Do you plan to store your college belongings for a semester, for the summer, or for your gap year? Storing your stuff near your school is a great way to save time, money, and frustration, versus hauling it all back home or even leaving it in your dorm. And many college students save even more by sharing a storage unit with a friend or roommate.
While this can be a great idea, you do well to take some steps to ensure the best possible outcome. Here are a few things to do when setting up student self-storage.
1. Write Down the Agreement
Young friends who plan to share something often work out the details in conversation and rely on their friendship to make it work out. However, a better choice is to take the time to write down a more detailed agreement. This should include who will sign for the unit, how money will be collected and who will pay it, and how much space each person gets.
2. Work Out an Organization Plan
How will you split up the storage unit? Will it be 50/50 with each person receiving half of the floor space? Does one person need more space? Is there shared furniture or household goods? Make a plan to organize and arrange the space. Once you agree to a division of space, though, respect the other person's use of their space. Don't encroach, but don't impose your own way of doing things on them.
3. Avoid Storing Hazards
It's always important to clean out all your stuff, clean it up, and make sure everything is dry and stable before it goes into storage. But this is more important when inexperienced college students are involved and the other person's belongings will be affected. Agree to avoid storing wet items, perishable goods, anything that can leak, potentially flammable or explosive items, and broken pieces.
4. Have It Checked On
If you're storing stuff because both of you will be gone for a while, arrange for someone to occasionally check on the unit. This should be a trusted party both of you agree on. By having someone check in on what's in storage, you can prevent small problems from becoming big ones and any blame from being passed around.
5. Keep Keys In Check
Each person sharing the unit generally should get a key to access it. However, agree on a set of ground rules about sharing those keys with others. The fewer people who can get into your stuff while you're away, the better. Avoid giving out your key to anyone without notifying your unit partner. And don't change the lock if you have a falling out. Rent a new space instead.
Where to Learn More
Want to know more about the process of sharing a storage unit? Want tips for success based on the experience of other students? Start by talking today with a self-storage facility near your school which caters to the student population.