The Ultimate Guide to Student Self Storage

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student moving into university with self storage cardboard box

They say that the years you spend at university are some of the best of your life. Not only are you working towards a degree that will help you achieve your dream career goals, but you’re also making new friends, living on your own for the first time and creating memories that will last long after you graduate.

At university, it may seem like you’re constantly moving – from halls into shared houses and back home for holidays and time off – making it difficult to know where to keep your belongings. Student self storage is an option that many people choose, but if you’re new to self storage you might need some help understanding how everything works.

Read our student self storage guide to find out:

  • If you need self storage
  • Top tips, student storage hacks and what to consider before you move in
  • How student self storage works
  • What storage size you need
  • How Ready Steady Store can help

Do you need self storage?

It’s no secret that, unfortunately, when it comes to student housing, space is often short. However, often your parents aren’t aware of that fact and might even change your room into an office or a gym when you move out, leaving you with nowhere to store  your extra belongings.

Similarly, you might be uncertain about what you actually need to take to university. If you’re moving across the country, you may be tempted to bring everything you own, but you’re probably not going to have enough space to store it all.

Did you know that clutter and mess are detrimental to your motivation and growth? In fact, a study by The Princeton Neuroscience Institute found that the more things in your line of sight, the less productive you are. This is because there is more competing for your attention, making it harder to focus and concentrate. 

Student life is a lot easier when you don’t have to take your items from home to uni and back again every few months. Self storage, therefore, offers an affordable and convenient option when looking to declutter your space without having to get rid of things you may need at a later date.

A guide to student self storage: our top tips for students

young woman packing up belongings to use student self storage

So, what should you take with you?

While you might be tempted to bring all of your belonging to uni, chances are you won’t need as much as you might think! Here’s our best advice.

Advice from the University of Chester:

A spokesman for the University of Chester said: “The best advice about what to bring comes from students themselves. Here are some of their suggestions:

  • A clothes airer for drying clothes in your room
  • Toilet roll (to avoid any squabbles over whose turn it is to buy it!)
  • Something sentimental from home – like a favourite picture
  • A bicycle – to help you get about easily – it’s also good to ensure you’re getting plenty of exercise and fresh air
  • Medical supplies or vitamin supplements to ward off colds and freshers flu.
    • Stationery and books: other than your course material and reading lists you’ll need to buy pens, notepads, highlighters and any other stationery you need to keep your studies on track – think first day of school vibes!
    • Important documents: while you don’t necessarily need your birth certificate or exam results, you will need your driving license or passport for ID plus any insurance documents just in case.
    • Electricals: a laptop is key for research, essays and watching Netflix in bed on a Thursday afternoon. Forget the printer – you can always use the one on campus if you get desperate. 
    • Clothes: the biggest mistake most students make when moving to university? Don’t take every item you own as it won’t fit in the small wardrobe but make sure you have a good selection to choose from.
    • Toiletries: these are essential and don’t forget any healthcare products you might require.
    • Kitchenware: while most university accommodation, in first year especially, will equip you with a toaster and kettle, you will need to invest in cutlery, saucepans and crockery. Our top tip? Don’t opt for the cheapest choice, it will only break or burn your food and you’ll have to buy a replacement. Instead, places like Wilko, Asda or Dunelm have cost-effective options that offer good quality at reasonable prices.
    • Storage and filing items: from folders to mail trays, pencil pots to storage boxes, when living in a small space, you’ll need to make sure you keep organised and invest in some decent desk essentials in order to make the most of your room. 
    • Decorations: making yourself feel at home at university is crucial to helping you settle in and feel comfortable in your new home. From fairy lights to posters, pillows to blankets, you can easily purchase some cheap decorations to make your room feel morel like yours.

Ashleigh, Nottingham Trent University: “The most important thing I took with me was photos to put all over my wall – it brought home with me without taking up any room!

Top student storage hacks

To ensure you make the most of such a small space you might want to think of how storage hacks can help you – particularly in the kitchen and bathroom where the space is likely to be shared. Read on for our top space-saving student storage hacks.

1. Look up: when floor space is at a premium, consider how you can make the most of wasted wall space. Shoe organisers and over the door hooks are perfect for this and are ideal for holding towels and dressing gowns as well as jackets and bathroom essentials.

Top Tip: Command strips are perfect for securing storage solutions to the wall as they are strong and sturdy – large strips can even hold up to 7.2kg! Plus, as they won’t leave a mark, they’re perfect for making sure you get that all-important deposit back at the end of the year. 

adhesive hooks on door for student storage

2. Vacuum pack your unused items: while anything you’re not regularly using could be placed into your self storage unit, these are perfect for those items you can’t part ways with just yet. From spare bedding to extra towels for guests and even clothing, they reduce the space required, are easy to use and can be tucked away on top of wardrobes or under beds.

3. Utilise things found around your flat or house: from utilising old jars for bathroom toiletries to reusing paper toilet roll tubes for keeping your cables tidy, there are plenty of ways to organise your room on a budget, you just need to think outside the box.

4. Keep your drawers tidy and organised: whether you buy purpose-made drawer dividers or craft your own from old cereal or shoe boxes, separating the space in your drawers ensures you’re making the most of your space while helping to keep track of your belongings. 

