What Every College Student Needs to Know About Storage

As you start packing your stuff to move for summer break, you start to realize how much you’ve accumulated. There’s no way you have the room or the money to move it all home for summer. And you can’t exactly leave your stuff in your old apartment or dorm.

This situation is all too common for college students. If you find yourself in these circumstances, it’s time to invest in a storage unit.

If you’ve never used a storage facility before, you might wonder what to expect. Here’s what you need to know about storing your stuff during college.

When You Need Storage

The most common time for college students to use storage units is during summer break. Whether you’re traveling abroad, doing an internship, or living at home with family, you need a temporary place to put your belongings.

If you need the storage unit only for a short time, make sure to find a facility that offers month-to-month storage. You don’t want to have to sign a year-long contract if you need the facility for only a few months.

If you have a long holiday break in the winter or spring, consider getting a storage unit for that time period. Leaving your valuables in a dorm room isn’t a great idea, especially if you’ll have roommates (and their friends) constantly coming in and out.

You could also invest in a long-term storage unit if you have too much stuff to fit in your dorm or apartment.

Where to Store Your Stuff

Look for a facility that’s near your college rather than near your parents’ home. You probably spend most of the year at college, so you’ll want your stuff closest to where you live for most of the year. That way, you can easily pick up stuff you need from your unit or add new stuff to it. You can also easily move your stuff into your new place when you return.

It’s financially advantageous to find a storage unit that offers discounts for college students. However, you might want to avoid storage units right next to the college campus. Because of the demand, they might charge more or have fewer units available.

Once you choose a storage facility, you’ll need to choose the right-sized unit. There are several units available:

  • 5×5—enough space for a desk and about a dozen boxes
  • 5×10—enough space for a mattress
  • 5×15—enough space for a room’s worth of furniture
  • 10×10 or 10×15—enough space for a small apartment

If you have fragile items like electronics, books, and furniture, it’s a good idea to get a climate-controlled unit. These units stay at a comfortable temperature to prevent damage from heat and humidity.

Even if you find a low-priced storage facility, a storage unit can be expensive for anyone on a college budget. Consider sharing a unit with a friend or roommate and splitting the cost.

What You Should and Shouldn’t Store

You can store pretty much anything you don’t need on a daily basis. Consider these tips for how to best store your items.

  • Textbooks. Stack books on top of each other horizontally rather than standing them up vertically. This positioning prevents the books’ spines from getting damaged. Place the books in boxes to prevent water damage.
  • Furniture. Place the furniture on top of wood panels if possible so it doesn’t get wet from any water on the floor. You can place couches and chairs vertically to save space.
  • Kitchenware. Wrap each piece with bubble wrap or towels and place it in boxes, with the heavier pieces on the bottom.
  • Clothes. Store clothes in plastic containers—cardboard boxes can invite mold and mildew.
  • Computers and devices. Cover each piece with a canvas cover and store in original boxes.

These storage tips are crucial for protecting your stuff, even if you’re only storing your belongings for a few months.

Some college students may fly home for summer break and need a place to store their cars. Leaving your car in a parking lot puts you at risk for your car getting towed, damaged, or stolen.

Fortunately, many storage facilities offer vehicle storage. Prepare your car for storage by cleaning it, inflating the tires, getting the oil changed, and filling the gas tank. If you’re using an outdoor storage facility, make sure to cover your car with a waterproof cover.

Remember not to store dangerous items like paint, gasoline, and weapons. Food and plants won’t last long in a storage unit and should not be stored.


As a college student, you might move several times a year. Follow these tips to keep your stuff safe no matter where you are.

If you live in the Twin Falls area, store your belongings at North Star Mini Storage. We have many unit sizes available, from 5×5 to 10×30. We offer both month-to-month storage and longer storage contracts. Call us today!