So, the term has ended. After spending far too much time decorating your room, it’s time to take it all down. Before you know it, more stuff than you know what to do with. There’s too much to cart back home, but you’ve nowhere else to put it. You have two options: try and fit your stuff into a car tetris-style and lug it back home, or use self storage.
But… how does self storage even work, exactly?
You’ll find here [common] reasons for student storage and tips on how to store. As well as a guide to storage costs and money saving hacks.
Prepare to Save
Before you start storing, it’s important to understand why the cost of storing varies.
Costs can vary for many reasons. From the distance between the facility and the city centre to the size of your unit and length of stay
Proximity to the city centre is likely a factor in determining prices. This is because the closer a facility is to the centre, the more convenient it will be to get to. Going out of my way to store items seems like it would be just as much hassle as taking it all back home again.
Unit size and length of stay.
It seems pretty obvious, but the cost of storing also depends on the size of your unit. The bigger the unit, the more it’s going to cost.
If you plan on staying for a while you may also be able to get a discount. Make sure to ask before signing a storage contract, and also check to see if they offer a student deal.
Keeping Costs Low: Money Saving Hacks
There’s nothing a student (or anyone) likes better than a good deal or bargain, myself included! So I’ve compiled a list to give you as many money saving tips as possible.
Factor and estimate extra costs
This includes things such as padlocks and packing materials.
It's also smart to consider the cost of transport. This could be petrol costs or removal services. It also helps to over-estimate costs. This means you won’t get caught off-guard if something turns out to be more than you first thought. I always like to overestimate the cost of things, that way the extra money left over is always a pleasant surprise.
It can be a good idea to take these into account early on before you begin packing. This will allow you enough time to look around for the best prices possible
Most storage facilities ask for a security deposit before you can start storing. Though this usually gets taken out of your rent after a while. It can still be a surprising upfront cost that you may not be ready for.
Splitting the cost of your unit with a friend or two will make storage much cheaper. Especially if you’re only wanting to store a few items. But make sure it’s with friends you trust as storage contracts are only signed by and billed to one person.
Try to keep distances short
Finding a facility that’s close to you can help save you money on petrol as it is a shorter distance to travel.
There are a lot of ways to save money as a student, and storage is no exception. Most storage companies offer discounts if you are planning to stay for a long amount of time. Make sure to ask about this when you enquire about a unit.
Is Storage Even Worth It?
Not everyone may need it, but there are a few kinds of students that often will need storage services.
Those that live far from Uni
Living several hours away from your home-town may feel like a breath of freedom at first. But not when it comes to trying to get all your stuff back. You’re trying to manhandle it onto a train or pile it in your car. Trying to get all your stuff back across such a long distance can feel like a recipe for disaster. This is where storage might come in handy.
As before, but even more. International students live even further away, and likely need to get a flight or ferry to get back home. Planes of course, have weight restrictions. Most students will want to save the space they have for more important items than plates and cutlery.
Study abroad Students
Whether you’re doing a whole year or a single semester. Taking your whole house with you seems a bit impractical. Leaving it in storage close to your uni can be a good idea, so it will be ready and waiting for you when you get back.
What Can I Even Put in Storage?
Well, pretty much anything! (there are a few restrictions, such as flammable materials and actual living creatures. but hey- not bad, eh?)
Here are a few examples:
Bulky Equipment - anything too big to transport.
Gear left over from time spent in various societies. Be it kayaking or skiing or something else, you’ve now got anything from paddles to sporting outfits. But what you haven’t got is enough room to store it all. And buying exercise equipment or your flat seemed like a great idea until you have to get it all back home. This is where storage facilities come in pretty handy.
Instruments or music gear
As a musician, the idea of leaving my baby- I mean, instrument- behind is a thought that doesn’t bear worth thinking about. But sometimes the inevitable happens. Storage facilities can actually be very safe places to store musical equipment. Especially ones that have constant manned security as well as CCTV.
General excess items
So you’ve accumulated too much stuff. It happens. Or you don’t see the point in taking items such as towels and kitchenware back home when they won’t get used? Storage can be a space to keep all your extra household items out of the way.
And that’s a wrap. Hope that took the weight off your shoulders because it certainly did with mine!