Everyone around you is cramming for finals, selling their books and packing up their dorms and apartments. Or maybe all of that already happened weeks ago, and now you’re stranded between leases for the summer with nowhere to put your stuff. No matter how far in advance you plan (or not) for the summer, it’s always a period of transition for students and their possessions. That’s why self-storage is such a popular solution this time of year. The earlier you can book your unit, the better, but even a last-minute move into storage will go smoothly if you know how to prepare and what to expect.
Finding a facility
Choosing a unit size
So, what size storage unit do you need? Most students opt for 5×5 or 5×10 units. A 5×5 unit will hold a hallway closet of items. This size works best for boxes, totes, clothes and small electronics. A 5×10 unit will hold about as much as a walk-in closet. This size is ideal for storing chairs, cabinets, mini fridge, mattress and box springs, electronics and boxes. Ceiling heights range from 8 to 12 feet in most units, so think about vertically stacking boxes. You may share a larger unit with a few friends, but only allow one name on the lease. Make sure the financial responsibilities of each person that will be storing are determined upfront, as if you were sharing an apartment with roommates. Unlike an apartment lease, self-storage leases are month-to-month so there is no long-term obligation. This means plenty of flexibility for students.
Understanding the difference between a drive up unit and climate control
When you’ve got a lot of heavy stuff to move and want to minimize the distance from your car or truck to the unit, drive-up access is ideal. When it comes to climate control storage, we’ve got our own little rule of thumb— if you would store it in your garage for the summer, you don’t need a climate-controlled unit. If it’s going to be brutally hot, you should choose a climate-controlled unit for storing items like wood or leather furniture and high-end electronics.
Preparing your stuff
Certain items require a bit of preparation before they’re ready to be stored for long periods. Remember to de-frost, clean and dry your mini-fridge to help avoid mildew and mold. Also clean your microwave, to prevent molding. You should never store any food or drink items, no matter how non-perishable they may be. If you have any questions about what you can and shouldn’t store call one of our onsite managers. They will be glad to help you out.
DE Storage tips
Here are a few things we recommend to make your stay as easy as possible:
- Pack your books in smaller boxes, such as those designed to hold reams of paper. You don’t want to hurt yourself lifting a large box packed with too many books or to have the books fall out the bottom.
- If you’re not sure about what size storage unit to choose, stack all of your boxes and other items up against a wall at home. Mimic the way you intend to arrange them in the unit, and use a measuring tape to approximate the dimensions of the space you’ve filled. We recommend creating this pile close to the door, since everything will be leaving the room soon.
- Always label your boxes. If you are sharing the unit make sure you put your name on each box. This way when you move out it will be easy to know who takes what.
- When putting items in the unit always place boxes that you may need to get to again quickly in the front. This way you won’t have to go all the way to the back for that one item you need.