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The ultimate guide to student storage

28th Jun 2023

Far more young people (and mature students) decide to attend university than in decades gone by. It is little wonder that UK universities are so popular with home and international students with five out of the top twenty universities in …

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Image of a group of student friends.

Far more young people (and mature students) decide to attend university than in decades gone by. It is little wonder that UK universities are so popular with home and international students with five out of the top twenty universities in the world being in this country. 

Going to university is a big commitment financially, for your career path, time-wise, however, it can be one that is wholly worthwhile and gets you to where you want to be. What’s more, you can make lots of memories and friends along the way. 

Living independently and away from your family is a massive lifestyle change that you will have to adapt to. You will have to take it upon yourself to cook, clean, organise your belongings, take out the rubbish, communicate with your landlord, and many more everyday adult household tasks. 

But how will you store your possessions? After all, student flats and on-campus accommodation are not renowned for being very spacious, and you may have a truckload of possessions. Here, we at Now Storage have created this useful ultimate guide to student storage to help you out.

Image of students on campus.

Why do students need storage? 

Remember that when you head off to university, yes, you are going to live there, but you can’t bring everything you own with you. You may have to be a bit selective or leave some of your things behind with family or friends. Nevertheless, even your most essential items may take up a fair amount of space in your student digs.

But what are some of the reasons why students need storage? Well, let’s think about what they own and what they may need to store. Here are a few examples of typical student possessions:

  • Study supplies and equipment such as textbooks, folders, plastic wallets, stationery, laptops, and more
  • Sports equipment, such as hockey and lacrosse sticks, football boots, shin pads, sports bags or any other sport-related gear
  • Clothes
  • Home decor

What storage issues do students face? 

One of the main reasons why students encounter storage issues in both approved on-campus accommodation and private rental flats is that their student living quarters there tend to be tight, and compact, and offer little space for extra things such as storage. In the UK, the minimum floor area for a bedroom for a person over ten years old is 6.51m2, and you best believe that landlords do their best to try and fit bedrooms in wherever they can as close to this minimum limit as possible. 

Other storage dilemmas arise around students needing to move house on a regular basis since student rental agreements rarely last more than twelve months or a full academic year. Also, you may find that you acquire lots of new stuff while living in your current place, and that you then require much more storage when it comes to moving into your next place.

Additionally, most landlords will not allow you to make many home improvements such as hanging up new shelves to help solve your store problems. Nails or permanent fixings in the walls by tenants are usually a no-no. 

Image of clothes on hanging rail.

Clever student storage ideas

If you are smart and think outside the box, there are things you can do to solve your student storage headaches. Here are a few clever student storage ideas to help you out if you have a smaller student bedroom.

Portable wardrobe

You may feel that you do not have sufficient wardrobe space in your student home. 

A portable wardrobe that is collapsible or on wheels can do an excellent job of being a place to store clothes, towels, and bedding. Portable wardrobes are often space-saving and not too big, so you may be able to fit one in a smaller bedroom.

Another benefit of a portable wardrobe is that you can put it up anywhere. Have you got spare floor space in your kitchen or lounge area that isn’t being used? Perhaps you could put up your portable wardrobe there. 

You can also move a portable wardrobe from one student accommodation to another. It is a good idea to look for one made of sturdy durable material.

It could be that you have jackets, shirts, or dresses that you want to keep nice and hang up. You may not have a hanging rail in your student bedroom. So, why not also buy a portable clothes rail? Just like a portable wardrobe, you will be able to put this in any room of the house.

Use your bedroom furniture for multiple purposes

Fortunately, bedroom furniture can double up and be used for multiple different purposes. For example, a small study desk can easily also work as a bedside table. 

You may be lucky enough to have an ottoman bed in your student accommodation or one with extra under-bed storage. If not, buy yourself an under-bed shoe drawer on wheels that can be smoothly wheeled in and out of the space with ease. You would be surprised at how effective under-bed storage can be as a small-sized bedroom storage solution, saving you from having a floordrobe cluttered with your shoes all over the floor.

Image of man with head on bed pillow.

Labelled plastic storage boxes

Sometimes the simplest student storage solutions are the best ones. See-through plastic boxes that you can easily access whenever you need to get your things are also great for student storage. 

Remember to label your plastic boxes so you know exactly which things are where. Try to find storage boxes that aren’t too high and that could fit slickly under your under-bed space. 

Portable shelving units

As previously mentioned, your landlord or university accommodation provider will most likely forbid you from drilling holes in the wall to put up permanent fixtures in your student digs.

However, vertical storage in the form of portable shelving units can work a treat and be a great place to store your framed pictures, indoor plants, stationery holds and more. The benefit of portable shelving units is of course that it means you can take them away with you when your tenancy is up and you won’t have to get on the wrong side of your landlord by drilling into your walls.


Sometimes, you want somewhere to put all the little bitty things in your student room. Another place to store your stationary, revision cards, post-it notes, jewellery, and your treasured photos can be a wall-hanging pegboard. Remember to buy one which can be safely attached to the wall by special adhesive photo hanging tape, since you will get in trouble for one that leaves permanent marks on the wall.

Go for storage within storage

Bedroom drawers in your student place can become scattered in no time. So, keep things well organised by putting tray organisers to divide different items in your drawers. That way, everything has its place and you won’t be rushing around frantically to find what you need before you set off to lectures first thing in the morning.

Different types of students will have different storage needs

You get all sorts of students at university, including permanent and part-time students, people of all ages studying different subjects, and students from all four corners of the globe. Thereby, it follows that these different students have different storage needs.

Image of young female student.

Students living independently for the first time

Of course, there are students that decide to continue to live with their parents while at university, but many young adults decide to fly the nest and live independently for the first time. 

If this is you, while packing try and think about what you need in the term time and don’t go overboard. Remember, there are some items that your family may not mind you keeping behind with them. They will want to have something to help remind them of you after all.

International students

A large number of international students decide to come and study in the UK year after year. International students will have additional storage concerns such as how much luggage can they bring on the plane and where they will store their belongings during the holidays or when they have to move house.

Being an international student can be a fantastic way to immerse yourself in experiencing a completely different culture and lifestyle, but likewise, you may have a few anxieties about logistical things like storage. The key is to try and be selective about the belongings you bring with you to the UK. Overpacking isn’t sensible, so travel light.

Medical students 

The lifestyle of a medical student is pretty unique. Undergraduate Medicine degrees take five years in the UK. Medical graduates then enter the medical workforce as ‘junior doctors’ on a two-year work-based training programme. 

Storage considerations are different for medical students since they may have to take home special equipment which needs safely storing, such as stethoscopes, PPE equipment, and medical training uniforms. 

Image of medical students.

Hire a self storage unit

Do you simply not have enough student storage space despite all your best efforts? An excellent student storage solution is to hire a self storage unit from a trusted provider that prioritises security as we do with our 24/7 CCTV monitoring system here at Now Storage. In addition, when picking Now Storage for your student storage needs, you will conveniently have seven-day access to your storage unit. 

We are a highly trusted self storage company with a large customer base with 15 locations across England and Wales. It also happens that we have storage facilities in Reading and Cardiff, two locations with pretty high local student populations, so we may be right on your doorstep!

Are you looking to hire a self storage unit as a student or maybe the parent of one? If so, get in touch by sending a message or phoning us at Now Storage today on 0800 0787 110. We offer excellent customer service with our friendly knowledgeable team of experts always there to help and discuss your student self storage queries.


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