features they offer.
  • Accessibility: Depending on the facility’s layout, accessing your belongings might require navigating corridors or elevators, which can be less convenient than driving up to an outdoor unit.

Outdoor Storage Units


  • Easy Access: Outdoor storage units are usually drive-up, making them especially convenient for bulky items or frequent access.
  • Cost-effective: They are often more affordable than indoor units, making them a preferred choice for those on a budget or those storing less delicate items.
  • Variety of Sizes: From spaces for cars and boats to standard storage items, outdoor units can often accommodate a broader range of storage needs.

In conclusion, the choice between indoor and outdoor storage largely depends on your specific needs. If you’re storing valuable or climate-sensitive items, an indoor unit might be the better choice. On the other hand, for larger items or those that need frequent access, an outdoor unit can be incredibly convenient.

For a deeper dive into various storage solutions and what might work best for your needs, explore our detailed guide on storage options and learn about the benefits and features of each type of storage.

Functionality of Different Storage Units

Selecting the right storage unit goes beyond just size and location. The functionality of the unit — how it serves your specific needs — is of paramount importance. Storage units these days come equipped with a plethora of features tailored to various requirements. Here’s a breakdown to help you navigate through the maze of options.

Standard Units

Standard units are the most common and are ideal for general storage needs such as household items, boxed goods, and seasonal decorations.


  • Variety in Sizes: From small lockers to expansive rooms, there’s a unit for every need.
  • Drive-up Access: Typically found in outdoor storage facilities, offering convenience for loading and unloading.

Climate-Controlled Units

These units maintain a consistent temperature and humidity level, making them perfect for sensitive items.


  • Protection: Safeguards belongings like artwork, musical instruments, and electronics from damage due to temperature fluctuations or humidity.
  • Enhanced Air Quality: Continuous circulation ensures a dust-free environment, protecting items like books and documents.

Vehicle Storage Units

Specially designed for vehicles, ranging from motorcycles to RVs.


  • Secure: Often come with reinforced doors and heightened security measures.
  • Spacious: Ample space for larger vehicles, ensuring they are stored without any cramping.

Business Storage Units

Tailored for business needs, they can store inventory, documents, or equipment.


  • Shelving and Racking Options: To efficiently organise inventory or files.

In conclusion, the key to getting the best storage solution is to identify your primary needs and then match them to the functionalities offered by different storage units.

For a deeper understanding of how each unit can cater to your specific requirements, consider exploring our extensive guide on storage functionalities and the varied features of different storage unit types.

Storage Solutions for Small Items

When we think of storage units, we often envision vast spaces filled with large furniture or boxes stacked to the ceiling. However, not all storage needs are expansive. Sometimes, we’re looking to safeguard smaller, perhaps even invaluable items. Whether it’s a collection of stamps, vintage toys, or important documents, understanding how to store small items can ensure they remain in pristine condition.

Designated Containers

Opt for clear, stackable containers to segment items. The transparent nature lets you identify contents swiftly, reducing the need to rummage through each box.

Label Everything

Especially when storing smaller items, it’s easy to lose track of where things are. Use labels or colour codes to help quickly locate what you need.

Shelving Systems

Integrate adjustable shelving within the unit. This maximises vertical space and offers flexibility as your storage needs evolve.

Safety Deposit Boxes

For invaluable items like jewellery, ancient coins, or critical documents, consider safety deposit boxes. They offer an added layer of security and ensure items remain untouched.

Inventory and Digital Tracking

Given the compact nature of small items, it’s easy to lose track. Maintain a digital inventory or use a mobile app to log items as you add or remove them from your storage space.

By considering the nature of your small items and organising them methodically, not only do you ensure their safety but also make your access to them efficient and hassle-free.

To delve deeper into efficient storage solutions tailored to specific needs, visit our comprehensive guide on optimising storage space.

Climate-Controlled Storage

The modern world offers a variety of storage solutions, and among the most advanced is climate-controlled storage. But what is it, and do you really need it? Let’s explore.

Understanding Climate-Controlled Storage

Climate-controlled storage units maintain a steady temperature and humidity level, regardless of external weather conditions. This offers protection against extreme temperatures, dampness, and the resultant potential damages.

