How to Store Your Belongings Over the Summer

By Kailey Walters on May 18, 2019

As many of you are winding down for the end of the semester and the start of summer, it’s time to start thinking about how to store your belongings over the three-month-long stretch of not being in school or living in a dorm. I don’t know about you, but I don’t realize just how much stuff I own until I start trying to pack or unpack it. What’s more, hauling your belongings back and forth between home and college is often a hassle, involving unnecessary effort and stress, and sometimes is not even feasible if you don’t have a means of transporting your stuff.

That being said, it would most likely be helpful for you to find a place to store your belongings over the summer — preferably somewhere like a storage unit near your campus — to make moving in and out of your dorm more convenient. So the question is, what options do you have for storing your things? Read on for a few suggestions.

Storage Units

Storage units are often a pretty helpful option for storing belongings, especially if you have a lot of stuff. Depending on how much stuff you want to store, you can definitely find a storage unit large enough to accommodate all of your belongings. Most storage units are able to hold at least one room of furniture, and the average college student should be able to comfortably fit their things in either a 5×5 or 5×10 storage unit.

infographic, store, belongings

Infographic by Kailey Walters

Why should you rent a storage unit?

As briefly mentioned already, renting a storage unit can save you a lot of time and hassle transporting your belongings from one place to another when you’re moving in and out of your dorm on campus. Storage units are especially helpful if your home is particularly far away from your school — say, across the country or even in a different country. In that case, having a storage unit handy will definitely save you a lot of time and headache packing and transporting all your things. What’s more, shipping all your belongings across great distances can most likely add up to a hefty price, whereas the cost for renting a storage unit is relatively cheap. While the price may range from roughly $12 a month to upwards of $100 a month in some cases, many storage facilities thankfully do offer discounts for college students.

What can you store in a storage unit?

If you’re thinking about storing your belongings in a storage unit, chances are that you either have a lot of stuff or at least a few large items that you can’t easily transport with you. These might include large pieces of furniture, such as desks or couches; electronics such as TVs or computers; appliances; sports equipment (perhaps golf clubs, snowboards, skis, etc.); seasonal clothing such as heavy winter apparel or boots, and anything else that might take up a lot of space or is difficult to transport.

What can’t you store in a storage unit?

While you can certainly store a diverse range of things in a storage unit, there are still some restrictions on things you shouldn’t be storing. These include flammable and toxic materials, perishables, explosives, chemicals, and plants or animals, just to name a few. For a more comprehensive list of what you can’t store, you can check the storage facility’s terms of service on their website for more information. So, when going through your things, be careful and make sure you’re not trying to store stuff that’s prohibited!

What size storage unit should you use?

Depending on how much stuff you want to store, there are many different sizes of storage units available to you.

The 5×5 storage unit is the size of a small walk-in closet and can hold small pieces of furniture, boxes, clothes, and electronics. The 5×10 storage unit is about the size of a larger walk-in closet and is capable of holding a bit more than the 5×5, including mattresses and small appliances. The 10×10 storage unit is about the size of a small bedroom and can hold whatever you could fit into a one-bedroom apartment. These sizes are often the best fit for most college students, who won’t have an incredibly large amount of stuff to store. The other larger sized storage units tend to be more appropriate for people who want to store a lot more or large items, such as vehicles and larger appliances.

Being aware of how much stuff you own is important for figuring out what size storage unit you want to rent. Knowing this information can help you save money so that you don’t rent out a larger storage unit than you need.

box, woman, yellow

How can you properly store your belongings?

When it comes to storing your belongings, you want to make sure they are stored properly and securely. One storage feature you should definitely take into consideration is climate control. Sensitive items such as clothing, electronics, and wooden furniture can easily be damaged by extreme temperatures — either by the cold or heat and humidity. Climate-controlled storage can protect your belongings from damage. Another storage feature to keep in mind is safety, as you’ll want to keep your belongings as secure as possible. To reduce the risk of having your stuff stolen and to have peace of mind, look into a storage facility that has advanced security features such as alarms and video surveillance.

Organization is also an important part of properly storing your belongings in a storage unit. It’s much too easy to become disorganized when there are so many things to pack and store away, so to counteract the chaos, make an effort to devise a system of categorization. For instance, you may find it helpful to label your boxes so that you can easily tell, from a quick glance, what is in each one — which will make the packing and moving process run that much more smoothly. So definitely have lots of Sharpies and tape ready!

