Self-Storage Tips for Moving Students

storage unit for student

As the summer comes to an end all too quickly, college students will be moving in and out of housing in the month of August just as some did a short three months ago. Many people don't think about it, but not every lease ends when the next one starts. Landlords have to make sure all their properties are clean and damage free so they leave a week for a cleaning crews and repairers to fix anything that is wrong. This leaves college kids in limbo, and they need a place for their stuff. The end of the summer can be a busy time for college students. The last thing you want to worry about is where all your stuff is going to go before you move into your next place. A storage unit is the perfect, affordable option.

Guide to student self-storage

You have a bedroom full of furniture, clothes, and decorations and you were the saint that brought the mini fridge and living room couch. You need a place to put it for a week or two until you move into the next place or someone can haul it back home. So what kind of unit do you need, what can you store in it, and how do you get your items in it?


Figuring out what unit to rent. Most students who are moving from place to place don't have a ton of belongings to store. If you're storing bedroom furniture, a TV, some clothes and some boxes, then a 5x5 unit should be plenty big enough. As the smallest unit, it's also the most cost effective. If you are sharing a storage unit with others and you have more furniture, you may want to rent a 10x10 unit.

Another type of storage unit to think about is a temperature-controlled unit. In the summer when it's 100 degrees and the humidity is high, you may want to keep your clothes, pictures, and wood furniture in a cool place to keep it safe from the elements. If you're still wondering the exact dimensions of the storage unit you need—or whether to get an air conditioned unit—you can give us a call and we'll talk you through it.

What can you store and what should you do before storing your items? There are a number of things you shouldn't keep in a storage unit. We talked about the things you shouldn't store in a previous post. The major ones that apply to college students are perishable items—like your food—and anything really valuable that you need. Before storing the items you decide to keep, you should understand some basic packing tricks. If you have furniture to store—especially your mattress—you might want to use plastic covers to keep it clean. You will also want to pack your smaller items in boxes to keep them organized and safe. Covering your clothes you are storing is also a good idea in the middle of the hot summer. We can provide boxes and packing material if you need extra supplies or covers. If you have a mini fridge, you should make sure it is completely defrosted so you don't get water damage on anything in the unit. All of these tips will provide a safe and clean storage unit for your items.

How can I get my stuff to a storage unit. Not everyone has a truck readily available to them. If you don't want to risk your life by hanging onto a couch through an open hatchback, there are a couple of options. If you need some extra hands or vehicles, you can contact our partners over at SOS Property Transition Services. You can also rent a U-haul in a variety of sizes by giving us a call. Either option can make your moving day a little easier and quicker.

As leases end and you wait for the next one to begin, don't forget about a place to store your items. The beginning of the school year can be a stressful time and moving, as exciting as it is, can only add to that stress. Getting your stuff stored in an affordable, safe space is a nice weight off your shoulders and can allow you to focus on getting back into the swing of things. If you have any questions about anything from storage units to what you need to store, our team at Store It America can help you get your items in a safe place.

What Not to Store in a Storage Unit

Open Storage Unit

Storage units are good for a ton of different things. You can store small items like pictures, clothes, and toys, as well as big items like appliances and cars. While a storage unit can be a safe and easy way to store your items, there are a few written and unwritten rules to follow. Some may seem really obvious, but we've seen it all and there's always a story every year about something stored away in a unit that shouldn't have been. If you're getting ready to store some items, you'll want to make sure they are safe and that you're following the rules.

Obvious or not, don't store these items.

Whether you've thought about it or not, if it exists, someone has probably tried to put it in a storage unit. This doesn't mean they should've put it there, though. Here are a few tips and rules to follow when renting a storage unit:

Living things. We'll start with the obvious things that people still store. Whether it's one day or 100 days, don't store any living thing in a storage unit. This includes animals, plants, or yourself. A storage unit is not a house. All of these instances have happened and all of them are illegal—not to mention a little cruel. We have 24/7 security to see any illegal activity, and we also want our units to be used in a humane, safe, and legal way.

Hazardous and dangerous materials. Let's cover all the bases. Obvious materials you can't store are things like dangerous chemicals and anything that is highly flammable, like ammunition, cleaners, and gasses. If it can start a fire or let out a dangerous odor or substance, it shouldn't be stored in a unit. It's perfectly legal to store tools that use gas—like a lawnmower—but the gas tank should be completely drained. If you need to store a firearm, your local gun store will store these items safely and securely. Other materials and substances like paint or fertilizer shouldn't be stored either. If it can cause a health risk, there are safer alternatives. No one wants to come back to a storage unit that is destroyed or dangerous to enter.

Perishable items. If you or a pet you own can eat it, it shouldn't be stored. Obviously, if it's in there for a long time, it probably won't be good when you get back to it. Storing food for any amount of time can be an open invitation for rodents and insects as well. Although all the units are nice and safe,  we can't do it all. It takes a little help from our customers. Refrigerators and other appliances are not allowed to be connected to power for safety reasons. So food isn't allowed to be stored in any way. Perishable items shouldn't even be stored in the temperature-controlled units.

Illegal items. Back to the obvious, if it's stolen or illegal, it can't be stored. This includes drug related items and any stolen items. You don't want to get in trouble with the law.

Unregistered vehicles. We allow boats and RV's to be stored if they are legally owned. If your car or boat is registered under your name, then there is plenty of space for that. If the car isn't registered or is registered under someone else's name, then it can't be stored. Make sure to show up with a title and proof of registration.

Possible items to avoid. You should really think before storing anything that is really expensive or valuable to you. Storage units are generally safe and secure. As we mentioned before, Store it America takes security measures to make sure everything is safe, but things can still happen. To give yourself peace of mind no matter how good the security, things like expensive jewelry, money, and important documents should be strongly considered. If you couple leaving dangerous materials and valuable materials together in a storage facility, then you're at even more risk.

Maybe some of these suggestions and rules made you laugh, and maybe some left you wondering where to put things. In either instance, these rules and guidelines are in place for the safety of your belongings and the belongings of others inside the units around you. There are a ton of really good uses for a storage unit. If it's used correctly, a storage unit can be a perfect place to keep your items during a big move, for extra storage, or vehicle storage.

Store It America has a variety of storage units and ways to keep your items safe and secure. Contact us if you have any questions about storing an item legally and safely.