Student Storage Solutions: A storage unit – especially if you share with a roommate – can take the worry and expense out of lugging your belongings home during the summer break
You’ll soon be heading home from college for the summer. What do you do with all your stuff? Move it home, and then move it back when school starts again? How about utilizing an affordable and convenient student storage solution?
A summer storage unit might be just the what you need. Some facilities near universities and colleges take out ads in college newspapers offering student rental specials. Read the fine print, though. Some discounts – “first month free” and “$1 move-in” –require you to rent the unit for a certain amount of time. The minimum might be more than you need.
How about sharing a unit with a friend? There are advantages and disadvantages to such an arrangement. Here are the facts, so you can make an informed decision about a student storage solution.
- Sharing a 10 x 10 unit with a roommate likely will be less expensive than renting a 5 x 10 by yourself.
- Sharing the cost of a unit with your roommate can make a climate-controlled unit more affordable. Climate control is a good solution for fine arts students. Canvases, tapestries and musical instruments hold up better when kept at a consistent temperature. Electronic equipment also benefits from an environment that minimizes temperature fluctuations and also moisture, preventing wires from degrading.Be sure you know what you’re getting into before you decide. If you do plan to share, sit down with your partner beforehand and establish ground rules to avoid misunderstandings.
Things to consider
Only one name will be listed on the rental agreement
- Decide which of you is going to take that role. The person who signs the lease is the sole owner of the unit – and its contents.
- If you are the lease holder and your partner doesn’t pay his or her share, you will still be obligated to pay – or run the risk of your belongings being auctioned off.
Consider paying your fees in advance to avoid these conflicts.
Think it through
- Is one of you going to take up more than half the space? If so, decide ahead of time whether that person pay a greater share of the rent. This might be a difficult conversation, but it will head off disputes later on.
- If you both have access to the rental unit, are you willing to share your belongings with one another?
- Make sure your partner is trustworthy. You don’t want to return when summer is over and find out he or she has emptied the storage unit.
- If you’re renting a unit with your boyfriend or girlfriend, what happens if you break up over the summer? If your name is on the lease, your ex won’t be granted access without you to intercede. The property manager has no way of knowing whether your partner is a thief or a vengeful former heartthrob.
Don’t be afraid to walk away if you can’t come to an agreement. But if you feel like you’ve covered all the bases and you’re comfortable with the arrangement you’ve made, sharing a storage unit is likely far less expensive than flying it all back home or maintaining your apartment while you’re gone for the summer.
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