Summer Storage Worries? Stow 'EM


What can be more difficult than cramming for a C.S.-51 final exam or writing a 30-page junior seminar essay? Cleaning up a trash-strewn dorm room--with just under 24 hours before your flight leaves Logan Airport--just might be an equally daunting task.

For students looking for hiatus from studying to get a head-start on packing up for summer, The Crimson has found several Cambridge area businesses that rent storage space and will gladly keep your poster of Jackie Chan or your illegal fishtank (emptied of course) during the hot summer months.

The best deal in the Square might be found at Richmann's Zipper Hospital which changed ownership only a month ago. Jane Hwang, the new owner, offers students storage space for boxes at an incredible $10 for the entire summer. This deal is only for the daring, since the actual space is "just my basement," Hwang says. She is willing to store dry cleaned clothing, for free, until September.

Several other dry cleaners offer similar deals. At Top Cleaners on Cambridge Street and Rite-Way Dry Cleaners near the Quad, free storage awaits those who pay for dry cleaning. Rite-Way even gives a 10 percent discount to ID wielding Harvard students.

Hillside Cleaners, on the other hand, charges $15.95 for a storage unit that fits about 25 pieces of clothing. This deal comes with a $100 insurance policy but requires a minimum dry cleaning tab of $50.


Loaded with books, sofas and halogen lamps from bargain hunting at senior sales?

Find several roommates and friends you trust to share storage space, says Martin D. Zito, manager of Summerfields Self Storage, Zito's Boston building is visible from I-93, and its enormous whale mural covers an entire side of the building.

"Students should look at the storage facility," Zito says. "What you get is what you pay for."

Zito also warned students to waterproof their computers and other valuables. Even when items survive a fire, the sprinkling system may damage sensitive belongings.

"There should be no food whatsoever. Not even in Tupperware," Zito insists. "Rats find ways into the most protected areas."

Upscale storage facilities like Summerfields usually have individual locks and seven-days access with computer passwords. Summerfields even has a loading dock complete with truck rentals and on-site packaging expertise.

The two most popular units with college students are the 5'x5'x4' model, which rents for $42 per month, and the 5'x10'x4' unit, which goes for $60 per month. The larger unit holds 25 to 30 boxes, making it an ideal space to share with several other students.

Allen Redd, a six-year veteran salesperson at Cambridge Self Storage, cautions gullible students from falling for the cheapest available price.

"If it sounds too good to be true, don't buy it," Redd says. "No matter what their brochures say, don't buy it."

"Stay away from the fly-by-night places. You'll never see them again," he warns.

Most storage facilities sell boxes and tape, and a few even offer packaging material. If you hope to find your Auntie Grace's porcelain vase still in one piece after the summer, you might be better off visiting professional packagers.

Mail Boxes Etc. has two locations in Cambridge, both on Mass. Ave. The store closer to the Harvard Square T station offers two standard cardboard boxes, the UPS2 and the UPS4. According to Kenneth R. White, a salesperson at Mail Boxes Etc., the UPS2 and UPS4 are best suited for computers and clothing, respectively. But at $5.45 and $3.89 each, the boxes are slightly more expensive. The store also carries the entire gamut of styrofoam stuffing and a wide variety of tape.

Can't decide where to store your family jewels over the summer? Try Cheap Date Moving the Storage in Watertown. A 1.5 cubic foot box costs only $1.25 while a 3.5 cubic foot box costs $2.50.

Make your move soon, however, because several locations have already filled up for the summer. C-Free Self Storage and Metropolitan Moving and Storage are completely booked. And even students with a packed exam schedule can have some fun procrastinating with boxes