Moving to a university is a major life event! Once you’ve been accepted at University of Alabama at Birmingham, Samford University, or Virginia College, you have a lot to figure you. You’ll need to register for your classes, find accommodations--either a dorm room or a roommate situation off-campus--and you’ll need to figure out what to bring with you.
There’s also a good possibility you’ll need a little extra space, and that’s where self-storage comes in.
Self-Storage in Birmingham
The main university in Birmingham is University of Alabama at Birmingham
with 18,600 students, then Samford University
with 5,200 students, and the Virginia College Birmingham Campus
with 5,000 students. That comes to 28,800 students, more than 10% of Birmingham’s 212,000 population.
Birmingham has 88 self-storage facilities with a total of 48,400 units, which means that a unit should not be difficult to find. However, when the influx of new and returning university students begins in the fall, it may get challenging. Look for 5’x5’ units for between $30 and $35 and 5’x’10’ units for from about $40 to $50.
Birmingham also gets hot and incredibly humid. Humidity can seriously damage almost anything you own, from books to old VHS tapes to musical instruments. It can even damage sensitive electrical equipment if the moisture gets inside. Chances are very high that you’ll need a unit with climate control.
What to Store
All right, we can’t really tell you what to put in your storage unit. However, we can suggest how to come to your own conclusions.
As soon as you know you’ll be moving to Birmingham for your university studies, make a list of everything you plan to bring. Then separate the items out into two lists: one for what you’ll keep in your new home, and one for what you will put in storage. Along with this size guide
, your list will make it easy to figure out what size unit you will need.
Choosing a Facility
It’s easy to overestimate how often you’ll go to self-storage. However, most people end up going once a month or once every two months. Now, ideally, you’ll be able to find a low-cost facility with climate control near where you live. However, if you find one a little farther away that costs less, you may save money over time by renting there and driving over when you need something.
Studying Abroad and Self-Storage
Do you feel it’s time to get away for awhile? Getting into your school’s study abroad program may be for you! Language, culture, and art students often spend a semester or so in another country as a powerful educational experience.
Of course, you will have to figure out what to do about your apartment and your self-storage space. One option is to keep your stuff in your room in Birmingham, but as you probably have at least one roommate, that means others, possibly strangers, could access your belongings.
A safer alternative is to put it in self-storage for the duration. If you need a larger unit, most facilities make it easy to move from one to another. You could upgrade say from a 5’x5’ to a 10’x10’ for your trip, then back to a 5’x5’ when you return and have moved your home items back to your apartment. Today, most facilities also allow you to pay in advance or manage your payments over the internet from anywhere in the world.
You may also save money on rent by subletting your room. If you want to look into this, make sure that this is acceptable to your landlord, and that the person you rent to will move out in time for your return. This can provide you with the exra money you need for a larger storage unit.
You Will Need More Space
Through your college years, you will buy more and more, including your own kitchenware, furniture, college mementos, books, and other items. During your college years, you may run out of room in your home and need to get a storage unit, or if you have one, a larger one. Most facilities make it easy to move to a larger or smaller unit as needed. Eventually, of course, the goal is to graduate, get a great job, and have your own place where you can decorate it with all the things that now belong to you.
The point is, self-storage will be a necessity. Therefore, even if you don’t need self-storage now, please keep in mind what you’ve learned here for the future.