College. You are no longer stuck in the roller coaster of high school. You’re an adult now, and you’re ready to go off and do bigger and better things. After choosing a career, putting in countless hours of research, submitting a stack of applications, and finally receiving that wondrous acceptance letter, you are ready to broaden your knowledge and expand your horizons. Packing draws to a close, and you think to yourself, “Wow, this is it!”
After packing the car with your worldly possessions and heading to the dorm, it’s move-in time. You take a look around, and with a huge smile of excitement, you start unpacking. After cleaning, shelf building, bed assembling, folding, and unpacking, you sit down with a heavy sigh and wonder, where am I going to put everything?
One of the most significant factors in adjusting to college life is a lack of space. Chances are if you stay in an apartment for the duration of school, you have a bit more space than dorm life. However, it’s typical in college to share a small apartment with other students, and you will all need to be considerate of each other’s space. Either way, the room is limited, and you must choose wisely on what you bring with you, what will be kept more accessible, and what will be crammed into tight spaces for use later if needed. But a great way to combat the cramped, cluttered lifestyle that is college, is to utilize the benefits of a self-storage unit.
If you decided that renting a storage unit is the best choice for you, be sure to inquire with about the amenities. A few examples of what you should ask a storage facility before signing a lease are:
Security measures (Do they have security guards on duty, fencing, or cameras?)
Are there admin fees
Is any portion of the rent prorated
Is a lock provided
Do they allow 24-hour access to the units
Procedures for missed or automated payments
Do they charge late fees
Is there a list of items Not Allowed to Store
Are student discounts available
When searching for a storage unit in your college town, be sure to check during off-peak season to get better rates and unit availability. The beginning of the school semester and the summer break are hectic times for storage facilities since there are so many students looking for storage.
Once you’ve decided on a suitable storage facility and rented your self-storage unit, now you have to consider which items to place into storage. Belongings that are used less often are the better candidates for storage since you will not need to access them regularly. Out of season, clothing and holiday items are an excellent example of less-often used belongings that can be put into storage to help free up space and reduce clutter.
If you know that your items are going to be in storage long-term, you may also want to look into renting a climate-controlled unit to reduce humidity and keep the temperatures from getting too high inside your storage unit. These factors can be an issue when storing long-term because moisture can cause mold and mildew, and high heat can damage electronics and other heat-sensitive items.
A few ways to make locating specific items in your storage unit are:
Label boxes and make a list of the contents
Place least likely to be used items in the back of the unit
Stack fragile items on top
Keep paths between rows of boxes so you can walk between them
Shelving can also help keep your storage unit organized
This will make your storage unit experience more comfortable and enjoyable, as well as free up space and de-clutter your living space. A clutter-free environment decreases stress making you more productive for a successful school year.
What to Store
College can be an enjoyable experience but often times is stressful and cram-packed full of to-do’s that tend to put the tidiness of your college home at the bottom of the priority list.
The best way to go about decluttering your college dorm or apartment when utilizing the benefits of a self-storage unit is to examine your daily routine and what items and pieces of furniture you regularly use. Determine the items and belongings you will need on a daily or weekly basis to ensure efficiency and keep your college residence feeling comfortable and homey.
Consider these questions:
Which items are getting out of hand and becoming challenging to organize
Do you have a deadline for needing extra space or moving out
How long will you need a self-storage unit
Will you be welcoming a roommate, acquiring a pet, or purchasing any additional furniture
When searching for a self-storage unit and selecting a storage facility, keep in mind that your purpose for renting a storage unit is to be able to hold on to items that you don’t necessarily use every day but still find useful. With this in mind, you want to aim for a storage facility that is nearby and not too far away so that you don’t have to travel long distances and go far out of your way to obtain your needed item.
Upon selecting your storage unit and moving your belongings in, here are a few tips and guidelines to help ensure that you have an excellent self-storage experience:
Planning ahead is going to be your best friend. It is best to try to reserve a unit well in advance to avoid having to acquire a storage unit farther away from your home or campus
Research proper storage methods for your belongings. This may include washing clothing or blankets, putting certain materials inside of containers, and stacking larger or heavier items on the bottom
When storing clothing, be sure to leave additional room in and around the box they are packed in to allow for ventilation
Keep the door to mini fridges open to prevent foul smells and mildew
Seek out a climate-controlled storage unit if you intend on storing electrical items such as televisions, video game systems, or computers to avoid excess moisture, humidity and high temperatures that could potentially damage electronics