Our closets grow, our desks overflow, and to put it simply, our belongings expand from the time we move in to the time we move out. Summer storage is something to think about early on. You’ll want to be aware of locations of storage units by your campus, the rates, the quality, and experiences of prior customers. Below are a few possibilities you can consider, both for higher price options and plans that don’t break the bank.
For the Frugal Student
You’ve got friends who probably have a similar problem. Go into a storage unit together. My freshmen year I rented a 5×10 ft. storage unit and split it three ways. The price was great, and our belongings stayed safe throughout the entire summer. You’ll also need a lock that has been approved by the storage facility, which ranges from around $7 to $10. In addition, be sure to coordinate getting your things out the following fall term, if you’re not planning to come together. Perhaps the person who returns to campus first should put their things at the very front of the storage unit, so that they don’t have to climb over everyone else’s and risk damaging anything.
For Those Who Wish to Get Their Money’s Worth
There are two options: the first is to rent out a storage unit yourself (usually a 5×5 ft. locker will work well; I have also done this option and was able to fit most of my things inside). This means all of the payment is on you, but at the same time all you need to worry about is you.
The second option is to use a service, such as UPS or an on-campus company. Usually they will supply you with boxes, or sell them for a small fee, and you can pack them up yourself. Then the carrier will pick up the boxes from your dorm/apartment and store them all summer for you. In the fall, they bring your boxes to your new location. While extremely convenient, the prices can climb fairly high.
Other Things to Consider
I recommend renting a climate-controlled unit, so that your belongings don’t get overheated during the summer. Most rental places also require renters to have insurance—either bought through the company and paid per month (in addition to your rent), or through your homeowner’s insurance. Be sure to investigate that before you book.
Location is also very important, especially if you don’t have guaranteed transportation when moving your things. Sometimes the best option is to share a unit with a friend who does have transportation, or to simply use the pickup option.
Planning early and asking around your friend circles is the most efficient way to guarantee that you find the best choice for summer storage, and the best value!