Using Storage in College

Using Storage in College

By Weston Cooper,

Dorm living means you learn how to cram a ton of stuff into small spaces. From the stacks of books and endless school supplies to bed sheets, desk organizers, hanging closet shelves, and the 80+ other things on Bed Bath & Beyond’s campus checklist, you’ve got a lot of stuff. And that’s not even counting the furniture and kitchen appliances you might have. Seriously—how did you get all of this to fit in your tiny dorm room?

And now that the semester is over, where are you going to put it until next year? Some students already know that using local self storage saves you time and money compared to renting a moving truck and dragging everything back home. So the question then becomes: What are the best storage unit sizes for college students?

Finding the right storage unit dimensions to fit your things is easier than you might think.

A 5×5 unit will work for most students coming from a dorm or residence hall. These units are comparable to a large closet. They can fit several boxes or plastic bins and even a small mattress set, bike, or mini-fridge.

To save money, roommates can split the cost of a 5×10 unit and both store their dorm items. These units will typically fit 5-10 plastic bins, a futon or desk chairs, and a dresser or bike. If the storage facility only allows one name on the month-to-month lease, be sure to figure out how payments will work when sharing a storage unit so one person doesn’t get stuck with the whole cost!

If you’re looking for summer storage between leases, a 10×10 or 10×15 unit is perfect. These units can usually hold up to two bed sets, a sofa and loveseat, several dressers and bookshelves, a small entertainment center, and 10-30 boxes or plastic bins.

For a better visual of what individual storage units can hold, check out’s Size Estimator Tool. Also, to help you better figure out how much storage space you need, arrange your boxes and other items-to-be-stored all together in your home, and then measure the space they take up. Remember: Most storage units have 8 to 12-foot ceilings, so stack things high!