In the midst of finals and end of the year projects, figuring out what you want to do with your stuff while you go home for the summer is not high on the priority list for many college students.

Then, suddenly, it’s move-out day at the dorms or your apartment lease is coming to an end and you sure don’t want to haul all that stuff home to your parents’ house, just to have to bring it back again in August. So what do you do with your things for the summer?  Storage is a perfect solution. You can avoid the hassle and potentially several long trips taking it all home and keep the things you need for next semester in a small storage unit.

For most dorm-living students, a 5 x10 is the perfect sized storage unit, but if you have an apartment full of furniture, you might need something a little larger. Here are some tips for finding the best storage deals.

1. Call early and ask if they have student discounts. In some areas, student storage fills up fast.  If you need your storage unit the first week in MAy, be sure you have a reservation by mid-April at the latest.

2. Share space with friends. If you have a few friends you sincerely trust, consider sharing a space with them. Many times event he smallest storage space is plenty big enough for two dorm fridges and microwaves.  In addition, many storage facilities offer better rates for bigger spaces. So, if you have two or three students share a 10 x10, for example, it will be much more affordable than everyone getting his or her own 5 x10.

3. Pay for it all upfront. With summer jobs, hanging out with friends, family vacations and a million other things going on, it can be hard to remember to send out the monthly storage payment. And, if you share with friends, getting them to remember to send the payment can also be a nightmare. If you pay for the entire summer when you rent the space, there is no chance of owing additional late charges when you get back to school.

4.Sort through your stuff to decide what to take home and what to store. Your winter boots, for example, can probably stay in storage, but especially if you live far from where you go to school, make sure other things you might need over the summer, like your student ID, are in the pile of things to take home with you.

5. Throw out your food or give it to friends who are staying on campus for the summer. Storing food is a bad idea and never ends well. Either the food is gross or it attracts bugs and mice or both.  Clean out your fridge and then leave the door open just a bit to prevent it molding over the summer.

6. Take a study break to pack up. Studies show that you have to take a break to let your mind absorb all that last minute cramming, so take a break, grab something to drink and pack a box. That way when move-out day arrives, you’re all ready to turn in your keys and hit the road.