School Year Over? Here's What to Do With All of Your College Dorm Stuff Over the Summer

Not sure what to do with all of your stuff during the break? You have more options than you may think.

Blake Stimac Writer
Blake has over a decade of experience writing for the web, with a focus on mobile phones, where he covered the smartphone boom of the 2010s and the broader tech scene. When he's not in front of a keyboard, you'll most likely find him playing video games, watching horror flicks, or hunting down a good churro.
Blake Stimac
4 min read
Stacked moving boxes, a person holding plates

There can, indeed, be smiles while packing up at the end of school year.

Getty Images/Amy Kim/CNET

So you've managed to accumulate more stuff in your college dorm room than you know what to do with during the summer. Or maybe you're an international student and it makes no sense to spend the exorbitant amount of money to ship all of your belongings home for a couple of months, only to have to do it again when you return.

CNET Moving Tips logo

Along with surviving finals and finding a job for the summer, at the end of the school year, you need to figure out what to do with all the stuff in your dorm room over the summer break. Unless your home is within an easy drive of your school, shipping all your stuff home can get expensive. What do you do with your dorm room stuff over the summer?

Worry not, as we have some solid options for you to tackle this dilemma. Whether you're seeking convenience or affordability, these four tips should help move the needle in the right direction for you. For more moving tips, check out tips for first-time movers, the best moving companies for 2024, and mistakes to avoid during your move.

Rent a local storage unit for your dorm stuff

If you're here, you've probably already had this thought, but it's a good one for many students. 

Some colleges actually offer storage units for students -- some for free -- so before you do anything else, check if your school has this option before you lug all of your stuff off campus. Of course, this won't be possible for everyone, so you may need to look at local options outside of campus.

If storing your stuff on campus is out, check around for a local storage facility. This could be a task of its own, and you can expect others in your situation are also looking into storage units as close to their dorms as possible, so you may need to look a bit further out than you'd like to find the right price for yourself. Another factor will be how large of a unit you'll need. Your local U-Haul, for example, may have self-storage facilities you can rent for the summer.

Pro Tip: You're not alone, so grab a few friends to pitch in on a larger storage unit to cut down on costs. 

Look into a moving/storage service over the summer

If convenience is your top priority and you have the funds to do so, a moving/storage service that caters specifically to college students may be just what you need. Check a service like Collegeboxes and Dorm Room Movers to get an idea of what that service offers. If you live in a college town, you may be able to find a local moving and storage service that caters to students and may be a little cheaper. 

These services are fairly straightforward -- they'll provide you with cardboard boxes and packing tape you'll pack your stuff in, schedule a time to pick up your items, store them over the summer and then drop them off in the fall. It really doesn't get much simpler, and the peace of mind may justify what you shell out for a service like this. 

Store your stuff at a local friend's place

If you're looking for a frugal route, hit up a friend who lives in the area or is staying on or near campus while you're gone. This likely be your cheapest option, and if they're a really good friend, it could possibly be free. You might consider giving them a six-pack when you pick your stuff up.

Consider selling some of your stuff (if it makes sense)

Books, towels, sheets. Those are easy to pack up. If you are holding onto large items, you'll obviously need a larger space to store your stuff. If you're looking to save some money, do some research on how much it would cost to store your items versus selling them and buying new stuff when you come back.

Unless you have an emotional attachment to your things, a big item like a desk or chair can easily be sold or donated and then repurchased later and possibly for cheaper. Even if you were to sell just your large items, you may be able to save money on a smaller storage unit, if that's the route you choose to go with. 

Going this route will require doing some math to see if it makes sense for you to do. 

Pro Tip: No matter what method you choose, you'll still likely have to pack and move some boxes, so make sure you know how to properly lift your heavy boxes and furniture. In search of more moving tips? Check out the best moving companies for 2024 to make your move a breeze, avoid these common moving day mistakes for fewer stressors along the way!