Storage Giant’s Ultimate Guide To Preparing For University And Student Living
Becoming a university student can be a stressful thing, so Storage Giant want to make it easier for you by giving you some top tips as you begin your journey. You may have already started university but just don’t feel settled in and organised enough; no one wants that added stress. Storage Giant are here to give you a helping hand, and make your life as a student as straightforward as possible. Click on the links below to reach your top tips.
PREPARING YOURSELF FOR UNIVERSITY:
University is not only a place for you to learn about a chosen subject but is a great learning tool for later on in life. If you are going to be living on campus, you will need to know how to budget your money.
The first step you should consider is how you are going to pay for university. Make sure that you make the deadline for student loan applications, so that your request will be processed as soon as possible.
If you are going to be using a student loan you must also remember to consider your maintenance loans. These can be applied for at the same time.
How much you will get with your maintenance loan will depend on your household income, where you are studying, where you live and for how long you’ve lived there.
Looking into bank accounts is another important action you need to take. Don’t just use whatever account your current bank has, look around and do as much research as you can. The ideal account is one with a big interest rate and free overdraft, or the one that’s interest free for the longest time after you graduate.
Student Accommodation You Can Afford
If you’re about to start living away from home, choose your accommodation wisely. Renting a flat on your own sounds like a great plan but think again if you can afford it. Many students prefer to live in a student dorm as the cost is lower but living in a shared house is not always convenient.
If you want to live by yourself, think about the size of a property you want to rent. Remember that to live comfortably you don’t need a big apartment – on the contrary, smaller spaces are cosier and usually cost less, which is why they are an excellent solution for students living on a limited budget. If you worry about your belongings, search for an affordable self-storage provider who offers a low rate student storage unit. At Storage Giant, we offer great deals to students looking to store their belongings in a safe and secure environment. Find out more about our affordable and secure student storage in Bristol, Cardiff, Swansea and Leicester.
Being a student is an expensive ride. According to Save The Student, 1 in 4 students admitted they had never budgeted before due to poor budgeting skills. The average student spends about £790 per month, so understanding whether you’re spending on the right things is a significant first step.
Before you embark on planning your budget, make a checklist of all your current expenses. Try to realistically assess how much you spend on food, clothes, and travel, and then move on to regular spends (including rent and monthly bills) and entertainment. By creating such a list, you’ll get an apparent breakdown of how much you spend and how much you need to remain financially security.
Incomes will include:
- Maintenance loan
- Student loan
- Wages (If you are working)
- Money from family members
Your outcomes could include:
- Rent – rent can be due either every week or every month it is important you know when.
- Bills – you will more than likely need to pay water bills, electrical bills, and phone bills.
- Expenses – these are more daily with food and travel being the two main daily expenses.
- Nights out – university lifestyle normally consists of nights out at least once a week.
- Clubs/activities – joining clubs is a great way to socialise and will also cost some money for trips and equipment.
- Storage unit – many student homes will have tiny bedrooms so storing some extra clothes or books in a storage unit is a handy idea.
Student discount cards are a perfect way to help you stick to your budget. In towns that have a large rate of students, they will offer numerous student offers on food, clothing and services to name a few.
Buying and cooking food with your housemates is another great way to save money. If there are any leftovers, freeze them and use them on another day.
Living close to a supermarket is a useful tool as you can always find that night’s dinner in the reduced aisle.
There are several different ways to save your money when you are at university. The most important thing to remember is to be sensible with your money, especially at the start of the month. Time at university is about learning, having fun and more importantly, preparing you for your future.
If your everyday routine consists of grabbing a coffee every morning from Starbucks, try to cut down on your habit. Why not treat yourself once a week and commit to making your morning drink at home the other days? Just cutting out a few coffees a week could save you up to £15 per week and almost £60 a month.
Now, imagine that you can cut the cost of everything you need as a student. Need a new dress for a night out? Do your research in-store but try purchasing online to see if you can get a better deal. Heading out to the club? Organise a pre-drinks party at your place, so you don’t have to order overpriced drinks at the bar. Taking a cab back home? Organise a group of people heading in the same direction and split the fare.
Being a student comes with many privileges, and student-approved discounts are definitely one of them. You can get a rebate on almost everything from clothes to food and you can either claim them through universal discount cards such as Totum (which was previously called NUS Extra) or via student portals such as UNiDAYS. Also, watch announcements from big retailers such as River Island or ASOS that often offer exclusive, in-house offers if you show your student ID at the checkout.
