College is an exciting new stage of life that comes with a new set of challenges. It might take you to another city, offering a lifestyle that might include living in a smaller space, whether you choose to live in a dorm or share an apartment with roommates. To help you better manage your new living arrangements, self storage can be an excellent solution. The service has become popular, with close to a fifth of Americans renting self storage, according to a recent StorageCafe report surveying self storage usage and demand in 2023. According to the report, Gen Zers — who have reached college age — are among the increasing demographic turning to self storage, with about 28% of them reporting that they’re currently using the service and intend to do so in the future.
If you’re a student looking to rent self storage, we’ve put together some potential scenarios of when the service comes in particularly useful and how to make the best of it below.
If You Need to Better Manage Your Living Space
When you’re a student, you get to contend with a smaller living space compared to what you were probably used to when living at home. The dorm or your share of the apartment becomes the main spot to hold, if not all, at least most of your belongings. That’s why self storage can come to your aid to help you keep items you don’t use every day. Think bulky clothing, bedding, outdoor gear and other sports equipment. These types of belongings can sit in a storage unit when you’re not using them.
When Trying to Cut Down Costs as You Move to a Big City
If you’re going to college in a big city, you might also be contending with a higher cost of living in addition to a smaller living space. That’s especially true if you want to live closer to the college or another popular area of the city, such as downtown. Renting a storage unit can help make up for the smaller quarters you’re likely to contend with. Your unit can hold the belongings you don’t use every day that would otherwise clutter up your living space.
If You’re Moving to Another Home
If your lease is up and you want to move to another apartment, or you’re simply transitioning from your dorm to apartment living, putting your belongings in a storage unit can help you better navigate moving, which can be a stressful experience.
If You Have a Car
You might go to college in New York City, Chicago or another big city where carless living is possible, but getting around without a car is typically challenging. Therefore, if you do own a car that you mostly use for weekend getaways or longer trips back home, storage is again the way to go — especially since parking is hard to come by on campus. Many storage facilities offer outdoor or indoor storage, depending on your preferences and budget. Climate-controlled units are typically pricier, but they offer the best protection long-term.
If You Go Home Over Summer Break
When summer break comes around, most students go back home. This is a time to decide what to do with your belongings — you can either take them with you, which can prove to be costly, or you can put them in storage and save yourself the hassle of a move. When you return in the fall, you can easily retrieve your items after you’ve secured your new housing.
If You’re Studying Abroad
Going abroad to study is part of the college experience, but it can be difficult to manage your belongings, especially if you’re leaving for more than a semester. You can turn to storage to keep your belongings for the duration of your stay abroad. This way, they can stay safe until you return.
What To Know About Renting Self Storage As A Student:
If you’ve never rented self storage, consider these pointers below to help you make the best use of the service:
Find a Storage Facility Close to Your Home
Location matters when it comes to choosing a storage facility. Pick one in your neighborhood to cut down on time spent back and forth. Search online or get recommendations from friends to find the closest facility.
Get the Right Unit Size
Storage units come in various sizes, with the 10’x10’ being the most common. Decide on what you want to store first, and then pick the size best suited for your needs. Students typically rent smaller units such as a 5’x5’ or a 5’x10’, excellent choices for bulky items, books and more.
Consider the Cost
Storage unit prices vary based on location, with big cities coming with pricier options. Find out if the facility offers a student discount, as this is popular in many places.
Think About Amenities
Self storage facilities come with a variety of amenities, with climate control being the most popular. Climate-controlled units offer a special environment that controls temperature and humidity to prevent any damage to items stored. If you’re keeping furniture, appliances, clothing, books or musical instruments, a climate-controlled unit can be extremely useful in protecting them while they’re in storage. Additionally, 24/7 access, video surveillance and gated access also count as desirable amenities as they offer convenience and security.
Keep Your Unit Organized
To begin with, keep a log of the stored items. If you’re using boxes, make sure to place heavier ones on the bottom and lighter ones on top to avoid crushing any of your belongings while they’re in storage. Cover furniture and other larger items to protect them from dust. Also, make sure to leave a walking path in the middle of the unit for easier access to your stuff.
Self storage is a great service that can assist you while you’re in college, whether you’re simply aiming to have a more organized living space, you need temporary storage over summer break, or you need safekeeping for a vehicle or other items while they’re not in use.