Benefits of Climate-Controlled Storage

  • Preservation: Items like wood furniture, antiques, and musical instruments can warp or crack in fluctuating temperatures.
  • Mould and Mildew Prevention: With humidity control, your stored items, especially fabrics and documents, are less likely to succumb to mould or mildew growth.
  • Protection for Electronics: Extreme cold or heat can damage electronics, affecting their lifespan and functionality.
  • Peace of Mind: No need to worry about the Australian summer heat or the winter cold affecting your precious items.

Vehicle-Friendly Storage Units: For the Motor Enthusiasts

Vehicle-Friendly Storage Units

Choosing the right storage unit becomes paramount when what you’re storing has wheels, a motor, and often, sentimental value. Whether it’s the vintage car you’ve lovingly restored, the boat you use for weekend getaways, or the RV that has been a part of countless family road trips, each vehicle has its unique storage needs.

The Need for Specialised Vehicle Storage

Storing vehicles is not as straightforward as placing items in a box. They require space, but more than that, they require an environment that preserves them. Rust, dust, and unwanted critters can play havoc on vehicles that aren’t stored properly.

For many, their vehicles aren’t just modes of transportation; they’re investments. And protecting that investment becomes crucial. For instance, classic cars, which might only be taken out on the occasional sunny weekend, deserve storage solutions that maintain their sheen and value.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

While all vehicles need protection, the type of storage varies based on the vehicle:

  • Cars: Typically, they need a dry, clean space. While outdoor parking spaces can suffice for short-term storage, indoor units or covered units are ideal for longer durations or for high-value cars.
  • Boats: Boats not only need space but also require storage that can handle residual water or moisture. Elevated storage solutions might be the order of the day here.
  • RVs: Given their size, not all storage facilities can accommodate RVs. The ones that do often provide added amenities like electrical hookups.

Security is Paramount

Vehicles, given their value, can be a target for theft. Choosing a storage facility that has robust security measures, from surveillance cameras to round-the-clock security personnel, is not just desirable but essential.

Access and Convenience

Consider how often you’d need to access the vehicle. Some facilities offer 24/7 access, while others have restricted timings. Opt for a solution that aligns with your usage pattern. After all, the last thing you want is your own vehicle being out of reach when you most want it.

Pro Tip: If you’re looking for reliable vehicle storage options, consider checking out 1800westoreit. They offer a range of storage solutions tailored to the needs of motor enthusiasts.

Stacking and Organising in Different Storage Sizes

Space, while ample in a storage unit, is still finite. To truly maximise the benefit of your storage unit, effective stacking and organisation play pivotal roles. Not only does this efficient use of space save money, but it also ensures easier access to your items and reduces the risk of damage.

The Art of Stacking

Just like a game of Tetris, stacking items effectively requires a blend of strategy and spatial awareness:

  • Heavy at the Bottom: Always start with the heaviest items at the bottom. This provides a stable base and ensures that lighter items aren’t crushed.
  • Dismantle Furniture: Items like beds and tables often have removable parts. By taking them apart, you can use the space more efficiently and prevent potential damage.

Navigating Different Storage Sizes

Different storage unit sizes present unique challenges and opportunities:

  • Small Units: Ideal for stacking boxes of similar sizes. Uniformity is key. Consider using shelving to make the most of the vertical space.
  • Medium to Large Units: Here, zoning becomes vital. Dedicate specific zones for furniture, boxes, and larger items. Having walkways or paths can be a lifesaver when trying to access items deep within the unit.

Labelling: Your Best Friend

When stacking numerous boxes and items, it’s easy to forget where everything is. Clearly labelled boxes, facing outwards, can save significant time during retrieval. A map or layout of your unit, placed by the entrance, can also serve as a handy reference.

Protect and Preserve

Using protective covers, bubble wrap, or cloth can prevent scratches, dents, and dust accumulation. For fragile items, consider using specialised storage solutions or dedicated compartments within the unit.

Access Frequency

Place items you’ll need to access frequently towards the front. Seasonal items, like Christmas decorations or summer gear, can be rotated based on the time of year.

Pro Tip: For more on how to best utilise different storage unit sizes and their layouts, check out this detailed guide on storage optimisation.

Cost Analysis: Small vs. Large Storage Units

Choosing the right storage unit size can have significant implications on your budget. While instinct might urge you to get the largest space available to ensure all your items fit, sometimes smaller, more efficiently packed units can be the economical choice. Here’s how to weigh the costs and benefits of small versus large storage units.

