When you are away at university, whether you are staying in halls or sharing a house with others, the end of term can present you with the challenge of what to do with all your stuff! It is likely that, even if you are staying put in your accommodation for the forthcoming term, you won’t want to leave your belongings unattended in a shared house. You probably also won’t want to take them back to your family home just to have to bring it all back again next term.
Self storage can be the answer to this age-old student dilemma. There are more options than ever available for self storage now with facilities conveniently location to most major student towns and cities. Some students even find that self storage can be useful year round to store larger items like sports equipment – especially if space is limited in halls or rented accommodation.
Is self storage right for you?
Before you start, decide whether self-storage is the right solution for you. If you are renting privately, perhaps check with your landlord whether you can leave you stuff in your room over the holidays. For many student houses, rent is not payable over the long summer holiday period and a new tenancy is required at the start of the new academic year. This means that you may need to move your belongings out, even if you are returning.
If you are not able to leave your stuff in situ over the holidays, the most sensible alternative is to If you cannot leave your stuff behind and don’t have any suitable options when it comes to safely storing your belongings, don’t feel that the only solution is to take everything home with you. There is a better way!
Storage options for students
Depending on how much you have to store, most self storage companies have storage options in a wide range of sizes – from around 10 sq ft of space (about the size of a telephone box or the boot of an estate car). Generally speaking, you will be able to gain access to your things whenever you want, although, it is a good idea to check access arrangements first.
Types of storage
As well as the more commonly seen storage options, which are basically a private, locked room, some storage facilities offer some other options which may be suitable – metal cage storage in a shared room is one alternative which we have seen. Another option to keep costs down may be to share storage space with friends or housemates.
Things to remember...
- Be realistic about the amount of space you need – if you are not sure what you can fit in a space, have a look at our guide to storage space on our blog.
- Make sure you understand when you are able to access the building and that it is likely to be a time when you can visit.
- Use good packaging materials. It may seem like a good idea to skimp of packaging materials as they can seem expensive, however, well packed boxes are safer and more efficient to store and easier to transport and move. See our guide to packing for storage for more information.
- Invest in a good quality padlock. Most facilities will offer to sell you one, although you may find it is cheaper to buy one from a DIY store.
- Compare the cost of storage insurance – Again, most self storage facilities will offer to sell you insurance as part of the package – be cautious however and make sure that you understand the level of insurance you required (full replacement value) as well as the scope of cover being offered. See our blog 'I lost £180,000 in a self storage fire' for more on the perils of under insurance.