Summer Storage Triage For College Students

By    May 10, 2012

There’s probably some luxurious destination waiting for you once the semester ends. A comfy pair of flip-flops and your finely sculpted beach body are all you’ll really need this summer, and the last thing you want to think about is all the rest of your stuff. How will you go about clearing out your dorm or apartment and carting it all home? A self-storage unit in your college town is the perfect solution to simplify your move and prevent your parents’ house from being filled with textbooks and Ikea furniture. So, what to bring home and what to store? Time for a bit of summer storage triage to mitigate costs and give structure to your move.

Why not throw everything in storage?
If you find a great deal on a storage unit large enough to hold all your possessions, then by all means, go for it. It’ll save you a stuff-laden trip home and keep everything near campus for a convenient move-in upon your return from the white beaches of Paradise. But choosing a smaller unit will put less stress on your wallet. And some belongings should only be kept in climate-controlled storage, which can get expensive on a student budget. Factors like these will be behind every decision you make while performing summer storage triage.

Homeward-bound
If you’re using storage to mitigate moving headaches, the first distinction you should make is which items require climate control and which can handle summertime changes in temperature and humidity. While your $30 Ikea desk can probably weather an unregulated environment, antique furniture will require climate control. Electronics, musical instruments, important papers, and mattresses are all subject to the extreme heat and humidity of summer months. If you don’t want to shell out the extra bucks for climate control, these items might be candidates for storage in your old bedroom-turned-Dad’s-seldom-used-home-gym.

Perishable food items are not only poor self-storage candidates, but they’re often prohibited in storage rental contracts. Even canned food items put your unit at risk of pests and bacteria. Keep those ramen noodles, cans of ravioli, and frozen pizzas at your folks’ place or in your belly.

Fit for storage
Now that you’ve sufficiently whittled down your “To Store” list, what’s left to fill up your storage unit? Conventional wisdom says if you would be comfortable keeping an item in your garage, it’s safe to store in a non-climate-regulated storage unit. Metal shelving units and other hardy furniture pieces, school supplies, winter clothes, sheets and towels, sports and exercise equipment, bikes, board games and tools are generally safe in these conditions.

Now that you’ve completed triage and planned the move, you should be able to comfortably fill an affordable 5×5 storage unit while leaving space at home for your parents to move around and think about you and bake cookies to send you, or whatever parents do when you’re not there. More importantly, your thoughts are free from the logistics of storage and doubly focused on summer.

Photo courtesy of  sandartphotos.com

Matt is a writer for SpareFoot. When he isn't shaking up the industry with his hard-hitting blog posts, he enjoys cooking (mac n' cheese and pie only, please), discovering new music, and relating life events to television shows. Contact: matthew@sparefoot.com

  • Donald Richmond

    I completely agree. Summer storage for college students it well worth the cost. I also suggest using Collegeboxes.

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