Whether you’ve been using self storage for a while or you’re a first-time user, packing up your 4-bedroom while selling your home might feel like an overwhelming task. However, you can simplify this process if you plan everything in advance. Here are some steps you can take to successfully move the contents of your 4-bedroom house in self storage:

1. Start with the right unit size for your home

Before finding out which storage unit size you will need for your four-bedroom home, make sure you take into account your home size. For instance, a new single home averaged 2,643 square feet in 2017, closing a 7-year cycle of increases in home size. However, if your home was built some years before, it might have less square footage. According to U.S. Census data, 3- or 4-bedroom homes built before 2016 were generally smaller, ranging anywhere between 1,400 to 2,399 sq. ft.

To make sure you can fit all your belongings, you are better off renting a 10×30 storage unit. This unit size can comfortably accommodate the contents of a loaded semi-truck (with all the furniture and household items) and even a car or two. It’s safe to say the belongings from your four-bedroom house will fit comfortably in this unit size. If you’re not sure which storage unit size might best fit your needs, you can browse this self storage size guide. This guide will take you through all the unit sizes available and also through the list of items each of them can house.

2. Find a self storage facility close to you

Plan out your move ahead of time and make sure you book your storage unit at the desired facility and in close proximity to your home to make back-and-forth trips easier. Make sure the facility of your choice aligns with your budget and the amenities you’re interested in. Also, book it ahead of time to make sure the unit size you’re looking for is available when you need it.

Self storage facility3. How much will a 10×30 storage unit cost you?

You will pay a different self storage rate depending on the location you are renting in. Large urban areas might be costlier than suburbs in terms of self storage cost as the demand is generally higher in cities.

Nationally, rates for a 10×30 non-climate controlled unit stand around $247/month per Yardi Matrix data. However, large markets in the US exhibit large differences when it comes to self storage pricing. As such, the top rate for a self storage unit is $676 in Arlington, VA, followed by New York City, where renting a 10×30 non-climate-controlled unit costs you about $596/month. San Francisco, CA ($594/month) and Los Angeles, CA ($579/month) also charge a premium for the same type of unit.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Bakersfield, CA ($126/month) and Oklahoma City, OK ($147/month) offer the most affordable prices for self storage for a 10×30 non-climate-controlled unit. Tulsa, OK ($153/month) and Greensboro, NC ($158/month) also boast low self storage rates.

Here is a list of some of the most expensive cities for self storage across the US:

Top 10 Most Expensive Cities for Self Storage (10x30 units)

RankCitySelf Storage Cost
1Arlington, VA$676
2New York City, NY $596
3San Francisco, CA$594
4Los Angeles, CA$579
5Jersey City, NJ$510
6Boston, MA$478
7Washington, DC$454
8Seattle, WA$451
9Oakland, CA$443
10Scottsdale, AZ$436


4. Be on the lookout for discounts

When you book your unit, check for promotions and specials. Many companies offer the first month free or have discounts for students and military personnel. Make sure to read the terms and conditions of your lease, as these discounts usually need you to commit to at least a two-month lease. Check to see whether the company offers a free move-in truck. Always consider these promotions when settling for a unit, as they can help you better manage your budget.

5. Consider getting self storage insurance

Before signing the lease, consult with the self storage company on the issue of insurance. You could go for renter’s insurance, but make sure it covers all the items you intend to keep in storage. Typically, self storage insurance doesn’t cover damage caused by vermin or water. You are probably better off choosing a dedicated self-storage policy for items that aren’t fully covered. Rates for this type of insurance run from $5 to $2,000, but a $10 or $20 policy covers most belongings.

6. Will you need climate control?

If you’re renting a self storage unit, you should consider whether you’re going to need a climate-controlled unit. Climate control helps to regulate temperature and humidity to limit the effects of extreme cold or heat. The ideal humidity in a climate-controlled unit should be at 55% in order to circumvent the dangers of rust, mold and corrosion on items stored.

Which items can benefit from a climate-controlled environment? Here’s a list of the most common ones:

  • Clothing
  • Electronics
  • Wooden or leather furnishings
  • Books and photos
  • Musical instruments
  • Antiques
  • Medical equipment
  • Collectibles (including artwork)

It’s common knowledge that Illinois has bitter cold weather in the winter, so renting a climate-controlled storage unit in Chicago is the way to go if you’re looking to safely keep your belongings while they’re in storage. On the other hand, living in Texas leaves your items vulnerable to the perils of extreme heat and high humidity in the summer. Opting for the climate feature when renting a self storage unit in Houston is the sensible thing to do to prevent heat and humidity-related damage to your belongings.

indoor storage facilityA 10×30 climate-controlled unit typically costs you $314 /month nationally. Rates will, of course, differ according to location, so make sure you look into local prices to find out how to budget for this type of expense. New Yorkers can expect to foot a monthly bill of $671 for a large self storage unit, while Angelenos pay about $580/month for a 10×30 climate-controlled unit. Those living in Oklahoma City would pay around $165/month for the same type of unit.

7. Buy a safe lock

While some storage facilities offer you a lock, you are also free to buy a lock that ensures the safety of your belongings. Find a sturdy one that can give you peace of mind, especially when you’re entrusting the contents of your home. You can consult with the on-site manager to get a recommendation for a lock brand if you’re not sure where to start.

8. Keep tabs on stored belongings

You might not see putting your belongings into storage as a business, but it’d be useful to treat it as such. Make an inventory of everything you will put in your unit so you always know where your items are. Consider making a map of your unit set up to help guide you to the desired item when you visit the unit. Label boxes, if some items end up having to be boxed. Remember to keep updating your “roster” to help you keep a good handle on where everything is inside your unit.

9. Prep your belongings for the trip to the unit

You are, in fact, prepping your household items for storage before they even leave your house. As things might shift during transportation, they require extra care to prevent any potential damage. Use tarps and large plastic wrap to protect your furniture and other items that can easily dent. Make sure the furniture and other sensitive items don’t stay wrapped in plastic for more than a few hours to avoid any humidity-related damage.

movers moving wrapped furniture10. Get smart about your unit organization

Now, after getting to the unit, place the larger items at the back of the unit and place everything else in the order you anticipate you will use it. If you have some boxes, remember to place the heavier ones towards the bottom and the lighter ones on top if you decide to stack them. Create a path through the middle of the unit so you can easily get to everything. Make sure you don’t climb over boxes or containers to get to something that’s out of reach. Use a step stool to avoid hurting yourself in the process.

Now that you know how to move your 4-bedroom house in self storage, let us know which advice you found most useful. Have some tips to share yourself? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.


Mirela is a real estate writer and lifestyle editor for Yardi. With an academic background in English and translation, Mirela now covers a range of topics including real estate trends, lifestyle and economy. Her previous experience in proofreading academic articles has inspired Mirela to choose a writing career path. In her free time, Mirela enjoys reading, but also hiking and creating art. You can contact Mirela via email.

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