Make Extra Money
We know how hard it is to be a student and work full-time, but if you feel like the maintenance loan isn’t sufficient enough to cover your expenses then it’s time to make some extra money.
You can either opt for part-time, student-friendly jobs that you can find on portals such as Student Job, Save The Student or Indeed. You might also want to look at your university’s job board, which gathers together top local student jobs from trusted employers. If you’re looking for a more convenient role, search for home working opportunities. Those include freelancer jobs, online tutoring and website testing which will allow you to earn extra income at any time, without leaving your room.
Many student accommodations are tight on space. Knowing how to utilise the small amount of space you have is vital. There are plenty of solutions, some costing nothing and others a small price.
Optimise The Space You Have Available
When I lived in a student house, I had a room the size of a large cupboard. I’m sure many students today are in the same situation. The trick is to use devices that allow you extra items. One idea I used was to store belongings in boxes under my bed. A shoe rack can also be really useful in storing your shoes tidily and preventing them from taking up your entire floor space.
Using the walls is a perfect solution to a lack of space. Hanging items up on walls, and the back of doors will keep your floor space free. Some accommodations will allow you to put up hooks on the walls. For those places that will not allow this, you can buy self-adhesive hooks, which are simple to remove when needed.
There are other types of hooks available, including over-the-door hooks. These hooks will hook over your door and give you space to hang coats, bags, and anything else.
Stacking boxes on top of each other is another fantastic way to save space. Plastic boxes that safely stack on top of each other are easy to come by and are often fairly cheap. To keep these boxes organised you can label them.
Having too much furniture in a small space can become frustrating, especially if you’re constantly walking into it. Desks that can be folded up are ideal, as when you’re not using your desk you can fold it up and have more space to move around.
Furniture that doubles as storage, such as a desk with multiple drawers or a bed that can lift up, or has a storage space underneath, are great additions to your student room. You could store:
- Laptop/other technology
Remember when adding more storage furniture into your accommodation, measure the space available so you don’t add too much furniture and end up with no space. It is important to also restrict yourself from buying and hoarding too many items. This will also result in not having any room left.
Alternate Items When You Visit Home
Most students have limited wardrobe space, which can be tricky as the weather changes. The best way to combat this is to get organised and alternate items when you go back home for the weekend: as summer approaches leave your jumpers behind and bring back some more t-shirts.
Get Organised And Sell Your Unwanted Belongings
Money can be an issue after you have been at University, with nothing left of your student loan, and the Bank of Mum & Dad now off access. So, your best option may be to sell your stuff and make some money off the back of it. You can use sites like Amazon, eBay, or Gumtree but whether this will bring in extra cash or immediate buyers for that matter, is another thing. Still, you cannot but try to sell what you may not need anymore.
You can then use the money that you have made from selling your things to save up for paying your student loan, for renting or for other things you may now need now that you will be out of university and trying to adapt to the ‘real’ world – outside of studying.
You could also sell stuff to those who will be going to the same University. Universities usually have a board where students can put up their advertisements. It may be a quicker and more convenient way of selling your things.
GETTING READY TO COME BACK HOME:
While this can be a stressful time, trying to juggle moving, exams AND a social life, there are ways to reduce the amount of stress. One main strategy is to be as prepared as possible. So don’t leave the majority of your packing until the last minute.
You will have a lot to pack up and it will most likely take longer than you think! So don’t leave it until an hour before you have to leave, as it won’t get done. Also beware, for if you don’t pack your boxes up carefully and efficiently it could result in broken or damaged items.
It is vital that you pack your belongings up effectively. Items that have not been packed correctly could end up damaged or even broken. Bubble wrap is your best friend when it comes to packing. Wrap everything that is fragile and expensive in bubble wrap.
If you can’t get hold of a lot of bubble wrap, then use what you have. Soft items, such as pillows and blankets, can be a sufficient and inexpensive alternative to protect valuable items.
When packing your boxes try to fill them up as much as possible. Any empty space will mean that your items will move around and could break. You can fill these empty spaces with bubble wrap or another soft material.
Although it’s a good idea to fill your boxes up, it is not a good idea to overfill them to the point you can’t close the lid, for this leaves them in a delicate state.
