If you’re in college right now or planning to go soon, you may find yourself in need of extra storage space for your belongings.
Through your college years, you may find yourself moving from one location to another, or from a dormitory to an off-campus apartment.
Or you might even go away for a summer semester or do a semester abroad. That would certainly be exciting! So if that happens, you may not have the space to keep all of your belongings with you.
Self Storage for College Students
There is a convenient answer. Self-storage can be a great solution to store your extra belongings while freeing up some space where you live.
This can provide a number of benefits for a college student.
For example, it allows you to free up space in your dorm room or apartment, which can be especially useful if you’re returning to school after a summer break.
Or self-storage can be a great way to protect your belongings if you’re worried about them getting damaged or stolen.
In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of self-storage for college students, as well as tips and tricks for choosing the right facility, ideas for packing and storing your items, and how to manage the cost.
You’ll get the information you need to make an informed decision about whether self-storage is right for you, and how to make the most of it (if it is).
Benefits of Self-Storage for College Students
One of the biggest benefits of using self-storage during college is the ability to free up space in your living quarters.
This can be especially true since there may be limited space in your dorm room or apartment.
Many find it useful if returning to school after a summer break, and items need to be stored because you can’t take them home with you.
Self-storage also gives you protection for your belongings. You may be worried about your items getting damaged or stolen, and self-storage units typically offer security features like surveillance cameras and gated access to help keep your items safe.
Self-storage also offers a great deal of flexibility for college student’s needs. You can choose the size unit you want — and can add or remove items as your needs change.
Many self-storage facilities in college towns offer month-to-month leases. You can rent a unit for as long as you need, without committing long term.
Choosing the right self-storage facility
Choosing the right facility is important for the safety and security of your belongings, as well as for making sure that the facility meets your needs.
The first factor to consider when choosing a self-storage facility is security. Features like surveillance cameras and gated access provide the added confidence that your belongings will be safe.
You might even want to look for a facility that has an on-site manager. You can also check whether they have a good online reputation.
Since you’re attending college and might be walking a lot, a nearby location is an important factor to consider. You’ll want to make sure that the facility is close to home or school, so that you can easily access your belongings when needed.
Some people prefer a facility that is located in a safe and well-lit area, and is easily accessible by car or public transportation.
Another important thing to consider is the size and type of unit you’ll need. You’ll want to make sure that the facility has the right size unit for your needs, whether you’re looking for a small 5×5 unit or a larger 10×20 unit.
Additionally, you may want to look for a facility that offers different types of units: such as climate-controlled units, or units with drive-up access, or miniature locker-type units. It often comes down to budget.
Then there’s the availability of additional amenities such as 24-hour access to the unit, online account management, access to dollies and carts, and the availability of moving supplies and some even offer to let you borrow their moving truck for an hour or two.
The main thing is that a convenient facility makes it easier it to access your stored items — and to move your belongings in and out of storage.
Tips for packing and storing items in self-storage
Securing and protecting your stored items
Securing and protecting your stored items is an essential step in ensuring that they remain in good condition while in self-storage.
One of the most effective ways to secure your stored items is by using a sturdy lock on your storage unit. Many storage facilities use a disc lock. These are hard to cut. This will help to prevent unauthorized access and ensure that your belongings are safe and secure. Your storage center usually has approved locks on hand and I’ve found that they don’t jack up the price much on those.
Another way to protect your stored items is by investing in insurance for your stored items. Many self-storage facilities offer insurance options for your stored items, but you can also purchase your own insurance from a third-party provider.
If you’re a college student that owns a home, your homeowners insurance might even cover your property located in a storage unit.
Insurance provides peace of mind that your stored items are protected in case of unexpected events: theft, fire, or natural disasters.
It’s important to regularly check on your stored items and rearrange them as needed to prevent damage. By checking on your stored items, you can catch potential issues before they get big.
Accessing your stored items during the school year
Accessing your stored items during the school year is an important aspect to consider when using self-storage. One of the benefits of self-storage is that you can access your stored items whenever you need to.