Another helpful way to protect your belongings while in storage is to wrap them in plastic wrap and garment bags. Especially if you have fabric items such as couches or clothing, wrapping those in some kind of protective layer will help preserve them against dust or exposure to potentially damaging outside elements.

organization, chart, boxes

How can you save money by using storage units?

Even though using a storage unit can be cheaper than shipping your stuff all over the country, it can still definitely be pricey at times. To save money, there are a few options you can consider.

One fairly simple and effective way to cut down on costs is to declutter your belongings. Go through your things and figure out what you do and don’t need. If something has just been sitting in the corner of your room all semester gathering dust, you may want to reconsider whether or not you actually need it. It can be helpful to know if the particular item you have will also be available at the new place you’re going to. For example, if you’re wondering whether you should store or bring along your futon to wherever you’re heading over the summer, find out ahead of time if the place you’re going to already has some sort of couch. That way, you don’t have to waste effort and money lugging your futon over.

If you decide to get rid of some things, some options include donating or selling them instead of just tossing them out. Selling can help you earn some cash, which is always nice to have! Ultimately, getting rid of things you no longer need can be a great service to you, as not only will you be lightening your load, but you will also be reducing the number of items to pack into the storage unit. So if you can manage to get rid of enough unnecessary items, that could mean downsizing to a smaller storage unit (and hence, shelling out less money!). You can even use this very helpful storage unit calculator to figure out what size storage unit you should get based on how many items you have.

You can also negotiate with the renter of the storage unit to work out a potentially cheaper price. That really depends on what you’re storing and for how long, but in some situations, you may be able to work something out.

Another method to save money is to split the cost with someone else. If you know someone or have a friend who is also looking to store their belongings in a storage unit over the summer, take advantage of that and put your stuff together in one place. Even if you need to rent a bigger storage unit together, splitting the cost with each other will probably in most cases end up being cheaper than renting it on your own.

girl, storage, containers

What are some storage companies you can rent from?

There are many different storage companies you can choose from to rent the storage unit that is most appropriate for you and best suits your needs.

One is U-Haul Collegeboxes, a service that offers nationwide storage facilities as well as summer shipping and storage, shipping to school, and study abroad shipping. Its services are pretty convenient, as it delivers storage boxes directly to you, picks them up once you’ve finished packing, stores them in their storage facilities, and then returns your belongings to you once you’ve returned to your dorm.

Another helpful service is Dorm2Dorm, which provides you with shipping supplies such as tape and boxes, picks up your stuff directly from your dorm or apartment, delivers them to a storage facility, and returns your stuff to you at the start of the new semester. Dorm2Dorm serves various schools in select states: New York City, California, Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.

Another storage service you could use is SMARTBOX College Student Storage. This service has a similar process as the others: it delivers SMARTBOX containers directly to you and then transports your boxes to its secure, climate-controlled SMARTBOX storage facility. The great thing about this service is that its units are 8’x7’x5’ and can hold up to 3,000 pounds.

There are also a number of self-storage options you can choose to take advantage of, such as CubeSmart, Public Storage, and Extra Space Storage. Both CubeSmart and Extra Space Storage offer storage spaces at over 800 different facilities nationwide, which makes it easy for you to find a place to rent no matter where you are in the country. Both also offer month-to-month rental contracts. Public Storage also has thousands of storage locations across the country as well as month-to-month rental contracts and a variety of different-sized, climate-controlled storage units.

If you don’t particularly want to rent a storage unit for whatever reason — maybe it is a bit pricey for you or you don’t feel comfortable leaving your stuff there — you could also consider storing your belongings in a friend’s apartment or house, especially if they live nearby your college campus. Given your friend doesn’t mind keeping your stuff for an extended period of time and has enough space, you could certainly leave your things with them and pick them up again when the semester begins.

When it comes to storing your belongings over the summer, figuring out what to do doesn’t have to be complicated. Storage units are a pretty popular option and often turn out to be very convenient and helpful for college students looking to move home, study abroad, or spend time away from school over the summer. Take advantage of all that storage units have to offer and don’t sweat it.

Follow Uloop

Apply to Write for Uloop News

Join the Uloop News Team

Discuss This Article

Miller-Motte Technical College-Augusta News

Miller-Motte Technical College-Augusta Storage Listings


Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

Back to Top

Log In

Contact Us

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format

By clicking this button,
you agree to the terms of use

By clicking "Create Alert" I agree to the Uloop Terms of Use.

Image not available.

Add a Photo

Please select a photo to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format