Use A Removal Van To Transport Your Belongings
If you are moving to a different student house next academic year and are dreading the prospect of endless car journeys to transport your things, consider using our removal service. We provide the most affordable service in Bristol, Cardiff, Leicester, Newport, Swansea, Cwmbran and Nottingham and could save you a great deal of time and hassle.
Although cleaning up after your first year at university isn’t at the top of your list of jobs you want to do, it is something that needs to be done. You will be expected to leave your accommodation in a clean state, similar to what you found when you arrived.
It’s surprising how quickly you can clean up, especially if everyone helps out. If you’ve kept on top of your cleaning over the past year, then this final task shouldn’t be too daunting.
You can either contact each company that sends you mail and notify them of your change of address or use Royal Mail’s redirection service. It is also a good idea to leave your forwarding address with the university or landlord.
Giving Keys Back
Most landlords will inform you of the correct way to give back your keys in the contract you will sign. If you are staying in halls of residence, then an email will usually be sent to you outlining the procedure of giving keys back.
Some universities will hand out folders at the beginning of the year, which outline the procedures you will need to follow while living there.
Remember to leave all of the keys that you, and your housemates, were issued so as to avoid any extra costs that could be incurred. If you have lost or misplaced any keys then it would be easier and cheaper to get them replaced instead of getting your landlord to replace them for you, however, be wary of doing so for if the landlord finds out about the locks being changed by a tenant, they will most likely make you pay to have it changed again by someone they prefer.
STORING YOUR ITEMS:
Whether you’re in need of some extra space at university or don’t want to bring you and your kitchen sink back home, you’ll need somewhere to store all the extras you don’t often need. Here are Storage Giant’s fitting solutions for you to have all the space you need as a student.
When You Go To University
In student houses, there is never enough room for everyone, let alone enough room for your stuff, especially bulky sports equipment. Storage Giant has loads of convenient storage locations where you can house your surfboard, snowboard, skis, bikes, and canoes. Our storage lockers make it easy to keep your sports equipment safe and ready to go. You will have access to your unit for most of the day. You are also able to rent whichever size unit fits best for you. Whether it’s a small locker, for a few textbooks and old notes or a larger unit, for extra furniture. This is ideal to make sure you have everything you need close by without taking up every inch of floor and shelf space.
If you think you’ll need more room, why not club together with your mates for a larger storage unit and see how much you can save. If you’re a student in Bristol, Cardiff, Leicester, or Swansea find out more about our great student rates and get your quote today!
Our ten-square-foot storage lockers are a great size to store all your university essentials out of term. This means you don’t have to cart your stuff from your university town to back home. You can save space at your parent’s home and make sure you travel light, wherever you are off exploring, working, or chilling out this summer.
When You Come Home
As your time at university comes to an end, you’ll want to make the most of summer free from assignments and take a well-earned break. The last thing you’ll want to do is ferry all your stuff across the country only to take it back when autumn rolls around. To make it easier for you, Storage Giant offer convenient storage facilities across the country close to several university locations.
Every university will have different policies when it comes to moving out over the summer. Some landlords will have rules on storing items over the summer; this is something that you will have to double-check with your contract. If you live in halls, then you will need to move out towards the end of exams.
Many students will have their parents come and pick up their items for them, although some students’ family homes could be too far away for them to do this, which is why investing in storage for the summer is a great idea. With ten square feet of space, you can keep everything safe in our Storage Giant units in Cardiff, Llanelli, Newport, and Swansea close to your local university.
Our Storage Giant Units
There are restrictions when storing, due to safety and legal reasons. Items that you are not allowed to store include:
- Flammable items
- Perishable goods (food)
- Any liquids
- Live animals
- Goods of an illegal nature
- Scented items (can attract insects and are best left out of a storage unit)
Wrapping your breakables, such as plates and glasses, up in bubble wrap and storing in boxes, will stop them from smashing and breaking.
It is important to look around the storage units to make sure you rent the correct space. If you know that you are going to be visiting your storage unit often, then it is important to check the opening times so you know when you can and cannot visit. It is important that if you are storing a mini fridge, keep the door open and make sure that it is defrosted. If mini-fridges are a little damp, then this could result in a build-up of mould.
If you need more information, the best thing to do is to contact your nearest storage facility. Students in Nottingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Swansea and Leicester can find out more about our student storage on the respective pages in the website menu.