The Total Student Storage Guide
Investigating Self Storage For Students
In any lifestyle, space is becoming a premium. Families are struggling in homes with small rooms and no cupboards, young couples can fit a three seat sofa in the front rooms of their flats and older people have to sell family heirlooms as they downsize into more affordable premises. In the student world, however, space is even harder to come by, with many of us living out of single rooms and trying to accommodate our ever increasing pile of course notes, textbooks and folders, not to mention our own personal effects and clothing.
If you are finding that your room has barely enough space to swing a ring binder, looking for additional storage might be just the answer. Even if you are coping with the space you have at the moment, you might want to consider moving the bulk of your belongings into storage for the summer, to avoid carting it back to your parents or paying a retainer on your digs. Our all in one guide to student storage should help to fill in the blanks about the world of self storage, and answer some of the questions you might have about this useful resource.
How does storage work?
Self storage is a great invention. Somebody builds a highly secure, often climate controlled and spacious building, and then rents out areas within it to people just like you. This makes it excellent for storing not only the things you no longer have room for in your accommodation, but also those things which you would like to keep extra safe, yet still have access to when you need it.
If you are thinking about storage there are a few things you need to have in mind before approaching a company:
• Size: You might think self storage is all about big containers stuffed with furniture, but actually you can rent anything from a small locker up to a whole warehouse depending on your needs. Have a think about what you want to put into storage, and decide how much space you think you are going to need.
• Security: The majority of good self storage companies will have excellent security both on site and for your individual unit. You might have a key card for entry, or be given an access code. Your storage unit may have a padlock or a combination lock, but either way it should only be you who is able to open it. They may also have CCTV or 24 hour patrols on site. Depending on what you intend to store, these factors may be more or less important to you.
• Climate control: Storage units can get very hot in the summer and cold in the winter, which is not very good for the items contained within. Opt for something with climate control or at least air conditioning to avoid things like paperwork and furniture becoming damaged by the extremes of temperature.
• Access: Most storage facilities will allow access during office hours (9 – 5, Monday to Friday), but if this is not convenient for you, consider what times you will require access. Out of hours access and 24 hour access can often cost more, but if you need to be able to get to your gear at any time, it may be a cost you have to bear.
• Location: Of course it makes sense to have a storage unit close to University, but you should also consider how easy it will be for you to get to. Is there a rail station or other public transport nearby? Or if you drive does it offer adequate parking near to the units?
There are certain things you cannot store in any self storage facility. These include things like petrol or other flammable materials, pressurised canisters and toxic materials. Some storage companies will have other rules and regulations you may need to consider, but if it’s just personal effects and paperwork you are storing there shouldn’t be any problem. Any removal for you and storage company London students can access will be happy to give you detailed advice and guidance on the specific terms and conditions of their storage units before you book, so it’s a good idea to ring around a few before making a decision.
Why students need storage
Some of the most common reasons students choose to use self storage include:
• Extra space: Moving from one place to another can leave certain pieces of furniture redundant. Cheap storage units are a great way to hold on to things that you love without having to make room for them in a cramped student room.
• Extra security: Bringing things such as jewellery, watches, electronic equipment and musical instruments to University might seem like a good idea at first, but when you see how busy halls and student houses can be, and all the coming and going that goes on, you might desire a more secure place to keep your treasured possessions.
• Document archiving: Keeping all those first year notes can be a drag, particularly if you suffer with a small desk and lack of shelving as many of us do. Renting a small document archive space in a storage unit can keep notes, textbooks and coursework safe and sound, ready to be dusted off come revision time later in the year.
• Summer storage: If you, like many students, return home over the summer months to save money and visit friends, you probably resent paying the retainer (or in some cases full rent) on your student room to allow you to keep your belongings there. Self storage can work out a lot cheaper, and much less hassle than carting everything back to Mums for a few weeks.
Best student storage companies
Lots of companies out there are vying for student business by offering student storage discounts and special deals, but watch out for those that aren’t really worth the paper they are written on. Some of the best deals out there for students at the moment come from Big Yellow, Access Self Storage and Kelly’s.
Big Yellow Self Storage offers 50% off to students and free van hire, whereas Access Self Storage is offering FREE pick up and drop off service, the first month for a penny and no deposit at all. Kelly’s has a similar deal with free collection and free insurance, but the first 4 weeks are £1. The best option for you will depend on what you need, what you intend to store and, of course, which companies have units close to where you attend Uni.
5 ways to save money on storage
Getting a great deal on your storage is about more than just grabbing a hot student deal. Here are our top 5 tips for ensuring you get great value self storage for your student belongings:
1. Get the right size: Ask your storage company to help you decide how big your unit should be, and remember you can always upsize later on if you need to. There’s no point in paying for wasted space, so pack well and maximise the space.
2. Ditch the clutter first: Don’t use storage as an excuse to keep every last bit of junk you own. Only put in the things that are genuinely valuable to you and that you will definitely want back again.
3. Shop around for insurance: Don’t just take the deal that the storage company offers you. If you have the option, shops around for insurance to make sure you are getting a competitive price.
4. Forget the extras: No doubt you’ll be offered a variety of ‘add-ons’ to your storage rental, which can all sound very attractive at the time. But make sure you ask yourself if you really need it or if you could save the money and do without.
5. Do it yourself: Do as much of the job yourself as you can. Find your own boxes, pack them yourself and move them yourself. Although companies often offer pick up and packing services, unless this is a specific cost free deal, you could end up ramping up the price of your storage unnecessarily.