The Financial Implication

Small Storage Units: These are typically much cheaper than their larger counterparts. For individuals with limited items or who are adept at organising, small units can be a budget-friendly option. They’re ideal for storing boxes, a few pieces of furniture, or seasonal items.

Large Storage Units: These come at a premium but offer substantial space. They can comfortably accommodate the contents of a home, making them perfect for significant transitions like moves. The cost-per-square-foot might be lower, but the overall expense is higher.

Assessing Your Needs

Before diving into cost comparisons, take a comprehensive inventory of the items you need to store. Ask yourself:

  • How much space do these items genuinely occupy?
  • Do I have any bulky items that need extra space?
  • How long do I plan to use the storage unit?

Hidden Costs and Benefits

Beyond the straightforward rental cost:

  • Insurance: Some providers may charge more for insuring larger units.
  • Access and Convenience: Larger units might come with added conveniences like drive-up access, which can be worth the extra cost for some users.
  • Flexibility: Larger units often provide flexibility to store additional items in the future.

Long-Term vs. Short-Term

If you’re considering storage for an extended period, a larger unit might become cost-effective over time, especially if you anticipate adding more items. However, for short-term needs, like a temporary move, smaller units could be more economical.

Pro Tip: For a deeper dive into the costs associated with different storage unit sizes and how to save, consider visiting this detailed overview of storage prices in Melbourne.

Security Features in Modern Storage Units: Safeguarding Your Belongings

Safety and Security

When entrusting your valuables to a storage facility, security is paramount. Modern storage units are now equipped with cutting-edge security features designed to offer peace of mind. Here’s a rundown on what to look for to ensure the utmost safety of your belongings.

Advanced Locking Systems

Padlock Protectors: Modern units come with reinforced protectors that shield padlocks from bolt cutters, ensuring that the unit is impenetrable to common theft tools.

Keyless Entry Systems: These systems allow for enhanced security as they eliminate the risk of key duplication, enabling only authorised access through unique access codes or biometric access.

Surveillance and Monitoring

24/7 CCTV: Continuous surveillance is a standard feature in modern facilities, providing an extra layer of protection and acting as a deterrent to potential intruders.

Alarm Systems: Individual unit alarms, coupled with facility-wide security alarms, ensure immediate response to any unauthorised access attempts.

Controlled Access and Presence

Gated Entry: Secured gates that require access codes or electronic keys limit the entry to only authorised personnel, reducing the risk of intrusion.

Onsite Staff: Having staff present at the facility contributes to security. Their presence often serves to deter potential burglars and provides immediate response to any arising issues.

Light and Visibility

Well-lit facilities and units not only make access safer for users but also act as a deterrent to would-be intruders, ensuring visibility at all times.

Insurance and Liability

Before deciding on a unit, inquire about the insurance policies provided. Some facilities offer insurance options that cover the stored items against theft, damage, or other potential risks.

Consideration and Conclusion

When choosing a storage unit, give priority to those with advanced security measures, ensuring the safety and integrity of your belongings. While cost is a significant factor, the peace of mind derived from knowing your items are secure is priceless.

Security Pro Tip: For more insights on securing your valuables and exploring secure storage options, have a look at our secure storage solutions which offer state-of-the-art security features tailored to protect your belongings.

Making the Right Storage Choice

In our ever-evolving world, where space is at a premium, storage units have emerged as a versatile solution for diverse needs. From safeguarding heirlooms to providing a haven for large furniture or vehicles, the right storage unit is invaluable.

Yet, as this guide has shown, not all storage units are made equal. Different sizes, functionalities, security features, and even the location of the unit itself can have a profound effect on its suitability for your requirements. The essence lies in understanding these nuances, and armed with the knowledge, making an informed choice.

It’s more than just selecting a box to place your items in; it’s about ensuring that your possessions are safe, easily accessible, and stored under optimal conditions. Whether you’re aiming for the efficiency of space utilisation or stringent security measures, there’s an ideal solution out there.

Our goal with this comprehensive guide has been to equip you with the necessary insights and knowledge to make that choice confidently. Remember, the best storage unit is the one that fits your needs perfectly, both in terms of physical space and peace of mind.

Thank you for joining us on this journey of discovery, and here’s to finding the perfect space for your belongings!

Terry Davison