Storage Units Near UCSD

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Posted on October 15, 2019
renting a UCSD storage unit

Each year (especially around the month of June), Big Box Storage delivers dozens of storage units to the students of the University of California San Diego (UCSD). For most of these students, they’re simply looking for a convenient way in which to store the contents of their dorm or apartment for the months of the summer break (typically around three months). Others might be abandoning their remaining time at college and are in need of storage for an undetermined amount of time while they figure out their future beyond college. Yet others might be spending a semester abroad and require storage for the duration of time spent elsewhere. Whatever the circumstances, these students require the rental of storage units near UCSD to store their personal belongings and items for such periods of time. 

Instead of the common semester system in which students primarily go to school during the fall and winter semesters, UCSD runs on a quarter system - fall, winter, spring, and for those looking to put in some extra time, summer. Specifically speaking, the spring quarter at UCSD usually ends around June 10th through 17th. Commencement dates seem to vary slightly depending on the actual college at UCSD that the student attends - Revelle, Muir, Marshall, Warren, Roosevelt (or ERC), or Sixth. The fall quarter then generally commences at some point around September 20th through 28th. It’s during these months when students need storage the most. 

Students will be pleased to hear that there are ample options for the rental of storage units near UCSD. Within a five-mile radius of the UCSD campus there are at least six self-storage facilities for students to select.  Following is a listing of some of these companies and their local addresses:

Beyond self-storage centers, UCSD students also have a more convenient option – portable storage. This is a service in which the storage unit is delivered right to their dorm or apartment near UCSD (or really anywhere across San Diego). The unit is then placed anywhere a car might typically park. The student then packs the unit and it’s then picked up by the portable storage company and stored inside their nearby storage facility. Once the student determines that they no longer need the rental space (e.g. end of the summer), the company then re-delivers the unit back to them either on or off campus. 

Big Box Storage, San Diego’s largest portable storage company, has been serving UCSD students for over 17 years. Back then, Sixth College and the Rady School of Management were just opening on the UCSD campus. While the company’s storage unit delivery and pickup service allows the student to avoid ever having to visit the company’s storage facilities, for those students that wish to visit, Big Box Storage is located approx. four miles from the UCSD campus at 7077 Consolidated Way, San Diego, CA 92121. Access is available seven days a week at the facility should the student ever wish to retrieve an item from their unit (or place additional items into it).

Selecting a storage provider is obviously only part of the process. The student will still need to actually get the belongings into the storage unit. If they’ve opted for a conventional self-storage company, such as one of those included in the above list, they’ll generally need to rent a truck for the transport of the belongings to the self-storage facility. They’ll also need to load the items into the truck from their dorm/apartment/home address and then unload the items once they reach the rented storage unit near UCSD. Alternatively, if they decide to go with a portable storage company, such as Big Box Storage, they would instead skip the truck rental and just load the unit right at their address. They’d also be able to skip the same truck rental at the conclusion of their rental period as the portable storage provider would again redeliver the unit right back to their new address.

The student will also need to decide on the size of the storage unit.  Most UCSD students (and San Diego college students in general) need 25 to 50 s.f. of space. This might consist of, for example, a 5’ x 5’ unit, a 5’ x 8’ unit, or a 5’ x 10’ unit.  Beyond the floor space, the student should also check on the height of the unit, while most units will be 7+ feet, some storage companies offer units as “short” as 3’ or 4’. Note that some publish the height while others simply refer to the size of the floor space to be rented. Obviously, this potentially makes for quite a difference in the overall cubic footage. 

Big Box Storage only offers a single size unit, which is 8’ x 5’ x 7’ (L x W x H, exterior dimensions). Upwards of 95% of the time, college students renting from the company only need one “Big Box.” The size typically holds up to a room and a half of belongings. As an example, it would hold a king size bed and mattress, a couple of nightstands, a kitchen table, four kitchen chairs, and 20 to 30 standard cardboard boxes of items. Again, the size is typically found to be sufficient for most college students. 

The rental costs for storage units near UCSD seem to vary quite a bit. When renting the student should also consider all possible applicable costs including possible truck rental fees, time involved with going to and from the storage facility, time involved with loading the storage unit, possible “move-in” charges (many self-storage companies will charge $15 or $20 for such, and naturally the monthly storage rental rate). Self-storage facilities near UCSD often charge anywhere from $60 to $90 as a monthly rental rate for a 40 sq. ft. unit. Note that these rates obviously do not include the other potential costs and fees mentioned above.

Regarding costs, the monthly rental rate for renting a “Big Box” is $74 (as of the date of this publishing) . Beyond this rate, the initial delivery of the empty Big Box to the student’s address and also the pickup of the full Big Box from that address are provided free of charge assuming the student is renting for at least three months. For those unwilling to commit to the three-month term, the delivery/pickup fee is $99. However, the minimum term seems to be an ideal length for students in need of summer storage. For those interested in scheduling online, a further $25 discount is applied to the first month’s rental rate. 

Once the student has selected which storage unit near UCSD that they will be renting, they should also take into account several other considerations. Here’s a partial list:

- Scheduling in advance. It’s always best to avoid just showing up at a self-storage facility without any advance reservation. There are many reasons for such with a primary one being that it’s possible that they simply don’t have space available (or possibly just not the right size unit desired). While this situation wouldn’t occur with a portable company as they would be bringing the unit to the student, the delivery appointment with the portable storage company should still be scheduled in advance (ideally at least five days) to ensure that the student’s desired delivery time window is available.

- Padlock. Regardless of whether the student is opting for a self-storage company or a portable storage company, their rented unit will still be in need of a padlock to ensure the further security of their stored belongings. If the student doesn’t already have a padlock or doesn’t wish to go to a store to purchase one, they can likely buy one directly from the storage company. Costs vary but generally run between $7 and $15. On the topic of security, the student should also inquire as to a storage company’s security measures at their facility. Basic measures such as video surveillance and alarms should be viewed as mandatory. 

- Sharing a storage unit.  Obviously, the benefit of sharing a storage unit is getting to share the rent. These situations are ideal for roommates that are going to be continuing as roommates after the summer break (or whatever their storage rental period may be).

- Advance payment. As most students will only need storage for approximately three months over the summer break, they might wish to consider paying for the entire rental at the time it first begins. This will ensure that they avoid any possible late fees should they ever forget to make a monthly payment (as well as the hassle of even having to remember to make a payment).

- Storing with a friend. Of course, beyond standard storage options such as self-storage and portable storage, near UCSD, some students might be in a position to store their belongings with a friend. As many students at UCSD are actually from the San Diego area (some La Jolla specifically), they may have excess space at their local home address in which to store the belongings of a friend or fellow student. Although such instances are not too common-place, they are often ideal for some students due to the obvious savings. However, while these situations might allow for free rent, the student will still need to consider how they are going to transport their items to their friend’s home. Unless the student has a truck or large enough car, the most likely solution would be a truck rental such as those offered by U-haul. Truck rental costs vary, but ancillary truck rental costs such as insurance and gas should also be factored.

For those UCSD students interested in a portable storage solution, please contact Big Box Storage.  As noted, the company is conveniently located just a few miles from the UCSD campus. As noted, the company offers free initial delivery and pickup of the storage unit for students looking to store at least three months.