By Molly Hammond, Storage.com

College is as full of new adventures as your car is on the day you move in to your dorm. Storage.com can help you tackle your college career with helpful tips or by providing you a safe storage solution for summer breaks.

No one knows the hassle of constantly moving furniture better than college students. With the academic calendar and residence hall schedules determining when they can and can’t live on campus, college students are often moving their belongings in and out of their dorm rooms. For many students, especially those who can’t drive all of their things back home because they live out of state, this often means finding a temporary place where they can keep everything until they can move back into the dorms.

If you’re an on-the-move student, your best option is self storage, an affordable (and preferable!) alternative to stacking furniture and boxes in your parents’ garage after they reclaimed your old room. With a temporary 5×10 storage unit, you can keep all of your dorm furniture near campus until it’s time to move in again.

But what about storage rent? Sometimes, that can put an unnecessary squeeze on your wallet, even if it’s just for a month or two. Well, here’s a handy trick—share a storage unit with your college roommate!

Roomies already share their space and their stuff—why shouldn’t your stuff share a space? By renting a larger storage unit with another person, storing all of your university essentials is actually cheaper than going it alone.

A 5×10 unit is the standard choice for storing one bedroom’s worth of contents, but a typical 10×10 self storage unit can accommodate the contents of two full bedrooms (including a mattress set, TV, desk, and bookshelf) with space left for boxes full of whatever textbooks the bookstore just wouldn’t buy back.

In Boston, Atlanta, and Chicago, three of the cities with the most colleges in America, sharing a 10×10 unit rather than storing alone in a 5×10 can save nearly $80 per person over a three-month summer vacation. And since most units are rented on a month-to-month basis, you can store your futon and mini-fridge for as little or as long as you like. It’s easy to find a unit that will be close enough to campus, too.

Kraig Haviland, Director of Operations for San Diego Self Storage, cites convenience as something students are keen on, even if they don’t always secure their unit long in advance. “Many times, students do not plan very far ahead. and there can be a lot of last-minute rentals,” Haviland says. All the more reason to hop online and reserve a unit as soon as you’ve got your move-in/move-out dates!

Haviland explains that sharing a unit can be cheaper for students, “a demographic that is sometimes strapped financially,” but urges students to consider the potential consequences of sharing a space.

“We do sometimes have students who share units,” Haviland says, adding that it “can potentially be a messy situation.” Problems arise if one of the people using the unit, the one whose name appears on the rental agreement and holds the key, isn’t trustworthy. “Make sure the actual renter of the shared unit is very dependable and will not choose to empty the unit over the summer.”

Haviland adds that pre-paying for the summer will also ensure that the unit doesn’t incur late fees or wind up in a lien sale.

Once you’ve found a trustworthy renting buddy, you’ll realize that sharing the cost of a unit with your roommate can make self storage amenities like climate control and drive-up access more affordable, too!

A climate-controlled unit allows renters to choose a temperature and humidity range for their storage space, ensuring that sensitive items are stored in a way that will help them last. Fine Arts students in particular may be interested in these units, as canvases, tapestries, and musical instruments fare best when kept at a consistent temperature. However, electronic equipment like computer monitors, printers, and video game consoles can all benefit from a storage environment that minimizes moisture and temperature fluctuations, since these can cause wires to degrade if stored for too long.

As for drive-up access, well, anything that makes moving heavy furniture easier is appreciated, right? Especially since most college move-ins and move-outs are a team effort fueled by the good heartedness of your friends (and maybe the promise of free pizza), you don’t want to put extra stress on those helping you move. A storage unit with drive-up access can really expedite the unloading process, which saves you and your friends from some serious back pain. The opportunity to simply back a car, truck, or van up to your unit may not make moving fun, but it will certainly make it simpler.

Even if you and your roommate opt for a more basic storage unit, the idea of splitting costs and sharing space is a valuable one—and what better way to get in the spirit of living together than storing together?

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Molly Hammond is a member of the content team at Storage.com. An equal opportunity storage enthusiast, Molly writes about everything, from where to store your extra boat to turning your storage unit into a custom cosplay workshop. When she’s not learning about the evils of plastic bags for clothing storage, she’s eating french fries, watching HBO, and wishing for snow.

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