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  • Writer's pictureStaff Writer

Storage Unit Size Calculation: How AI Can Help

Updated: Mar 6

Many online storage calculators are available to determine what size unit you'll need.


Since LLMs (large language models) can 'see' items in photos and answer questions about an image's contents, we wondered if AI could be an additional input to estimating the required dimensions for a self-storage unit.


This way, online unit size estimation could be based on uploading one or more photos of items rather than inputting a lot of text.


AI Bot Calculating Needed Storage Unit Size
An AI Holding a Calculator

We tested this approach with OpenAI's ChatGPT 4 standard interface, a GPT we created, and the Google's Gemini.


ChatGPT 4's Calculations


We uploaded a photo and prompted ChatGPT 4 with


What size storage unit do I need for the items in this photo?


Living Room Items

Here is the response.


Alright, I see you've got a cozy living room setup here. Let's break down what's in the photo:


  • Sofa: A three-seater, looks pretty standard in size, so let's say around 84 inches in width.

  • Armchairs: Two of them, each likely around 32-36 inches in width.

  • Coffee Table: Glass-top, probably around 48 inches long and 24 inches wide.

  • Side Tables: Two wooden ones, roughly 22 inches wide each.

  • Floor Lamp: Takes minimal space, but we'll count it in for completeness.

  • Area Rug: It's under your coffee table, looks like a 5x7 or 6x9 feet rug.

  • Wall Art: Two pieces, but they're fairly flat so they won't take up much space in storage.

  • Various smaller items: Throw pillows, decorative items, a plant, and some smaller decor pieces.


Considering these items, a 5x10 storage unit might be a bit snug, especially if you want to ensure nothing is damaged by overpacking.


A 10x10 unit could give you the space needed to store your furniture properly without cramming, allowing for some walking room to access items if needed. Remember, in a storage unit, you'd store things like the couch and mattress upright and roll up rugs to save space.


As with most AI output, verifying what the AI tells you is always a good idea.


ChatGPT 4 can also serve up DALL·E 3 images. We asked the LLM to generate an image of the items from the photo inside the appropriately sized storage unit.


However, the GPT comically returned an image that showed an entire living room setup inside a storage unit.


GPT DALL·E rendered storage unit

We'll try this feature again in the future.


Author's Note: ChatGPT 4 requires a paid subscription.


Using a GPT


You can try our Storage Unit Size Calculator GPT if you have a ChatGPT subscription. No prompt is needed — simply attach one or more photos and click the 'Send' message button.


We uploaded the living room photo above and this bedroom photo


Modern Bedroom Furniture

This was the GPT's reply


Alright, let's take a look at what we have in these photos!


Bedroom Items:

  • Queen-size bed: 60-inches wide by 80-inches long

  • Two nightstands: Each 18-inches wide by 18-inches deep

  • Chest of drawers: 30-inches wide by 18-inches deep

  • Possible additional items like lamps, a rug, and small decor items (not significant in size for storage calculations)


Living Room Items:

  • Three-seat sofa: 90-inches wide

  • Loveseat: 60-inches wide

  • Armchair: 35-inches wide by 35-inches deep

  • Coffee Table: 48-inches long by 30-inches wide

  • Two end tables: Each could be around 24-inches square or 28-inches long by 25-inches wide

  • Rug and additional small decor items (similarly, not significant in size for storage calculations)


Considering the items listed from both the living room and bedroom, a 10x10 storage unit might be a starting point for your needs. This size can typically accommodate the contents of a two-bedroom apartment.


However, if these rooms are part of a larger home with more furniture or items not shown in the photos, you might need a larger unit, such as a 10x15 or a 10x20.


Google's Gemini Space Estimate


We uploaded the same bedroom photo to Google's Gemini and prompted,


The storage facility I'm considering has unit sizes that include 5x5, 5x10, 10x10, and 10x20. Please estimate what size storage unit I'd need for the items in this photo. Echo back what you see in the photo with approximate dimensions.


Here is Bard's reply.


Sure, I can help you estimate the size of storage unit you’ll need. Based on the image you sent, here’s what I see:


  • Bed frame: Twin-size, approximately 39” x 75”

  • Mattress: Twin-size, approximately 39” x 75”

  • Dresser: 6 drawers, approximately 55” x 32” x 18”

  • Nightstand: 2 drawers, approximately 24” x 16” x 22”

  • Mirror: Large, rectangular, approximately 48” x 32”

  • Lamp: Table lamp, approximately 24” tall

  • Rug: 5’ x 8’


In addition to the items pictured, you’ll also need to consider how much packing material you’ll need, as well as any other belongings you plan to store.


Based on the dimensions of the items you listed, I would recommend a 5x10 storage unit. This will give you enough space to store all of your belongings comfortably, with some room to spare. A 5x5 unit might be too small, while a 10x10 unit would be more than you need.


Here are some additional tips for choosing a storage unit size:


  • Think about how often you’ll need to access your belongings. If you’ll need to access your belongings frequently, you’ll want to choose a unit that’s close to the ground floor and easy to get to.

  • Consider the climate. If you live in a hot or humid climate, you’ll want to choose a unit that has air conditioning.

  • Get quotes from different storage facilities. Be sure to compare prices and features before you make a decision.


I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.


When we asked Gemini to generate an image that shows what the items in the photo would look like packed into a 10x10 storage unit with the following prompt:


Generate an image that shows what the items in the photo would look like packed into a 10x10 storage unit. Remember that a storage units are not organized like a living room. Items are usually put on their sides or stacked to maximize the use of storage space.


This was the result. Apparently LLMs don't understand the concept of efficiently packing a storage unit.


Google Gemini rendition of a packed storage unit


Author's note: Gemini is accessible to anyone with a Gmail account.

 

Sizing a unit is not an exact science. At this point, AI can serve as an additional input to predetermining the proper dimensions of a storage space.


As large language models advance, there may be a day when an AI becomes the go-to storage unit size calculator.



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