College Moving & Storage Tips for Students During Campus Shutdowns
The novel coronavirus that began spreading in late 2019 and early 2020, responsible for the disease COVID-19, has affected the general population in many different ways — including colleges and universities. An online institutional change and impact map shows that over 4,000 higher education institutions were impacted, and just under 26 million students were affected by COVID-19. As soon as the first few colleges closed their classrooms, many others followed suit. When campuses were shut down, on-campus housing was also closed down. Students were given a date to move out of their dorms, but many had no place to go.
For students not from the area, state, or even this country, it can be hard to just unexpectedly move, let alone find a place to store things. On top of all this, ambiguity surrounding if and when each college will resume classes, and whether they will be online, on campus, or some combination of the two, has made it challenging to make moving plans. The following tips are meant to help students for moving and storing their things during shutdowns.
Check What Your School Is Doing for Moving and Storage
While schools were not largely prepared for COVID-19 specifically, they generally have different measures in place in the case of an emergency. You should see if there are any specifications for when you can or cannot pick up your belongings.
In order to avoid the spread of COVID-19, schools may allocate time slots for the student to get their things in order to minimize a cluster of individuals in the dorm. Be aware that your school may be working with a storage company directly to help the students in order to make the moving process easier. Check-in with your school to see what plan they have in place for moving and/or storage
Look Into Storage Options
Since no one truly knows how long the COVID-19 pandemic will last, student storage units are a great option for storing items from your dorm or other campus housing. You can search for storage near you online. Shop around for the best rates, but be sure to look at different unit features to help you determine what will work best for you.
If the amount of items you have doesn’t fill a storage unit, or you’re on a tight budget, consider sharing a unit with someone else. Traditionally, storage companies do not provide locks for you, so make sure to look into the best storage locks to secure your storage unit prior to storing anything.
Most college towns have a few different moving services available. During COVID-19 shutdowns, many were forced out of work, so making a Craigslist ad or a post on social media could help you find movers at a reasonable price. Make sure to shop around for the best rates and look at reviews when available.
Get Rid of What You Don’t Need
If you can’t fit everything into storage, you may need to sell the things you don’t need. Selling a few things can also help you raise some money for moving costs as well. Take a look through your stuff and identify things that you can part with.
General Moving and Storage Tips
There are a few tips to keep in mind when you have to move — especially if it is quick and unexpected.
Look for Viable Packing Supplies
According to WebMD, coronavirus lives on different surfaces, so you will want to avoid traditional moving supplies like recycled boxes. The same article goes on to explain that cardboard shipping boxes stay contaminated for 24 hours. You will want to get moving materials that you can easily wipe down and disinfect. Consider the following tips and ideas:
- Store items inside other items your need to move like your pillowcase, microwave, mini-fridge, sheets, laundry basket, wastebasket, etc. to transport your things;
- Purchase stackable plastic totes. They last forever, can be easily disinfected, and they are more durable.
Reach Out to Friends for Help
Movers can be expensive. If you have to store your stuff, you may be unable to foot the bill for both storage and movers. You can save yourself money by having friends help you move instead of hiring professional movers. There are plenty of people who are most likely in a similar boat, so if you offer to help them move, they may be more willing to help you move as well.
Furniture can take up a large amount of space, and it can be difficult to move. Prime examples of large-space items are bed frames, dressers, desks, couches/sectionals. If you choose to put your furniture in storage, you may have to stack things to make up for lost space and damage your furniture in the process. As tedious as it may seem, if you disassemble your furniture you can protect it from dings in the moving/storage process and you can also save space in your storage unit.
Consider Protective Covers
As you store your things, you want to make sure they remain in good condition, free from weather, bugs, etc. Look into acquiring moving supplies like plastic covers for exposed furniture like your mattress, dresser, coffee table, chairs, and anything else that isn’t packed up in a box — especially when you consider how the coronavirus lives on surfaces.
You also want to ensure that when you are moving your things you are not damaging them in the process. Consider using moving blankets to pad your furniture during your move.