Raleigh, famous for its tree-lined streets, an abundance of museums, as well as walkable, vibrant neighborhoods, is the state capital of North Carolina. Named after the English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh, the city is one of the earliest examples of a planned city. Boasting excellent education and employment opportunities, plus a gorgeous location with lots to do, Raleigh is a fantastic choice if you’re looking to relocate.

Here are some things you should know about Raleigh before making the move here:

1. How big is Raleigh?

With a total area of just under 150 square miles, Raleigh is the second-most populous city in North Carolina, after Charlotte. The city is mostly located within Wake County, where it serves as the county seat, though a small portion extends into Durham County. A number of towns, such as Cary and Wake Forest, surround the city proper and serve as Raleigh’s primary suburbs.

The city is divided into several large geographic areas, each comprising various neighborhoods: Downtown and Central, Midtown, East Raleigh, West Raleigh, North Raleigh, South Raleigh and Southwest Raleigh. The central part of the city is encircled by a circumferential highway known as the Raleigh Beltline. The Inner Beltline is home to the Central Business District, Downtown and numerous residential neighborhoods.

2. What is the weather like in Raleigh?

With a humid subtropical climate, Raleigh experiences four distinct seasons. Summers tend to be hot and humid, with occasional heavy rainfall. Winters are cool, with light snow from time to time. The city sees an average of around 46 inches of rain a year, which is mostly evenly distributed throughout the year.

Whether in the summer – when high temperature and humidity can do damage to various items – or in the winter when the cold weather can equally exert a negative influence on your belongings, renting a self storage unit can help. A climate-controlled unit is the perfect place to keep everything from vehicles and collectibles to outdoor furniture and even appliances.

Aerial view of Raleigh, NC in winter
Aerial view of Raleigh, NC in winter.

3. What is the job market like in Raleigh?

Raleigh is the largest city in the North Carolina Research Triangle Area, a major U.S. hub for biotech and high-tech research, as well as textile development. As a result, tech is a booming industry in and around the city. Other major sectors include health care, finance, transportation and education.

Businesses big and small can take advantage of self storage in Raleigh. IT companies can use a climate-controlled unit for paper-based records, saving valuable space at the office. Meanwhile, e-commerce sellers can use their units to store and prepare their stock. Raleigh’s many companies and businesses can use storage units for materials, documents or any other important merchandise.

4. Universities and college life in Raleigh

Raleigh boasts excellent educational opportunities and regularly ranks among the top five in lists of the most educated cities in the U.S. The city is home to 11 institutions of higher education, with North Carolina State University (NC State) being the largest and best-known. Part of the Research Triangle, this public university offers a wealth of degree programs, specializing in math, engineering, tech and science. Meanwhile, Wake Tech is the largest community college in the state.

More than 66,000 students call Raleigh home. If your dorm is feeling a little cramped, renting a storage unit in Raleigh can be a great way to free up some space. Ideal for bulky seasonal clothes and belongings, it’s a surprisingly affordable solution, especially when several students share a single unit. The service is also useful during the summer break when most students leave town. Instead of taking all their belongings back home, they can rent a storage unit to keep them in town until school resumes in the fall.

5. Enjoying outdoor recreation in Raleigh

The iconic tree-lined streets make getting out and about in Raleigh a pleasure. Plus, with more than 180 miles of trails to explore, there’s always something to do. Kayaking, boating, stand-up paddleboarding and fishing are all popular pastimes, with places like Lake Johnson Park and Lake Crabtree County Park providing ample opportunities.

Kayaks by lake Johnson in Raleigh, NC
Kayaks by Lake Johnson in Raleigh, NC

Turning to self storage in Raleigh is ideal for store bulky equipment such as fishing gear, mountain bikes and even boats. Not only does this keep your outdoor equipment safe and ready to use, but it also saves a lot of valuable space at home.

6. How self storage helps you move to Raleigh

Raleigh has lots to offer and is a top choice for people looking to relocate. More people from Florida than from any other U.S. state relocate to North Carolina. On average, you can expect to pay between $3,400 and $3,800 to make this move. Doing it yourself can certainly save you some cash, but it can be a lot of extra work and stress.

Regardless of whether you’re doing it alone or with the help of professionals, renting a storage unit in Raleigh is a great way to ensure the moving process runs smoothly. By shipping your belongings to storage rather than directly to your new home, you can move in at your own pace, whenever it suits you, rather than matching schedules with the seller.

7. Why and when self storage is useful for Raleigh residents

Whether you’ve recently become a Raleigh resident or you’ve always been a local, here’s how self storage can help you:

Raleigh homeowners

Raleigh is home to a versatile housing market, with something for everyone. Single-unit homes are marginally more common than multi-units, and historic neighborhoods such as Mordecai and Five Points feature styles such as Colonial Revival and Craftsman bungalows alongside Victorian-era mansions.

If you’re a homeowner here, you can use self storage seasonally – for keeping seasonal decorations and other items you use at certain times of during the year – or you can use it for other purposes. If you’re planning on remodeling your home, you can move the contents of the room(s) you’re working on into storage until the project is completed. Moreover, if you’ve just moved in with your extended family to form a multi-generational household, you can store the surplus furniture, appliances and memorabilia resulting from two families coming together under the same roof.

Raleigh renters

Apartments can also be found throughout historic downtown neighborhoods such as the Warehouse District and Cameron Village. Space in these extremely walkable and vibrant areas tends to be at a premium, so if your dream home doesn’t quite offer the square footage you’re used to, renting a self storage unit can be a great way to keep your new home organized and uncluttered. When you keep your seasonal and bulky items in storage, you can get to enjoy a breezy and organized living space in your apartment.

Downtown Raleigh
Street view of downtown Raleigh

8. Is Raleigh a good place to live?

Raleigh constantly ranks high as a great place to live, boasting affordability, a great community, access to higher education and an enviable entertainment scene. Therefore, it’s no wonder The City of Oaks is a place where people move to.

Moving to Raleigh from NYC

If you’re leaving behind NYC for Raleigh, you’re in for a treat: You can still enjoy the perks of a big city as Raleigh is big on sports and entertainment, but you get to spend a smaller portion of your paycheck on living costs. Additionally, living in Raleigh means having access to a place with a great sense of community stemming from the famous Southern hospitality.

Moving to Raleigh from Chicago

Chicago is another city that sees significant inbound and outbound migration, with many people leaving Windy City for Raleigh. While Chicago offers many opportunities, Raleigh is able to rival it in terms of job opportunities in tech or research. Besides, living here means waving goodbye to the harsh Midwestern winters Chicago is famous for.

9. What are the storage options in Raleigh, North Carolina?

The self storage market in Raleigh is pretty active, with 80 facilities that make up close to 4.7M sq. ft. of storage space that respond to the local demand, based on data provided by Yardi Matrix.

Additionally, there is variety in terms of storage unit sizes offered. If you need a large unit for storing the contents of a home, a 10’x20′ unit would do. If you need an even larger unit, a 10’x30′ unit would probably be a better fit. However, most people tend to rent a 10’x10′ unit for everyday storage needs. You can consult this storage unit size guide if you’re not sure which unit size you need.

As far as pricing is concerned, self storage rates differ based on unit size, amenities and location. Renting a self storage unit in Raleigh costs $97/month for a standard non-climate-controlled unit (10’x10’). The same unit size rents for $113/month if you need climate control.

If you’re looking for self storage options in Raleigh, you can browse the StorageCafe portal for local listings.


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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