Student Self Storage: Everything you need to know

Finished your college year and moving home for the summer? Check out our advice on moving and storing your stuff!

You’ve finished your first year of college and it was a breeze! But now you’ve got to move back home for the summer, only to come back to college the following academic year. That’s a lot of moving your stuff in and out. What you might not have considered is renting student storage (a storage unit to temporary store your things over summer)! Before you dive in and start searching for nearby storage companies, we’ve put together all the things you might need to know before renting.

Contract length

Storage units for college students, or any students for that matter, are the exact same units as the ones non-students rent. The only difference is you are more than likely going to be searching for a short term contract. Storing your items over summer means that you will only need to rent the space for a few months – unless you don’t mind paying for the unit when it’s not in use. A lot of storage facilities only offer long term contracts, so renting a storage unit for a month or so may seem impossible. Luckily there are companies (like us!) who offer storage space on a month by month contract. This gives you the flexibility you will need when storing your things in between in your years at college.

The types of self storage

Believe it or not, not all self storage is one type fits all. There are several different ones, so it’s a good idea to know the differences so you can decide which one you need.

First there is indoor or outdoor storage. They each come with their own pros and cons which can be found in our comparison blog. Both of them have security, but typically an outdoor unit has 24 hour surveillance. An indoor unit will have restricted hours that you can access your storage space, but does usually have an extra security method such as a code on entering the building or yard. If you are wanting an easy drive-up storage space that you can access at all hours, then outdoor is probably the best for you. You can drive up to the unit with your vehicle – or moving truck if you have a lot of things – at any time of the day and drop your items off or pick them up. However, if you are wanting a unit which is better protected from the elements and pests, and you aren’t too bothered about 24 hours access, then an indoor unit could be the best option for you. 

The next thing to consider is if you would need a climate controlled unit. This is a storage space add on that might not be available for all types of units. For example, the smaller indoor ones typically do not offer this. A climate controlled unit will make sure that temperature inside itself is balanced at all times. This means no warm stuffy unit in the summer, and no freezing cold unit in the winter. This will keep perishable and more important items safe from mold build up, damp damage, and from drying out. Things like electronics, furniture made from leather and woods, and important documents are better stored in a climate controlled unit. Only a handful of outdoor spaces typically offer climate control. Here at East Bank Storage, three out of five of our locations offer climate control as an add on so you can protect your most treasured items.

The last option is drive-up units. As mentioned above, outdoor spaces tend to be drive-up facilities. This means it is easy, and quicker to access your space with your vehicle which we assume will be full of your items, or ready to be filled again. Without being able to drive up you will simply have to unload your items in the car park etc. and take them into your unit.

Storage unit sizing

There are many different sizes of storage units. The smallest being 5×5 – the size of a small closet, and the largest tends to be 10×20 – the size of a large garage. If you are wanting to store everything from your dorm room then the size best suited for you could be 10×10 depending on the size of your dorm. However if you are mainly storing clothes and small things from your room a 5×5 or 5×10 could be your best option. To see a visual representation of the sizes on offer and what they might fit in take a look at our storage tool and our article on “what size unit do I need?”.

Top benefits of storage for college students

Apart from the convenience of not having to move all your things back home, only to head off back to college in the next few weeks/months, there are other reasons to consider renting a storage unit.

Save money

The initial rental of the unit is of course going to cost, however, by renting a storage space you can actually save yourself money. Renting a moving van to take your things home, and then back again after the summer can cost a lot more than the unit itself – especially if you do not live close by to your chosen college. Not to mention the amount of time and stress the moving process can also cause.  

Keeping the items clean and safe

You may have a friend or family member who has offered to store your things for you over summer. You may even be able to go back home and keep them in your old room. But you will typically find that you have accumulated more belongings during your time at college than what you originally took with you. This means finding a good safe (and clean) space to store all your things can be a challenge. Storage units are the perfect storage solution for people who do not have the room and/or a clean, safe place to keep them. This is especially important when it comes to storing your fragile and important items.


You may find that when you return to college and begin to move your things back in, there are a few items that you do not necessarily need right now. Renting a storage unit is great to keep items out of your dorm so that you have extra space. You can now breathe a little in your dorm (and buy new things because there’s so much more space!) all while knowing your belongings are kept safe in the unit until you need them again. Of course you will need to keep paying the rental fees whilst your stuff is stored in them.

House hunting

It may be your last year of college and after you have graduated you are planning on renting a house. In the meantime however you need a place to store your items as it would be a hassle to take it all back home. Similar to summer storage, a unit is great for this type of predicament. Once you have found your next home, you can simply grab your stuff from the unit, pay the last check, and voila! You are done.

How East Bank Storage can help

Here at East Bank Storage we have a selection of storage units that can be rented on a month to month basis. This is great for students who need summer storage. We have two main locations – Chicago and Milwaukee – that each have several storage facilities in them. This makes it easy to find student storage in Chicago and its surrounding areas, and Milwaukee too! To have a look at each location and the storage types we offer visit our service comparison site. If you have any more questions, please contact us and we will be happy to help!

You Might Also Like This...

Share The Article