Dealing With Storage and Hotel Stays As a Student

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Have you ever been forced to move all of your belongings to a storage unit while waiting for tenants to move out of your new place? And because you are essentially homeless, albeit temporarily, you’re forced to rent a room at a hotel until the home is available. I know how crazy this sounds, but this is a normal occurrence for many college students when their leases are up.

I wish I could say it gets easier each time, but each experience is just as stressful and frustrating. The only positive part is understanding the process.

I’ve moved every year since I moved out of the dorms. If only leases were renewable so I didn’t have to find a new place to live each year, but that’s the way things work in some college towns.

However, rather than complaining about what I can’t change or cursing the situation, here are some ways I’ve learned to cope with the process so it’s not so stressful.

Dealing With Storage

So first let’s deal with the mini move to the storage unit. I always look for a company that provides twenty-four hour access and is centrally located, likeĀ Smartlock Storage. I used a different company for a previous move, and that location locked up at sunset. Now that was an inconvenience.

Besides the ability to enter by way of a gate code, I appreciate companies that provide monthly pest control spraying, online bill pay so I can pay from my phone or computer, and month-to-month leasing. Facilities with cameras and security guards would be ideal, but I haven’t found a storage company that provides this yet.

The Hotel Stay

While living in a hotel for a few days, or weeks in some cases, isn’t ideal, if you pretend that you’re a tourist on vacation that may help speed up the wait time. Consider it an opportunity to experience your city through new eyes. Or if it’s a new city to you, take advantage of the time to explore.

If playing tourist doesn’t interest you, you can always decorate the hotel with familiar items so it feels more like home. My pillow always travels with me, and I like to place a few framed photos on the nightstand.

Or you can simply rest before dealing with the craziness of a new semester. Take the time to catch up on the sleep you lost while you stayed up late with friends.

Also consider the positive aspects of hotel living:


    • someone makes your bed and cleans your living area daily


    • fresh towels, sheets, and miniature toiletries


    • free meals and ice (some hotels even provide breakfast and dinner. A few even have kitchenettes available if your prefer cooking your own food.)


Coordinating the Move

A day or two before the move-in day, make sure you figure out how you’ll take your items from storage. Bring help if necessary.

Also, don’t forget to communicate with your roommates and the landlord of your new home to confirm the date and time of the move. There’s nothing more awkward than arriving at the location while the previous tenants are still there.

In addition, if you and your roommates arrive together, you’ll have help with the heavier items. Moving is much more tolerable with friends.

Once the walk through is complete and the rental agreement is signed, you can start adding personal touches to your new home, such as photos and wall decor. No matter how long you’ll stay at the home, it’s important to make your living space as enjoyable as possible.

Moving is never easy, particularly if you’re stuck waiting on others. Try to see the positive aspects of the situation. Or just chalk it up to another life experience. The more you’re able to adapt to situations and make the most of them, you’ll grow in character and perseverance.

Dealing with this type of situation is just practice for the real world. If you can handle moving successfully, you’ll be a step ahead of many others.