What Can You Fit Inside of a 5×10 Storage Unit?

Andreea Draguleasa
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Have you ever considered renting a 5×10 storage unit, but wonder how much it can actually hold?

Maybe you are prepping for a move, decluttering or simply need that extra space. If you want to know if a 5×10 is big enough for all your stuff, well, you’ve come to the right spot. We’ll break down everything from its size to what treasures (and essentials) it can comfortably house. By the end, you will have a clearer picture of this popular storage size and whether it’s the right fit for your needs.

How Big Is a 5×10 Storage Unit?

Five feet by 10 feet.  How roomy is it and what can you pack into such a space?

Here’s a clue: have you got a small utility room at home? It’s around that size. A perfect size for storage without feeling overwhelming. The most crucial numbers you’d want to remember is that it offers 400 cubic feet of space. That’s a lot of room to play around with when it comes to storing items!

Popular Uses for 5×10 Storage Units

For those constantly on the go, especially students, this size is a cost-effective favorite. You’ve got textbooks, off-season clothes and sometimes even furniture that needs a temporary home. And let’s not forget homeowners! Those garden chairs and lawnmowers have to go somewhere when the snow starts to fall.

However, a quick word of caution: while you could, in theory, fit a mattress inside, it’s essential to know that snoozing or setting up camp in there is a big no-no.

What Can Fit in a 5×10 Storage Unit?

Remember when we compared this unit to a small utility room at home? Let’s unpack what you can realistically squeeze into these dimensions. Remember, a 5×10 offers 50 square feet of floor space to work with, so you will need to plan accordingly.

Furniture and Household Items

While it might be hard to visualize, a typical 5×10 unit can comfortably house a collection of furniture pieces. We’re talking about:

  • A queen-sized bed — yes, mattress and frame!
  • A dresser for all those folded clothes and miscellaneous items.
  • A television set and its stand. Maybe you have a sleek flat screen or a slightly bulkier model; both can fit.
  • Comfortable seating like a love seat or a couple of individual chairs.
  • A bicycle for those who want to keep it safe and sound during off-riding seasons.

Beyond Furniture — Boxed Items and More

Well, it’s not all about furniture. Think about those items you’ve packed up or plan to:

  • You can stack around 30 medium and large moving boxes, depending on their size and contents.
  • Got sports equipment? Whether it’s a surfboard, snowboard or a set of golf clubs, there is enough space.
  • A collection of tools for the DIY enthusiast or perhaps gardening equipment awaiting spring.

Effective Organization Tips

To make the most of this 5×10 storage unit:

  • Strategize your arrangement. Start with bulky items at the base and stack up from there.
  • Adopt boxing and labeling — this cannot be emphasized enough. Knowing where everything is will save you both time and headaches in the long run.
  • Consider accessibility and position items you might need more frequently toward the front. No one wants to unpack everything just to get to that one box at the back.

Speaking of, make sure there is an easy way to reach the back, as in, leave a narrow path between items if you can.

What Size Storage Unit Do I Need for a One-Bedroom Apartment?

Ah, the age-old question for anyone who’s ever tried to condense a living space into a storage unit. Luckily, if you have a one-bedroom apartment’s worth of stuff, then the 5×10 storage unit might be your best bet. It just takes a bit of planning, but what doesn’t?

First things first, get out that notepad or digital device and start making a list. Itemize everything. Seriously, everything. From that coffee table book collection to your kitchen utensils. Once you have a clearer picture of what you are working with, group them based on size and weight. This will considerably ease the packing and unloading process.

Furniture Considerations

Your furniture often takes up the most space. Let’s figure out how best to fit them into the unit:

  • Your bed. We have already established that a queen-size mattress and frame can fit comfortably in a 5×10 storage unit. But if you have a king-sized bed, some disassembly might be required.
  • Tables and chairs. Dining tables can be tricky. If they can be disassembled, that’s your best bet. As for chairs, they can be stacked or placed upside down on other furniture.
  • Dressers and cabinets. Empty, clean and secure the drawers to avoid any surprises during the move. You can only use blue painter’s tape or masking tape, as other types are too strong and can damage the finish, but don’t leave them on for long-term storage.

