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While certain college campuses have decided to keep a remote learning schedule this fall, others will be opening their doors, with various safety measures in place. Whether this is your first semester or last, you may be wondering how to navigate this seemingly strange and unprecedented time. With such uncertainty, these 5 simple tips will help you pack, store, and study like a pro, making the most of your college experience.

1.) Pack well – it will help make moving easier and save you money in the long run.

Number your boxes, creating a detailed, running list that clearly states which items are within each box. Doing so will allow you to unpack necessary items first, and stop you from purchasing items you already have on hand. Best of all, by making note of the belongings you have packed away, you can keep items that you do not need on a daily basis off-site within a self-storage unit, maximizing space within your dorm room.

2.) Rent a self-storage unit before the semester begins.

Renting mini-storage has always saved college students with the hassle of lugging belongings back and forth when the semester is through, while also providing them with the opportunity to keep larger belongings (such as sports equipment) out of their tiny rooms. And, while those two reasons to rent a self storage unit still hold true, college students are now preemptively renting self storage as a convenient resource should campuses close quickly at some point throughout the year.

3.) Have a temporary, backup living arrangement in place should you need one.

When campuses closed abruptly in the spring, students without a self storage unit were left with their belongings on hand and no roof over their heads. Travel bans restricted many out-of-state and international students from returning home, with countless simply having nowhere to go. As such, it is important to ask several friends who live close by if their family would mind hosting you in the event of another shutdown.

4.) Make the most of your small space, and have fun doing so!

With a little imagination and some creative ideas, finding ways to use every nook and cranny of your dorm room is a fun adventure for you and your roommate(s) to partake in! While setting up your room this year, keep in mind that the school library or local cafe may not be a viable study option for you. So, it is important that you set up a small study space within your dorm, to help ensure you are able to focus on what truly matters (that is why you are attending college after all)! 

5.) Be smart – take your health and the health of others seriously.

With little known about the lasting effects of COVID-19, and changing information pertaining to transmission, it is important to take your health and the health of those you come into contact with seriously by wearing a mask, washing your hands, and avoiding large crowds. Your campus should provide you with a list of policies pertaining to quarantine and virtual learning options, should you become sick or be exposed to someone who has been formally diagnosed.

These are challenging times; however, colleges are filled with innovative minds that will help shape our future. In the words of Mark Twain, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones that you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Wishing you a successful college career!