The College Student’s Guide to Short-Term Storage

Are you a college student who recently decided to take a semester break from school? Whether your classes are online and you prefer in-person learning, you want to explore other career options, or you just want some me-time, take a look at what you need to know about self-storage unit during this temporary college break.

Who Needs Self Storage During a College Break?

Not every college student who takes one semester off from school will need to rent a storage unit. If you live in an off-campus apartment and plan to stay in the area, you won’t need to make any changes. But you may need to rent a self-storage unit if:

  • You lived in a dorm during the first semester. Do you need to move out of your dorm? Even though most of the furniture is the property of your school, additional items such as school supplies, floor lamps, area rugs, and extra seating may need to go into storage now.
  • The lease on your apartment is up. If your lease ends before the start of the new calendar year, you may not want to renew it now if you plan to take a break. Before you bring everything back to your parents’ house, consider a self-storage rental.
  • You have a new job in a new town. Will you need to move to a new city or state? You may not need to bring everything with you for a one-semester move.
  • You will live in a furnished apartment. Does an out-of-the-area job include a move to a furnished apartment? A self-storage rental provides you with a close-to-campus space to keep your bed, couch, and more while you’re away.

Do you fall into one of these categories? If you need a rental unit, the next step is to learn more about how to choose and use self storage.

How Should a College Student Choose a Storage Unit?

A college student on a one-semester break from school typically has different storage needs than other renters. Unlike adults who rent units to store overflow from their family homes or businesses that need to stash extra stock, you don’t need a permanent storage solution. You’ll likely only need the rental for a few months — and you may have little more than a bed and books to store.

As a first-time storage unit renter, you may not know what to look for in a unit. Don’t stress about this process. With the right questions, you make find the just-right rental for your needs. Before you sign a rental agreement, ask the self-storage facility manager or sales staff:

  • What is the rental term? Some storage facilities have different lease lengths. You probably don’t need a full-year storage unit rental. Instead, ask the company if they offer monthly or short-term rentals.
  • What size storage units do you rent? How much do you need to store? Books and personal items won’t take up much space. But if you have several larger pieces of furniture to store or an entire house-full of items, you need a larger unit.
  • Do you have climate-controlled units? Electronics, wooden items, leather clothing, cosmetic products, and some other temperature- or moisture-sensitive items require a constant climate — even for a few months of storage time.

Along with these questions, ask the rental facility about the security and safety protocols. These could include locks, on-site security, cameras, and other security system features. You may need (or want) to provide your own lock to keep your belongings safe.

How Should You Use a Storage Unit During Your Semester Off?

After you rent a suitable self-storage unit, take the next step and start packing. While packing may seem like an easy process, you shouldn’t throw everything together into boxes, add tape, and call it a day. To organize your for-storage belongings and make the most of the temporary storage situation:

  • De-clutter first. Will you need last year’s chem notes or information about the major you recently changed? Get rid of anything you don’t need before you move your items into storage. Recycle old paper products, donate gently used furniture, or sell the overflow.
  • Use plastic bins or cardboard boxes. Put heavier items into sturdy plastic bins and lighter picks into taped cardboard boxes.
  • Protect everything breakable. Wrap dishware, glasses, and other breakables in bubble wrap, packing paper, or towels. Fill gaps in bins and boxes with more of these protective packing supplies.
  • Use lots of labels. You’ll need to remove everything from storage eventually, so you should organize the items for an easy unpacking process. Label every box, bin, or bag before you put anything into storage.

Will you need to get some of the items out of storage during your semester break? If you’ll need to remove clothing, books, or other in-storage selections, place these items towards the front of the rental unit for easy access.

Do you need to rent a self-storage unit? Contact North Star Mini Storage for more information.