Many places offer 24-hour access, so you can go to your unit at any time — day or night. This is especially useful for those who have busy schedules or need to access their belongings outside of normal business hours.
Many facilities also offer online account management. You can view your storage balance amount, pay your bill and even make changes to your unit rental agreement — all online.
Many self-storage facilities also offer drive-up units. If you’re a student that drives around campus, this can be convenient as you simply drive your vehicle right up to the unit door and load or unload your items.
One way to keep costs down is by choosing a facility with competitive rates. This can involve doing some online research and comparing prices from different self-storage providers. You can ask friends who they use too.
You may want to consider renting a smaller unit, as the larger the unit you rent, typically the higher the cost.
Another way to keep costs down is by sharing a unit with a roommate or friend. This can be a great way to split the cost of a unit, and can also be a great way to combine your storage needs.
Additionally, if you’re going to be away from school for an extended period of time, such as on a semester abroad, you may want to consider temporarily vacating your unit to save money. This can be done by putting your belongings in long-term storage or even storing them with family or friends.
Additionally, you may also want to look into special promotions or discounts offered by the facility, or look for facilities that offer month-to-month leases or have no commitment policies.
Preparing for the end of the school year — vacating the unit
As the end of the school year approaches, it’s important to start thinking about vacating your storage unit.
One way to prepare for this process is by going through your stored items and deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. This is a good thing to do at least once a year so that you don’t have 20 years of stuff accumulated (believe me, it happens).
You can sell or donate items that you no longer need. The money generated can help to offset the cost of storage.
Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that everything is properly packed and labeled, so you can easily find and access your items when you move them out.
This will make it much easier to move your items out of storage, and will also help you to keep track of your inventory.
It’s also a good idea to make sure that you give the storage facility proper written notice of your move-out date. Many storage facilities require a notice period (like 30 days), so it’s important to find out what the requirement is and make sure you meet it. This can help ensure that you’re not charged any additional fees and that you have the needed time to move your items out.
Lastly, you should check if there’s any last minute move-out procedures you need to follow. Some places may have requirements for cleaning (or returning the unit), so it’s important to find out what these are — and make sure you follow them.
By following these procedures, you can ensure that you’re not charged any additional fees (and that you get your security deposit back).
Alternatives to self-storage for college students
While self-storage is a popular option for college students, it’s not the only one. There are other alternatives to consider as well.
One such alternative is to ask friends or family members if they have space for you to store your items. This can be a great option if you have friends or family members who live nearby and who have extra space in their homes.
Additionally, you can also consider renting a storage unit on campus, which can be a great option if you’re looking for a more convenient and accessible option.
One of the first places I check is neighbor.com. It’s kind of like an Air B&B but for storage. You can store your stuff with peers and people who may live nearby. I noticed that people on neighbor.com are often offering a 50% discount on the first month – so this makes a valid money saving option. Typically their costs are already 40% less than self storage – but you deal with restrictions from the owner of the property where storing.
Another alternative is using a shipping service to store your items off-site. This can be a great option if you’re going to be away from campus for an extended period of time, such as over the summer.
With a shipping service, you can have your items picked up from your dorm or apartment, and shipped to a storage facility where they’ll be kept safe and secure until you’re ready to have them shipped back. It’s kind of like mobile storage in a way, where everything is collected at your place and sent over to storage.
How to store seasonal items and decorations
Storing seasonal items and decorations can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have a lot of space to start with.
One way to store these items is to use clear plastic bins, so you can easily see what’s inside. This allows you to easily identify and access your seasonal items, without having to go through a lot of boxes or containers.
Additionally, you can consider using vacuum-sealed bags to compress the items and save space. Vacuum-sealed bags can help to reduce the volume of your seasonal items, making it easier to store them in a smaller space.
Another tip for storing seasonal items and decorations is to label the bins or bags with their contents and the season they belong to.
This will make it much easier for you to find and access specific items when you need them, and will also help you to keep track of your inventory.
