Congratulations! You’ve made it through the college year and you’re still standing. Now, the summer lies ahead. No classes, midterms, or finals. But before you can truly dive into the summer vibes, you’ll need to pack up your dorm room, apartment, or shared house. 

Most colleges won’t allow you to keep your things in your dorm room unless you plan on taking summer classes. Likewise, you may not want to pay rent on an apartment or house when you don’t plan on staying in the area. That means you’ll need to make plans for your things. One option is to drive or ship everything home. If that’s not workable, consider renting a storage unit.

Never rented a storage unit before? We’ll explain everything you need to know so you can cross summer storage off your to-do list and embrace your summer freedom. 

Tips for Storage for College Students

As the college year comes to a close, make sure you have all the pertinent information about departure dates. Talk to your RA or leasing manager to determine what, if anything, can be left in your space. You’ll likely need to pack up all your belongings from your dorm room. If you won’t be keeping your house or apartment lease over the summer, you’ll also probably need to pack everything out. 

Where should it all go? Below are our best tips for summer storage for college students. 

Finding a Storage Solution

If you are attending school reasonably close to your home, you may be able to pack up your car and stash your belongings at your parent’s place (assuming they have the room). Don’t live close to school? If you are lucky enough to have good friends staying near your school over the summer, explore the potential for storing your things at their place. Another option is to pack and ship your things to your parent’s house. This may be viable if you only have a few boxes to send. However, if you’ve got a lot of furniture and other items, shipping costs can quickly spiral out of control. (Note: If you’re returning to college in the fall, you’ll have to ship everything back.)

If you don’t go to school close to home or your parents don’t have space for all your things, it’s worth looking into a storage unit. Storage units can be cost-efficient and convenient, especially if you use a facility like Price Self Storage, which offers month-to-month leasing. 

Choosing the Right Storage Unit Size

Once you’ve settled on a storage facility near your school, you’ll need to decide what type of storage unit to rent. Most facilities offer units from small to large, and at Price Self Storage, we even provide locker units at some locations.

Our storage size guide can be incredibly helpful in visualizing how many boxes and what types of furniture can fit into each space. Generally speaking, if you’re moving out of a dorm and don’t need to store large furniture, you’ll probably do best renting a locker unit or a 5×5 unit

Moving out of a studio or one-bedroom apartment? Depending on the size of your furniture and how many other things and boxes you want to store, you’ll want to look at our 5×10 unit or 10×10 unit.

Finally, if you and your roommates need to clear out a multi-bedroom house, you’ll want to look into renting a large storage unit. Our large units range in size from 10×15 to 10×30. The right size for you will depend on how many rooms you need to pack and the overall size of your major furniture items. 

Still unsure about the right storage unit? Contact our complimentary concierge service for personal assistance. 

How Much Does Self-Storage Cost?

The cost of a storage unit will depend on a number of factors:

Unit Size

The biggest cost factor is the size of your storage unit. The larger the unit, the higher the monthly rent.

Storage Unit Location

Many facilities offer lower rates on storage units that are not drive-up or are on the second floor. If you don’t mind putting in a little extra effort in packing and unpacking your unit, you can save some money.

Facility Location

Storage rates vary from city to city depending on local demand, the cost to run a self-storage operation, and prevailing rates. If you don’t mind driving a little further to store your things, it might be worth comparing prices at different locations, even from the same company.

Special Features

While not as relevant to many college students, many storage facilities offer special storage units for a higher rate. For example, Price Self Storage offers climate-controlled storage units at select locations for a higher monthly rate.

A Smart Way To Save

Want to save on summer storage? Of course, you do! A clever way to do this is to share a storage unit with friends or roommates. Even if you have to rent a larger unit, splitting the cost will likely be cheaper than renting your own unit. 

Avoid the Rush: When To Start Your Summer Storage Plan

Preparing for finals and writing those last major papers can put you in a major time crunch toward the end of the semester. Still, don’t put off planning for summer storage. You don’t want to have to pack your entire dorm or apartment on the day you need to clear out. 

Figure out how much time packing will take, reverse-engineer your schedule, and start accordingly. Allow time to

  • Secure your storage unit
  • Arrange transportation to and from the storage facility
  • Collect your boxes and bins
  • Perform the actual packing 

Allow a cushion; it’s easy to underestimate the time it takes to clean and pack your items to be stored. Don’t forget, either, that your room or apartment needs to be cleaned before you go. This may include spackling walls, vacuuming/sweeping, and washing down bathrooms and kitchen areas. So, the rule of thumb is to start as soon as you can and avoid last-minute panic.

Preparing and Packing for Summer Storage

The essential issue here is cleanliness. No one wants to come back to school and unpack a bunch of sticky, smelly clothes, dishes, and small appliances to start the next semester. So, start by washing as many clothes, towels, and bedding items as possible before you pack them up. If you decide to pack fabrics in cardboard boxes, it’s a good idea to line the box with a plastic garbage bag first. That keeps items fresher once you close up the bag inside the box. Plan ahead that on the day before your move takes place, you will do another load of laundry to know that everything you’ve packed will be pristine at the end of your vacation.

Clean microwaves and refrigerators, all kitchen items, and dishes. Wipe down any other small appliances and electronics. You will want to box up everything; don’t plan on simply setting items in place in a storage unit (especially if shared). It may take additional time and effort, but if handled with care, these items should last for your full college career – and perhaps beyond. And unless you are the rarest of all creatures – a college student with wads of money to waste – you will want to keep your things in good working order.

What to Take Home and What to Store

This is pretty straightforward. No need to take cold weather gear or winter clothes. Likewise, it’s doubtful that you need to take textbooks and other class-related reports, binders, and folders. Unless your toiletries have expiration dates, they can safely be left behind. It is especially important to pare down as much as possible if you are flying to a summer destination. So comfortable clothes and shoes, swimsuits and a few date-appropriate clothes should pretty well cover it!

Sell, Share, or Donate

One way to cut the cost of summer storage for college students is to pare down your possessions as much as possible before packing everything up for storage. 

Top of the list: can you sell your textbooks and recoup some dollars for the summer or next semester’s books? If you have leftover snacks and drinks, share them with friends. If you have accumulated a pile of paper, notebooks, pencils, and pens, donate them to a youth organization in the community. Craigslist for Facebook Marketplace may be the way to go if you decide some of your clothes no longer suit your style or that some of your room furnishings could be passed along. If that is your choice, plan ahead to give the transactions time to take place.

Get a Head Start on Storage for College Students

If the end of the school year is right around the corner, there’s no time like the present to begin looking into storage units for college students. By starting early, you can put a hold on the storage unit you want before it gets snapped up by your fellow students. You can also buy all your boxes and packing supplies and rent a truck if necessary before supplies run out.

With your summer storage tasks out of the way, you can focus on acing your finals and preparing for an epic summer. Have fun!

Find your nearest Price Self Storage.