How to Turn a Storage Unit into a Personal Gym

November 18, 2020

Last year may have found you looking up how to add a personal gym to your home. 

Today, with everyone at home, it may be healthier to escape your daily environs. You may have been seeing your neighbors putting gym equipment in their garages. If your garage is filled to the brim, however, you still have the option of creating your very own low-cost gym at an outside storage facility. 

Setting up an at-home fitness center is a growing trend in the fitness community, but ultimately, it’s not a practical model for many of us. Between kids, pets, and guests, having your gym and relaxation space overlap might leave you lounging instead of lifting on the bench. Weight racks have a way of turning into clothes hangers. Fitness enthusiasts know that it’s better to change your surroundings to put yourself into workout mode. 

Let’s find out how a gym is just one of the many reasons to use a storage locker, and how you can create a gym out of your storage unit.

Is Creating a Storage Unit Gym Legal? 

The first question most people considering fitness space options have is “Can I use a storage unit as a gym?” 

The limitations on storage units are: 

  • You can’t live in it
  • You can’t operate a business in it
  • You can’t keep items the facility or state disallows. These could include firearms and hazardous materials. 

Housing and business laws have safety, health, and sanitation stipulations. The above activities violate those laws.

Depending on your state or county, using a storage unit as a gym could very well violate zoning regulations and local laws. Your storage facility will have the best answers as to the local and state laws, but showing you’re aware they exist ensures clerks look hard for the right answers. Rest assured, most states allow renters to use a storage unit as a gym. 

In addition to state and local laws, the storage facility’s policies could squelch your personal gym plans. Make sure you get express permission to use the storage unit in this way. The last thing you want to do is set up a storage unit gym only to be kicked out for violating their policy.

working out in the storage unit

Benefits of Storage Unit Personal Gyms

Using a storage unit as a gym can have a ton of benefits, especially when compared to gym memberships or adding a personal gym to your home. 

Save Money 

One benefit to a storage unit gym is that you may save money. Luxury gyms can run you hundreds of dollars per month. The simpler, local chains are less expensive, but they often don’t have the equipment you want. The monthly cost of a storage unit can turn out to be quite low in comparison, especially once you’ve already invested the money in equipment. 

According to Home Advisor, the average 10 x 10 storage unit costs from $80 to $160 per month, depending on where you live. Throw in a free first month’s rent offer and other discounts, and that monthly charge comes down even further. Remember, too, that while you may pay $90 per month for your storage unit gym, if you’re using a gym membership currently, you’re paying only $45 or $50 additionally. 

Work Out Faster

The biggest reason many people decide to skip the gym? Lines! A busy gym can create frustration, and aren’t you at the gym to diffuse the day’s aggravations? When you use a storage unit as a gym, the only person waiting to use it is you.

Custom Equipment

In your own storage unit gym, you’re the only member! You control every aspect, including temperature, music, arrangement, and equipment. 

If you’re tired of sharing a squat rack every time you go to lift, it might be time to get your own. With a storage unit gym, everything inside of it is by your design. Go crazy on choosing the brands and equipment styles you like; it’s all your own. Given the impact the lockdown has had on the gym industry, today gym owners and others are selling their used gym equipment at steep discounts. Try your local Habitat for Humanity Store, or online platforms like or, both of which sell used and refurbished gym equipment.  

Decluttered Home 

It’s likely that, even if you use it regularly, your gym equipment takes up an unreasonable amount of space in your home. When at home gyms cut into precious living space, resentments among family members can start to brew. Why keep the exercise bike in your living room when a storage unit gym could fit it far more effectively?

Insufficient room for the home gym equipment pieces makes workouts a drag. Even if you can fit a machine or two, it’s likely not the setup you had in mind. Even a 10×10 storage unit gives most fitness buffs plenty of room to use machines, weights, and stretch out on the floor or against the wall. 

Fitness and bodybuilding gym equipment sit on the floor of a storage unit gym.

Steps for Turning a Storage Unit Into a Personal Gym 

Feeling convinced? Good! Here are the steps you’ll need to take to turn the best self-storage unit for you into a personal gym.

Find the Right Size Storage Unit

The first step to turning a storage unit into a personal gym is considering the size of your storage unit. Storage units aren’t necessarily designed for gym use, meaning the ceilings might be too low for certain equipment. Consider also the material composition of the unit; you don’t want falling weights to damage the flooring or otherwise. 

Additionally, look into how the storage unit opens. Most aren’t made to be opened from the inside, and leaving the door ajar while working out is a wonderful way to accidentally get locked in by a passing storage facility staff member who assumes the unit was left unlocked by accident. Set up safeguards to prevent any accidental lockups. 

Get Express Permission From the Facility

As noted above, getting permission from the storage facility staff and owner is essential, because some storage facilities may fully prohibit creating a storage unit gym. Be sure to get something in writing that states your permission to use the unit as a gym, and any rules you’ll need to follow regarding its use and occupancy.

Choose Climate Control 

Climate-controlled storage units have systems set in place to avoid the blistering heat and freezing cold. These units are typically used for better preserving sensitive items in storage, but may also prove vital for your personal gym’s temperature control.

Ensure Electrical Access 

There often isn’t much lighting in storage units, and some don’t have electrical outlets. Check with the storage facility about electricity provided in the unit. Even if you don’t plan on using equipment that requires plugging in (exercise bikes, ellipticals, etc.), you’ll still want the ability to add extra lighting.

Plan Your Storage Unit Gym Space 

Once your storage locker arrangements are all set, add the last missing piece: simple storage unit organization! Bring in all of your personal equipment, and arrange it as you see fit. Add a shelving unit or locker for storing workout gear, and decorate with a yoga mat, lighting, inspirational posters, and even speakers. For size reference, you can fit one exercise machine, some free weights, and a yoga mat in a 5’x10′ storage unit. In a 10’x20′, you can fit two cardio machines, free weights and a bench, a yoga mat, and a stability ball.

Make Your Personal Gym at Storage Locker

At Storage Locker, we understand that having a personal gym isn’t an option for a lot of people. Luckily, that’s where we come in. We encourage using your unit your way (within reason!), and using a storage unit as a gym is certainly possible. We offer several convenient locations, so visiting your personal unit is no more difficult than driving to the local gym. Give us a call today or get in contact online to see how we can help get you set up with a unit of your own at Storage Locker.



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