5. A place for everything: if everything in your room has a ‘home’, it will help to keep your space tidy and stop you losing your favourite top or that book you desperately need for your morning lecture. Use labels or different coloured boxes to group your belongings together 

What to consider before you move in

Before you think about renting a storage unit, ask yourself the following questions.

  • How will I get to my storage unit?

As a student, you may not have access to a car, or be able to pay costly taxi fees. So, when deciding on a storage facility, make sure you can easily access your unit without it costing too much money.

  • Are there any additional costs, such as a deposit or padlocks, to be aware of?

No matter what you’re storing in your unit, you’ll need insurance. Similarly, many providers will ask you to pay a small deposit while reserving your unit to secure your price – at Ready Steady Store, we will credit the deposit to your first bill, so you’re not spending extra. If you’ve decided you don’t need your storage unit after all, there’s no need to worry as all of our deposits are refundable. Other additional costs, such as the cost of a padlock or transport to and from your unit, should also be factored into your overall costs.

  • When can I access my self storage unit?

The times at which you can access your storage unit depends entirely on the provider, and the facility you’re using. For example, at Ready Steady Store, many of our facilities have 24-7 access, so no matter when you need to get your belongings, you can. Please note that there may be a small extra charge for this at some of our stores, so you should contact your local store before reserving a unit if this is important to you. 

  • What security measures are in place?

We understand that it can be daunting to leave your belongings in an unknown place, which is why most storage providers offer a range of safety measures, such as cameras or pin code access. At Ready Steady Store, all of our secure storage units are monitored by 24-hour CCTV while individual units are locked with the users own lock and key, providing the ultimate security and peace of mind. 

a student entering Ready Steady Store using unique PIN code access

  • What can and can’t you store in self storage?

There are a number of rules to follow when it comes to what you can and can’t do in a self storage unit. For example, while you can do your uni work from a storage facility for some peace and quiet, you can’t run a business from your unit to make some extra money, but you can use it to store stock.

How does student self storage work?

Setting up your self storage couldn’t be easier with our step by step guide.

Step 1: Find your closest store – at Ready Steady Store, we have a wide range of facilities across the UK, from Nottingham to Doncaster, Manchester to Bournemouth

Step 2: Choose the unit size you need – to avoid running out of space or overpaying for your unit, it’s important to determine how much space you’ll need to store your belongings. We have a range of unit sizes that are perfect for students – from 9ft lockers which are ideal for extra clothing or instruments, to 50sq ft which can fit the contents of a one-bedroom flat.

Step 3: Make an online reservation – to make it simpler, you can normally reserve your unit online and pay a small reservation fee, which will be refunded to you if you decide to cancel your unit rental.

Step 4: Pack up – once you’ve got your location and unit sorted, you’ll need to securely pack your belongings into sturdy cardboard boxes to avoid any damage. 

Step 5: Figure out how to get there – no matter how you get to us, you’ll need transport to move your belongings into your unit. There are a range of ways to access our facilities such as by car or by organising a van and man service, but you will need to organise your own transport to and from your unit.

Step 6: Get ready for moving day – on the day you move in, you should be able to instantly access your unit, but you may have to first sign for and finalise your agreement. 

What unit size do you need for student storage?

When it comes to storage unit sizes, the amount of space you need will depend entirely on the amount of stuff you’re looking to store. As a general rule of thumb, we would suggest the following sizes for student storage:

  • 9 ft locker: Our smallest available unit size, a 9ft locker is similar to a large car boot, and is ideal for storing a few boxes, electronic equipment, luggage or spare books and clothing.
  • 25 sq ft: The equivalent to a small garden shed, this unit size is handy for students looking to store sports equipment, seasonal clothing and any spare items.
  • 50 sq ft: If you are looking to pack up your hall’s bedroom for summer, a 50 sq ft unit will be perfect as it allows you to store your belongings and any bulkier electrical items such as TV’s, without causing any damage.
  • 75 sq ft: If you’re a student who lives in a 1 or 2 bed flat and needs somewhere to store furniture, household decorations, kitchen equipment and clothing, you’ll likely need to invest in a 75 sq ft storage unit. 

To determine exactly how much space you’ll need, use our size estimator today or get in touch with a member of our team. 

Why use Ready Steady Store for your student self storage?

  • Safe and secure: you can be safe in the knowledge that, no matter where you are, your stuff is secure – all of our stores have 24-hour CCTV while only you will have the key to your own unit. 
  • Flexibility as standard:  with no long term commitments, at Ready Steady Store, you can scale your storage up or down easily, sp you’re only ever paying for what you need.
  • Award-winning: We have won the Feefo Trusted Platinum Service award 2020 and also have a 4.9/5 Feefo rating directly from our customers.

So there it is, our ultimate guide to student self storage! Remember, you aren’t moving to the moon! You might be in a different city but you are only a train ride from your family home- or a walk or bus journey away from a storage unit.

While it can be tempting to keep hold of everything you own for fear of forgetting something important, keep in mind that your room is likely to be small and any unnecessary items will clutter it up and lower your productivity levels. If you do realise you have forgotten something you can’t live without, it will be quite easy to get hold of it.

We make it easy for you to store your items, whether you’re at home or university. If you have any questions about our student storage, want more information or are simply looking for some help, please get in touch with us now or find your local store today.

Have we missed anything off the list that you couldn’t live without at university? Let us know below!