As the spring semester draws to a close, it's time to start thinking about packing up for whatever opportunity awaits you during the summer. Whether you're heading to a new city for a dream internship, returning to your hometown to take courses at a local community college, enjoying travel overseas or planning some other adventure, you'll need to consider what you'll do with your belongings. For some students, packing up their dorm room and carting all their belongings back home isn't a practical solution. Instead, storage units for college students are a convenient and affordable solution. Follow these simple college student storage tips to make packing and storage simple.
Where to begin
To start with, take an inventory of what you'll need to store and what you plan on taking with you. This will help you get an idea of the best unit size to rent since there are a variety of storage unit sizes for college students. Furniture, lounge chairs, couches and mini fridges are cumbersome to move back and forth between college and home, so consider storing these bigger items. If you live in an apartment, you'll likely have even more furniture like a bed and dresser. You also can pack any books and school related items you won't need until the fall semester. And while you'll likely need your laptop during the summer, certain electronics - televisions, stereos, DVD players - might be easier to store than to take with you. Clothes, linens and towels should also be stored. When using summer storage for college students, you won't need winter clothing, jackets or boots, plus your collection of sheets, pillows, blankets, washcloths, hand towels and bathrobes can all be put into storage. And if you live off campus, you probably have an entire kitchen full of dishes and pans that can also be stored for the summer.
Get quotes and start packing
Once you know what you'll be storing, it's time to call the local storage facilities to ask about pricing. Some facilities may offer a college student storage discount so be sure to ask. You'll also need proper packing supplies including boxes, bins, tape, labels and bubble wrap. Since bigger units are more expensive, packing efficiently is important. A few basic self-storage tips can help you pack without wasting space. Specifically, these college storage ideas are useful for students:
- Books: Pack books horizontally (vertical storage can damage the spines) in smaller, sturdier boxes grouped with similar sized books.
- Clothing and linens: Wash clothing and linens before storing and place them into clear bins. Avoid plastic bags which can trap moisture and damage clothing. Heavy clothing, jackets, blankets and comforters are best stored in a wardrobe box.
- Dishes: Use clean newsprint, bubble wrap and/or towels to protect your dishes. Place heavier dishes at the bottom of boxes. Make sure glasses are wrapped separately in newsprint with the ends tucked in. Boxes should be securely taped to ensure dirt and dust does not get in.
- Furniture: To make the most of your space, turn furniture such as couches, futons and mattresses vertically. Stack boxes on top of dressers and use the drawers to store smaller boxes or items.
- Appliances: Clean appliances well before storing. Leave the door to your mini fridge ajar while in storage.
- Boxes: Stack boxes on top of each other with the heaviest boxes on the bottom.
College storage ideas to make unpacking easier
One of the most important packing steps is to make sure you are labeling and taking inventory of what you are packing to help make unpacking easier. Rather than having to search through every box for your pillow cases to make your bed that first night back in the fall, refer to your inventory list so you'll know exactly which box it's in.