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Mind the store. Or, at least, mind the storage space.

60,000 storage facilities are in operation in the United States. They rake in nearly 40 billion dollars a year and take up 1.7 billion square feet.

Storage units are cost-effective and simple ways to store valuables. But not all units come in the same size. The smallest size that most companies offer is 5×5.

As small as a 5×5 storage unit may seem, it can meet your needs. You just need to be smart about it. Here is a quick guide on what you can fit in a 5×5 unit.

How Big Is a 5×5 Storage Unit?

A 5×5 storage unit provides 25 square feet of space. It is five feet long by five feet wide.

Each storage company has its own ceiling height, though eight-foot ceilings are common. An eight-foot ceiling provides you with 120 cubic feet of space.

A 5×5 unit is the size of a small walk-in closet. If you’re strategic about what you pack, you can store the contents of a small room.

What Does a 5×5 Storage Unit Look Like?

The look of your unit varies depending on your storage company. Most facilities use sliding doors, allowing you to move belongings in and out with ease. Other facilities use swinging doors, usually when the unit is located inside.

These doors do have locks, keeping people from entering your unit. Storage companies provide 24/7 security, controlling who enters and leaves the units.

Many storage units contain insulated metal panels. Most panels are gray and white. Most floors in storing units are made of concrete, which is often gray or brown.

Some companies like Titan Storage offer units with electrical outlets. Outlets are compact, appearing along the floor of units. If you don’t like their appearance, you can hide them behind objects.

Some storage facilities do not offer their own lighting. You may need to supply your own, or you may need to rely on sunlight or lighting in the facility hallways.

Storage units are climate-controlled, protecting your belongings from humidity and heat. But you still need to wrap and cover your belongings.

Also read: Ways Technology Enhances Home-Buying Experience

Before You Store

Consider why you need to store. If you want to get rid of your belongings, sell or donate them.

If you need to access your belongings on a regular basis, store your belongings within your home. Storing at a facility frees up space in your home while keeping your items safe.

The most common package tools are cardboard boxes and duct tape. Cardboard is fine for short-term storage, but it breaks down over time. If you want long-term protection, you need plastic bins.

Pack everything into its smallest possible box. Keep like things together and mark your boxes with labels indicating what’s inside.

Do not pack any spoilable goods, animals, or plants. Clean your clothes and linens before storing them since small stains can attract pests. You can pack canned goods, but make sure the temperature in your unit is low.

Be careful when packing important documents like passports since the documents can get stolen. Keep important documents within your house in a safe.

Make an inventory of everything you will store. If your storage company offers insurance, buy a complete package.

Take photographs and keep the receipts of everything you own. This will expedite the return of your belongings if they get stolen.

While You Store

Transport your belongings in your car or a rental van. Keep fragile items on the floor of your car and secure them. You can strap bulky items into seats with seatbelts.

Ask for help when you need it. If you’re loading heavy objects, ask a friend or an employee at the storage facility to help you.

When moving objects into your unit, hold them from the bottom with both hands. Do not rush. Place the object onto the floor and push it off to the side.

Take advantage of the height of your unit. You don’t have much length and width, so you need to maximize your great height. Keep heavy objects toward the ground, then stack lighter objects on top of them.

Make sure you can stack your boxes on top of each other. If you have one awkwardly-shaped box, place that box on top. If you have multiple awkward boxes, move objects around until the boxes are even.

Push flat objects like mattresses up against the walls. Do not let bulky objects rest against the door, as they could fall when the door opens. Place awkwardly-shaped objects up against the sides.

When you open your unit, you should be able to access everything. Clear a pathway through the middle of your unit. Move the objects around until everything is within reach.

Inspect your belongings once a month. If your cardboard boxes are breaking down, move the items into a plastic bin.

You will receive a key or access code to open your unit. You can share access to your unit, but avoid giving your code whenever possible.

Also read: Smart DIY Storage Solutions to Declutter Home

5×5 Storage Unit Size and Substance

Not everything comes in a pretty package. A 5×5 unit sounds small to a lot of people. But with the right knowledge, you can pack a lot into that space.

A 5×5 storage unit is about the size of a small walk-in closet. You can store the contents of small rooms within one. Most units are gray with climate controls, though some feature electrical outlets for appliances.

Pack in the smallest possible boxes. Label your boxes, and keep like objects together. Push flat objects against the walls and maximize your unit’s height.

Make your life easier with the right guidance. Follow our coverage for more home improvement guides.

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