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Self-storage: your garage away from home

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Self-storage: your garage away from home

Written by our friends at Public Storage Canada

Okay, so the time has finally come – whether it’s annual spring cleaning, or the Big Garage Reno you’ve been planning so you can cut back on your heating bill, and finally get your caroff the driveway. Either way, you’ve got stuff that you need to remove from your garage. Such as whatever’s at the back of those haphazard piles that you haven’t looked through in years – and yes, plenty of those things probably deserve to be chucked. But for the items that you and your family still use, you’ll be on the lookout for some temporary storage options. Luckily, self-storage comes in a wide variety of sizes to suit your needs. But how do you figure out which size will be right for you?

As a rule of thumb, you can estimate your needs by identifying the largest items first, and determining how much room they’re taking up in your garage to begin with. You should ask yourself if these are also stackable or things you could take apart, since that would decrease the amount of storage you’ll require. The number of boxes lying about is a good start…

The size of storage guide

Below are some of the more common garage items, along with a suggested unit size, to give you a good idea of the sorts of things that a storage unit could hold (unless you’re planning on stowing the family car, too!) However, as a tip, don’t forget that storage units do not come equipped with organizer shelving or racks, or overhead storage areas, so you will probably need a bit more room than you’d use in your actual garage. Based on this, these standard storage unit sizes would be suitable, by way of example, for the following items:

5 x 5 Storage Unit (25 square feet)

• mainly boxes and bins (fewer than 30 and stackable)
• holiday ornaments and disassembled Christmas tree
• old toys or games
• golf clubs
• sports equipment for baseball, skiing, hockey, etc.
• air conditioner(s) you’re not using

5 x 10 Storage Unit (50 square feet)

• even more boxes or large bins
• winter/summer tires
• tool sets/small tool chest
• bicycles(s)
• camping gear
• barbecue (with empty/no propane tank)

7 x 10 Storage Unit (75 square feet)

• wheelbarrow and gardening tools
• terracotta flowerpots (for patio or lawn)
• Adirondack chair(s)
• snow blower
• lawnmower
• large tool chest or cabinet
• electric fireplace

10 x 10 Storage Unit (100 square feet)

• small kayak
• set of patio loungers (2 – 4)
• small patio table set (seats 2 – 4)
• motorcycle

10 x 15 Storage Unit (150 square feet)

• heavy-duty workbench
• large patio table set (seats 4 – 6)
• set of patio loungers (4 – 6)
• canoe

Besides these listed items, most storage units will provide generous wiggle room for additional goods due to their ceiling height (8 feet and up) – so don’t worry if you still have a
few extra miscellaneous items you’d like to stash away, too!

However, before you haul your entire garage contents down to the storage facility, bear in mind that not everything can necessarily be stored on site, and this is usually for safety reasons. Some common examples would include flammable materials, such as aerosol or gasoline cans, or hazardous chemical products (pesticides, turpentine, lye, etc.). It’s always a good idea to check with the property management at the facility to verify which items you’re allowed to store, and which are prohibited. And, if it turns out you’re better off getting rid of it, your local municipality can provide you with useful resources for appropriate waste disposal.

Beyond that, the only step left is to book that rental truck – and you’re on your way to a fabulous garage make-over!

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