If your NYC friends won’t let you leave all your crap in their home and you live farther than driving distance, summer storage is probably the way to go. But how do you choose what company should have the privilege of handling your precious belongings after housing kicks you out promptly on May 17th? The Housing website does an unsurprisingly lackluster job of providing info on storage. So Bwog presents a complete breakdown of summer storage options:
You probably recognize this storage company as the burly men in jumpsuits shooting boxes up and down ramps during move-in week, but they are actually Manhattan’s premier storage service.
As a well-established company that runs a massive operation, Hudson is definitely not the best bargain around. That said, if you’re looking for reliability regardless of the price tag, Hudson is the way to go.
Cost: Hudson offers 48″ x 28″ x 24″ bins that cost $350 for the whole summer (tax included). If you really want to spring, Hudson will store your junk in a 5′ x 5′ x 5′ personal room for $187.50 per month (that will be about $600 for the whole summer).
Convenience: Curbside bin pickups take place May 14th-16th from 9 am to 4 pm. Hudson will be on campus May 7th-16th taking applications, selling boxes, and passing out bins to the people who already registered. In the fall, curbside delivery happens Sept. 2nd-4th.
Security: We’ve gotten a few reports of crushed boxes from past years’ displeased commenters. Storage is in an ADT-secured fireproof warehouse.
Extras: You can access your stuff Monday through Friday during regular business hours (8 am to 5 pm) by appointment.
Dorm2Dorm is an extremely professional-looking startup founded by two University of San Diego graduates with the goal of providing convenient, respectful door-to-door storage service. Also, they have a really pretty website. The professionalism and lower total cost of Dorm2Dorm provides a compromise between Hudson and some of the less legit-seeming companies below.
Cost: Dorm2Dorm charges a flat rate per item per month plus the cost of packing supplies (around the same as other companies). A rough estimate of the cost comes out to about $100 per month. Dorm2Dorm encourages you to order extra supplies, as they will not charge for any unused supplies returned at the time of pickup. Optional insurance is $2 per month for $100 insured.
Convenience: Dorm2Dorm makes a personal appointment (in a two hour timeframe) to have one of their representatives meet you at your building and get your stuff securely in the company’s hands. Free pickups happen during finals week.
Security: The way Dorm2Dorm (like most companies on this list) makes service affordable is by renting large units and storing many customers’ boxes in a single space. While this might not be the most secure situation ever, all the “per-box” storage companies operate on the same principle, and insurance is always an option for valuables.
Extras: Unlike the other companies, Dorm2Dorm offers an “Elite” program, which features private, climate-controlled storage rooms and many other probably unnecessary features for an additional $19 per month (word on the street: not worth it, and the rooms are definitely not climate-controlled). They also allow reasonable access with a day’s notice, should you need it, though with a fee.
Not to be confused with Off Campus Storage, this ambitious startup shares much with Dorm2Dorm at about the same prices. The storage service requires a minimum of a three-month contract, with the final month prorated.
Cost: Breaking it down, Campus Storage charges a bit less for supplies, but a bit more per item per month, so expect to pay about the same as you would with Dorm2Dorm, about $100 per month. Insurance is cheaper, at $1.50 for $100 of coverage.
Convenience: Same deal as Dorm2Dorm, Campus Storage will make an appointment to have you hand off your packed boxes and any miscellaneous items outside your residence hall or at your room, if you sign them in. Free pick dates are May 13th-17th. Pickup dates outside of this range will cost you $195. Fall delivery dates are Aug. 21st and Aug. 27th-Sept. 1. Deliveries outside of these dates are a hefty $250.
Security: Campus Storage has climate-controlled, secure storage facilities in and around the city, with the same operating principle as Dorm2Dorm.
Extras: Campus Storage will deliver your stuff to you at any point in the middle of the summer, but they’ll charge you extra for it, plus you still have to pay for the time remaining in your three-month-minimum contract.
A subsidiary of U-Haul, the familiar truck rental and moving supply company, CollegeBoxes provides a mildly more corporate experience than the two startups at about the same price.
Cost: CollegeBoxes lists prices per item per semester. The standard storage kit costs $39.99 and includes 5 enormous boxes plus all the supplies you need to pack them. Whether you use all the boxes or not, the $39.99 is non-refundable. Prices include $100 of insured value, with extra insurance at a rate of $3 per month.
Convenience: Using a more sophisticated (read: automated) registration process, CollegeBoxes requires you to print labels for your boxes from an online system. At 6 hours, their pickup windows are larger than those of other companies, but they only happen on two days: May 14th-15th, from 10 am to 4 pm. One Bwogger used the service last year and was able to chat online with a representative, who can narrow down the expected window for you. They also come pick it up directly from your room! But special deliveries and pickups are a cringe-inducing $295 and up.
Security: Although the incident occurred several years ago, CollegeBoxes does not have a perfect track record for reliability. The company has since been acquired by U-Haul, and seems to have cleaned up its act. When asked last year, CollegeBoxes said they store boxes in a warehouse in the Bronx. If you like anecdotal evidence, one Bwogger’s boxes were not lost.
Extras: Supporting a multinational real-estate conglomerate! Not having to lift boxes yourself!
If you’re set on schlepping your stuff up Broadway in blue bins, Tuck-It-Away Self-Storage is the way to go for storage within walking distance. A few commenters from past years had great experiences with the company.
Cost: The smallest unit, 4′ x 4′ x 3′, ranges from $45 to $70 per month in Manhattan. A larger unit will cost around $110 per month, but could be shared with friends. Boxes are a few bucks extra. Pickup and move-in services may or may not be included depending on what special deals they’re offering on your unit.
Convenience: Their nearest location is at Broadway and 134th Street, so you will actually be pushing your blue bins up Broadway.
Security: A warehouse with individual units is about as secure as you’re going to get, provided the island of Manhattan doesn’t go underwater in the next three months.
Extras: Racing blue bins on Broadway after finals is about as much fun as you’re going to have this summer.
Manhattan Mini Storage
Another neighborhood storage option, Manhattan Mini Storage has several warehouses in the area. The nearest is at 108-110 West 107th Street.
Cost: The best deal is a 4′ x 4′ x 4′ storage unit for $63 per month, as long as you’re willing to make the trek to their 401 East 110th Street location. A larger unit will cost $100 to $200 per month, but it could be split with friends. EcoReps also secured Columbia students a “special deal“: $236 for five months of storage (May 1st-Sept. 30) in a 4′ x 4′ x 4′ unit, which is actually more expensive if you’re not going to use the full time. Boxes cost a few bucks a piece.
Convenience: You can call them and get a free ride in their Storage Taxi, but it’s annoying to book.
Security: You’ll be the only person other than the staff with a key to your unit, so again, these warehouses are about as safe as you’re going to get.
Extras: You get access to your goods whenever you want.
Overly cheerful via Shutterstock