Store Your Stuff: The College Student’s Guide to Summer Storage
Between end-of-semester finals and celebratory social events, no college student wants to spend the last week of the school year stressing about storing their belongings over the summer. While some in-state students are lucky enough to be able to haul the contents of their dorm room home with them in a car, transitioning from spring semester to summer break requires more planning for others. Students who fly home can only take what they can carry in their suitcase, and some do not have enough space to carry everything in the car at once. The good news is that with a little planning, summer storage can be much easier than those pesky finals, and simple enough to leave extra time to celebrate the semester’s end with friends.
Because most busy college students don’t have a whole day to devote to packing, make sure to get started a week or two in advance of moving day. Start with out-of-season clothes that you know you won’t need anytime soon, like coats and sweaters. Continue to spend a half hour each day going through your belongings and packing them in labeled boxes. For the final few days before summer vacation, keep out only what you will need. Think of it like packing for a weekend trip, only you are packing everything but tomorrow’s outfit, a toothbrush, bedding, and other essentials.
As you pack your belongings, don’t just shove everything into a box. Go through items with a discerning eye, asking yourself if you have used the item in the past six months or are certain you will need it in the future. While you may want to keep some textbooks, consider selling those you won’t need again to the school store or even online to earn extra cash. Uneaten food should be thrown away or donated, and unwanted clothes or dorm decor can be shared with friends.
It’s a terrible feeling to arrive home for the summer and begin searching for your favorite video game or lucky bracelet only to realize that you left it packed up with your things in a storage facility nine states away. To avoid this, spend some time imagining your summer plans, and what you will need to take home with you. From bringing a suit home for an internship interview to remembering your bathing suit for your beach vacation, make sure you don’t leave anything important behind.
You aren’t the only person at your school who needs to store their belongings over the summer. Find others who are also renting storage units and team up to get the job done. While your friends may be busy, other students who need to move their stuff are likely to agree to help you if you lend them a hand in return. Don’t have much stuff? Consider sharing a storage unit with another person you trust. You’ll also need to find a friend with a car for transport, if you don’t have one yourself. Sweeten the deal by offering them first-pick at the items you’re getting rid of.
Make sure you give adequate thought to the type of self storage facility you choose. Look for facilities that offer comprehensive security measures, strategies to control pests and dampness that could damage your belongings and generous access hours to your unit. National trade associations, such as the U.S. Trade Association’s Self Storage Association can be a useful source of information for first-time renters. Learn more about how to pack your unit strategically here.
While packing and storing your dorm room belongings for the summer may not be the most fun part of college, with help from some friends and a clear plan it can be quick and easy, allowing more time for socializing — or studying — before you head home.
Need storage near the University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL? Visit UCFselfstorage.com for unit sizes and rates on storage units near the campus.