The summer storage dilemma – to keep or not to keep

Woman carrying boxes moving houseAs the summer looms on the horizon and thoughts turn away from deadlines and dissertations, it’s time to think about student storage. If you have to move out of your current student digs and on to pastures new or perhaps return to the family home while you figure out your next port of call, you’re going to need to address the destination of everything you have in your possession. In other words, where’s all your stuff going to go?

Self-storage is big business these days and there are many students taking the option of dividing their belongings and putting the less important items into a brightly coloured box space in some urban outpost. If you find yourself in need of a declutter before embarking on your summer adventures, take a look at what we think is worth staying with you and what’s worth putting in a box with the dreamcatcher, the cardboard cut-out of a young Harrison Ford and the sandwich-maker.

First and foremost, it’s probably a good idea to throw away or sell those items that you know in your heart you’ll never use again. For instance, take a look at your CD collection; when was the last time you took a CD out and put it in a CD player to listen to? Offload these soon-to-be-obsolete formats and free up space for more meaningful items that, although you might not use every day, are worthy of taking up storage space.

Once you’ve had your moment of ruthlessness, draw up a list of everything you own and put them into the two categories – ‘keep’ or ‘store’.

Now if you’re a student who’s already made a head start on the whole ‘growing up’ thing and bought furniture or white goods, then needless to say, you need to put these at the top of your list for storage. In addition, it’s probably a good idea to offload the academic paraphernalia like essay books, notepads and stationery – if for the simple reason that if it’s all in one place, you won’t lose anything important come the autumn.

If you’re returning to the family home, remember to store items that you know they have in their possession too such as electronic equipment (TVs, DVD players) and kitchenware (cutlery, cups, saucepans) because you don’t want to be doubling up and taking up valuable space in their house. Your folks will appreciate the effort of you travelling light. And it’s always best to get off on the right foot with your parents if you’re staying with them.

Separate clothes into two piles – winter and summer. Pack all your winter coats, jumpers, scarfs and mittens into a box and mark it for storage. If you’re staying in the UK, you won’t be needing them till at least mid-August!

If you have a kitchen bin to store, make use of it by putting items in there that might not be suitable for a cardboard box such as work tools, cleaning tools and gardening implements. The same goes for the fridge. There won’t be anything in the fridge compartments (hopefully), so why not store books, DVDs and other appropriately-sized items in there?

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, label every box: Don’t take a chance, don’t rely on your memory, make sure everything in each box is written down on a sticky note and stuck to the box clearly. You’ll be very glad you took the time to do it.

Best of luck with your summer adventures and remember, September can sneak up on you, so plan ahead for the next move in your academic calendar.

Written by Michael Spicer, the storage guru of Seven Seas Worldwide, the Student Service Specialists.

Image credit: racorn/

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