Last, but not least, optimize space! Remember that sofas, love seats and other soft furniture can serve as bases for stacking boxes or lighter items.

Pack Efficiently

The last thing anyone wants is to open their storage unit and find a chaotic mess. Let’s prevent that in a few easy steps:

  • When packing smaller items and decor, ensure they are wrapped and cushioned. Fragile items need and deserve special attention.
  • Use durable storage boxes for your miscellaneous items and label each box clearly.
  • Use soft items like cushions, bedding and clothing to fill gaps or pad fragile items. This will save space and ensure a safer storage environment for your belongings.

Are 5×10 Storage Units Climate Controlled?

A 5×10 storage unit can fit a lot — from your beloved wooden dresser to that box of childhood photos. Some of these items adore a climate-controlled setting and 5×10 units can come with this added perk. Here’s what to consider 5×10 climate-controlled storage for:

  • Wooden items. That dresser or wooden table? They dislike too much moisture or dryness.
  • Fabrics. Thinking of storing off-season clothes or some plushy chairs? Without climate control, they could face mold threats. Yikes!
  • Electronics and photographs. Though wildly different, they both prefer stable conditions. You wouldn’t want your old TV or cherished family photos to deteriorate, right?

Sure, not every item screams for climate control. But if your 5×10 stash includes any of the above, or if you are just unsure, think about item sensitivity and how long you plan to store them. Is it precious? Fragile? Rare? If so, play it safe. And note that even sturdy items can benefit from stable conditions if they are kept in climate-controlled storage long-term.

Deciphering the Dimensions

Storage unit sizes can be a tad tricky. You see numbers, but how do they translate to actual space for your stuff?

5×10 vs 10×10 Storage Unit

Let’s state the obvious: the 10×10 is double the size of a 5×10. Here’s a breakdown of what that means for your storage needs.

  • Got a one-bedroom apartment full of stuff? A 5×10 will usually do the trick. Bumping up to two bedrooms? Consider the 10×10.
  • Best uses? The 5×10 shines for those decluttering or in transition. The 10×10? Great for longer-term storage or bigger moves.

5×10 vs 10×5 Storage Unit

Now, this is where it gets interesting. Both offer the same square footage, but their layout is different. The 10×5 is wider, while the 5×10 is deeper.

This difference in orientation means that with the 5×10, you might find yourself stacking up to use the vertical space efficiently. Then there’s the 10×5, which spreads your items out, letting you see everything in one glance. This could mean an easier time when you need to fetch something.

Eventually, the right choice boils down to your items and the unit door size. A 10×5 storage unit can accommodate a wider door, which is particularly useful if you store bulky furniture instead of just a stack of boxes.

Key takeaway: Always consider how you will get things in and out and remember to leave an aisle for easier access!

Is a 5×10 Storage Unit Right for You?

So, do you want to pack away a studio, a dorm room or a one-bedroom apartment? A 5×10 storage unit can provide enough space, given that you plan and organize it thoroughly. Maybe you don’t need to bump up to a 10×10 unit after all, so put your good old Tetris skills to the test and make sure you do not compromise on item safety and integrity.

Still need help? We have a guide that goes straight to the point and helps you find the right storage unit size for your belongings, so that you can optimize your costs and space starting today.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on October 16, 2023 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Andreea Draguleasa

Andreea Draguleasa showed an affinity for foreign languages and literature at an early age and started writing when she was 6. She studied journalism, advertising, and public relations at the University of Bucharest and worked as a content writer for a tourism agency and as a journalist for a magazine in the hospitality industry until 2010. After seven years as marketing manager for a Home & Deco online shop, she realized that learning something new every day brings her the most joy, so she went back to researching and writing informative articles. Through her experience traveling the world, she's picked up tips and resources she now shares on self storage solutions. When not writing about home organizing and storage, Andreea spends most of her time reading, playing video games, and spoiling her cat.
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About the SpareFoot Blog

The SpareFoot Blog offers tips about self-storage, information about storage auctions, advice about home organization, news about SpareFoot and much more.
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