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Florida is home to 27 public colleges and universities. From the Atlantic Coast to the Emerald Coast and from the Keys to the Panhandle, Florida offers students a variety of educational experiences. Whether you are attending Florida's biggest college, Miami Dade College, or the smallest, International Academy of Design and Technology, chances are, you are living either on campus or nearby.
You probably aren't living there year round, just during the school year. Obviously, this presents a problem: what to do with your belongings when you aren't at school. A storage unit is the ideal solution.
For many college students, it all comes down to the bottom line: what is the most economical way to store your belongings? You have several options available to you:
Keep your dorm room - Most universities have summer classes. Even if you are not taking summer classes, you can likely keep your existing dorm room. The University of Miami offers summer session dorm rooms for a minimum of $900 per session. With two summer sessions, your total for keeping your dorm room would be $1800.
Rent off campus - If you currently live off campus, you could extend your lease for an entire year, instead of just the school term. An apartment in Gainesville, Florida, near the University of Florida averages $525/month, for a total of $1,575 for the summer months.
Rent a storage unit - Storage units come in a variety of sizes, making it easy to select the storage unit that fits your particular needs. In many cases, student discounts may be offered. A 5-by-10-foot unit in Florida should cost around $50 per month, making your summer storage bill just $150. Even when you add in the cost of packing materials and renting a truck, you're still saving a lot of money.
Once you make the decision to rent a storage unit, all that's left is the packing. Some smart packing tips can help you safely store your personal items and furniture in the smallest amount of space:
Repurpose dressers - Removing your dresser drawers during transport makes the dresser lighter, but don't leave those drawers empty. Use them to transport clothing, personal items-anything small. Tuck a towel over your belongings to keep them in the drawer during transportation and dust free during storage.
Invest in storage containers - Instead of boxing up your belongings, invest in under-the-bed storage containers. Easy to move and store in your storage unit, they can double your dorm-room storage as well.
Don't dismantle your bookshelves - What college student doesn't have a bookshelf? Instead of taking it apart, put it up in your storage unit. The shelves are ideal for fragile items and smaller boxes.
You should also keep in mind that Florida summers are hot and humid, with temperatures in the 90s and a relative humidity that is often in the 90s as well. When storing your personal items, books, and furniture for the summer in Florida, you should take a few extra precautions:
Books - As a student, you will likely be storing a variety of books. Keep them safe by packing them upright and not overfilling the box. This will help prevent moisture buildup by increasing ventilation.
Papers - Store your papers flat, not folded up, to prevent damage. Using acid-free file folders can add extra protection.
Area rugs - Thoroughly vacuum your rugs prior to rolling them up. When possible, store the rugs on end to prevent flattening or creases.
Furniture - Whenever possible, cover your furniture-even if only with a sheet. This will prevent the buildup of potentially damaging dust.
Your college years should be a time of learning and fun; you shouldn't have to worry about where to store your stuff. Whether you are taking the summer off or traveling overseas for a semester abroad, a storage unit is the ideal place to store your personal items and furniture. Find a Florida storage unit with our easy-to-use search tool.
"College Facts at a Glance", Florida Department of Education http://www.fldoe.org/fcs/facts_glance.asp
"List of Smallest Colleges and Universities in Florida", CollegeStats http://collegestats.org/colleges/florida/smallest/
"Summer School Housing 2013", University of Miami http://www6.miami.edu/housing/pdfs/Summer_and_Related/2013_Summer_School_Housing_Newsletter.pdf
Cabana Beach, Gainesville http://www.cbgainesville.com/compare/
Uncle Bob's Self Storage of Jacksonvillehttp://www.unclebobs.com/Jacksonville-FL-storage/storage-unit-prices-UB105.cfm
"Protecting Your Family Treasures Every Day", Library of Congress http://www.loc.gov/preservation/family/ftprotect.html