Additionally, you may also want to store your seasonal items and decorations in a climate-controlled self-storage unit. This will help to protect them from humidity, extreme temperatures and pests that can damage the items. There is an extra cost, but your delicate possessions will be protected.
What about large items like furniture and appliances?
Storing large items such as furniture and appliances can be a challenge, but there are ways to make it easier.
One of the best ways to store large items is to disassemble them, if possible, and to store the parts in separate boxes or bags. This can make it much easier to move the items into and out of storage, and can also help to protect them from damage.
When disassembling, make sure to keep all screws, bolts, and any other hardware in a labeled bag so that you can easily reassemble the items when you need them. You can tape the hardware bag to the respective furniture by using blue painter’s tape.
Another tip for storing large items is to use furniture pads or covers to protect the items from scratches or damage. Furniture pads protect from dust and help prevent scratches.
It’s also important to store large items in a dry, climate-controlled unit to prevent any warping or rusting. This is especially for wooden furniture. It’ll help keep your items in good condition.
Finally, when storing large items such as furniture and appliances, you should also consider the size of the unit you’re renting and make sure it’s large enough to accommodate your items.
Our storage unit calculator includes settings for furniture and appliances. Just select what you have into the calculator and it will show you what size is needed.
How to store fragile items such as electronics and artwork
Fragile items like electronics and artwork require special care when storing. One way to store them is to use bubble wrap or packing peanuts to cushion them, and to use sturdy boxes to protect them from damage.
By wrapping fragile items in bubble wrap or packing peanuts, you can help to prevent scratches, dings, or other types of damage that can occur during transport or storage.
Additionally, you can consider using a dehumidifier to prevent moisture damage to the items. Moisture can be particularly damaging to electronics, artwork, and other fragile items, so it’s important to keep them in a dry environment. A dehumidifier can help to remove excess moisture from the air, which can help to protect your items from damage.
It’s also important to label the boxes with “Fragile” and the content inside, to prevent mishandling. This will help the handlers to be more cautious with the boxes and will prevent any mishandling or accidental damage to your items.
Another tip for storing fragile items is to store them in a climate-controlled unit. This will help to protect them from extreme temperatures, humidity, and other environmental factors that can cause damage.
In summary, storing fragile items like electronics and artwork requires special care. By using bubble wrap or packing peanuts, sturdy boxes, a dehumidifier, labeling the boxes and storing them in a climate-controlled unit, you can help to protect your fragile items from damage and ensure they remain in good condition while in storage.
How to store valuable items such as jewelry and documents
Valuable items like jewelry and documents need to be stored in a secure and protected place.
One way to do this is to use a fireproof and waterproof safe — or a safety deposit box located at a financial institution. This will help protect your items from theft, fire, and water damage — and will provide added security.
Or you can consider storing valuable and delicate items in a climate-controlled storage unit to prevent any damage. Climate-controlled units canhelp to protect from humidity, excess of temperatures, and other environmental factors that can cause damage.
Another important thing to do is to make copies of your important documents and store them in a different location, in case of any loss or theft. Having the documents in two places will help make sure that you have access to the information (even if the original documents are lost or stolen).
It’s also a good idea to make an inventory of all your valuables, and make sure to keep that list in a secure location. This will help you to keep track of everything and in case of theft, you have the info to make an insurance claim.
Valuables, like jewelry and documents, need to be stored in a secure place. By using a fireproof and waterproof safe, a safety deposit box, or storing them in a climate-controlled unit — while making copies of important documents and keeping an inventory of valuables — you protect your valuables and ensure they remain safe and secure while storing.
Self-storage can be a great solution for college students who need extra storage space. By considering the above benefits, tips, and alternatives for self-storage, you can make sure to choose the right facility, pack and store your items properly, and manage the costs well.
It’s important to secure and protect your valued items, and then access them easily, and then prepare properly for vacating the unit when the time comes.
With these key takeaways in mind, you can make self-storage the ideal solution for keeping your belongings safe during your college years.