There are many reasons people move – you may have landed that perfect new job but it’s in a different city; maybe you’re seeking better housing, perhaps downsizing or upgrading your current home; or you’ve simply decided to give multigenerational living a try. Regardless of your reasons, moving can be a challenging process, especially as you need to move all your belongings from one place to another. If you’re about to move out from your two-bedroom, but your next home isn’t ready for you to move everything into, renting a self storage unit can be particularly helpful.

We’ve collected some key steps you can take to make the process of moving a 2-bedroom home into storage a lot smoother:

1. Declutter first

Before searching for your ideal facility and storage unit, go through your belongings and toss out damaged items. You can also donate those surplus items that are still in good shape, but you no longer use. Plan this step well in advance of your moving day so you can either have enough time to schedule a garbage removal truck or so you can check which local charities can accept your donations. This way, you avoid paying more for extra storage space, especially for things that you will dispose of later.

2. Find a facility that’s on your new common routes

When browsing for a self storage facility, try to look for one that’s going to be close to your new home. It will make your life a lot easier if you are able to rent a storage unit that you can get to easily on the way to and from your new home. This way, you will take shorter trips from your new place of residence and the storage unit to gradually transport your items into your new home. Should you decide to keep some things in storage indefinitely, like seasonal items, hobby gear or heirlooms that don’t quite fit your new home yet, it will make your trips back and forth much more convenient.

self storage facility

3. A 10×20 storage unit best fits to store the contents of a 2-bedroom

If you’re a regular self storage customer, you might have noticed that self storage facilities offer several sizes for their units. Among the most common types, there are 5×5, 10×10, 10×15  and 10×20 storage units. Larger units such as 20×30 might also be an option.

Choosing the right size for your needs isn’t easy, but according to StorageCafé’s storage unit size guide, if you’re planning on storing the contents of a 2-bedroom home you might be able to fit everything inside a 10×20 storage unit. If you have extra furniture and appliances or even other types of bulky items, you’re better off renting a 10×30 storage unit.

4. How much does renting a 10×20 cost?

Renting a 10×20 unit can cost between $100 and $320 per month on average, with price variation depending on location. For instance, renters in Honolulu, a city where the cost of living has gone through the roof recently, pay roughly $530/month for extra storage. Meanwhile, if you live in Lincoln, NE, you’ll pay approximately $95/month for a self storage unit of the same size. Storage units in Bakersfield, CA, go for an average of $105/mo.

Besides considering the monthly fee for a self storage unit, it might be useful to take into account your time commitment with the lease. If you intend to rent it for more than a month, check to see whether the facility offers a more convenient package for long-term renting or whether discounts apply.

5. Check for amenities you might need

Besides location and price, amenities are another essential aspect of renting a storage unit. You are temporarily keeping your belongings here so that means you want to make sure they receive all manner of protection. Here are some common types of amenities customers look for in storage units:

  • Climate control

A lot of items such as furniture, wood and paper-based items are sensitive to humidity and temperature. When storing them for a considerable amount of time, it’s vital to protect them from exposure to high humidity and extreme temperature to make sure they stay in shape and can be used again. That’s why a climate-controlled unit is the better option for sensitive items. Climate-controlled units are typically located inside storage facilities, which means they are much better protected from the elements than non-climate-controlled ones.

climate-controlled self storage unit

  • Security

Check whether the facility is equipped with video surveillance. Having that extra layer of protection will give you the peace the mind you need while you keep your items in storage. A keypad-based access is another feature that adds security to your belongings. This guarantees that only renters and staff are granted access to the premises. This type of facility also comes with round-the-clock access, which means you can get access to your belongings whenever it fits your schedule.

6. Decide whether you need valet self storage

Moving the contents of your home in storage is a monumental task, and it takes a lot of planning and time to do. You might decide to do it on your own, or you can enlist the help of the self storage company. The service is called valet self storage, and it means you can schedule the company to pick up your belongings and put them in storage for you.

7. Find out what you can keep in a storage unit

There are some items that you might have kept in your household that aren’t storage facility-friendly. Consult the facility of your choice before renting to make sure you have all the information you need. Food, hazardous and flammable items are just some of the things you’re not allowed to keep inside a storage unit.

What you can store include household items, cars, boats, RVs, motorcycles and hobby gear. That doesn’t mean that these regular items are the only types of possessions that make it inside a storage unit – unusual things also found their way inside self storage units, with taxidermized animals and spy equipment being some of the craziest we identified when surveying self storage operators across the country.

8. Get self storage insurance

Getting insurance for your stored items is the best route to take to fully protect your belongings. This will give you peace of mind and you can also be reimbursed in case of theft. Check to see whether your homeowner’s insurance covers your stored items or not. If not, you can inquire about this service with your self storage provider. A typical self storage policy costs around $10-$20/month.

9. Start packing

Packing an entire house is a huge project. Here are some steps you can take to make to transition your belongings from your home into a storage unit:

  • Make a list of essentials you can take with you

As you’re moving, make a box of essentials you can take with you to your temporary home. Put in personal items, bed sheets, medication, toiletries and anything else that you deem essential.

  • Label boxes by room

For the items that can go in boxes, make sure to pack them by room and label them. Even mid-sized items that can’t be boxed can be labeled. A large collection of belongings in one place will feel overwhelming unless you have an organization system in place, but labeling can really help. This way, it will be easier for you to find what you need when you transport them from the storage unit to your new home.

labeled moving boxes

  • Use towels and blankets for cushioning

Wrapping furniture and sensitive items is a great way to make sure they’re protected from damage for the trip to the storage unit. If taking apart furniture was necessary, keep all the pieces together so you can reattach them when they’re ready to come into your home. Don’t forget to care for the smaller items – packing shoes and kitchen appliances should also receive the utmost care. For instance, kitchen appliances can safely be wrapped in bubble wrap and boxed up.

10. Hire a moving company

You could do the move on your own if you own a truck or a van or you have the time to make several trips to the storage unit, but hiring a moving company will take this hassle off your hands. You’ll also get the help of professionals for a smooth and fast-moving process.

11. Create an organizational system inside the unit

In order to better find your items next time you’re stopping by, create an organizational system that works for you. You could start by placing the furniture at the back of the unit. Next, you could stack boxes on the side, but no more than two or three. Remember to place the heavier ones on the floor first. Leave a walking space in the middle of the unit so you can easily walk around.

12. Keep track of your items with an inventory

Your moving of household items into a storage unit isn’t a proper business, but you should treat it as such. Besides getting everything neatly organized, you should also create an inventory of everything that’s going into storage so you know what’s being stored there. Create a log for every box/item that’s being moved into your new residence so you will know what to look for the next time you pop by.

Planning and organization are key when moving, whether relocating a 2-bedroom or any other type of residential space.


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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