For many Freshmen students, it can be unnerving to decide their next year's housing already. This may confuse you since your child, like so many other first-year students, is already living in a dorm. But chances are they are probably right. According to, in some college towns, if your child wants to book a desirable rental unit for the next school year, they'll need to start searching in September of the current year. This brings up a whole host of related questions that you may not have thought of until now. Here's some insight on tackling this issue so your college student knows where they're staying next semester. 

Dorms Past Freshman Year

At some colleges, dorm spaces are so limited that they can only guarantee them to incoming freshmen. So check with your college to see what their current housing situation is. There may be a chance that your student can remain in a dorm if that is your preference, in the coming school year. However, it's important to note that even if you and your child do decide to stick with a dorm, you will have to remove all of their belongings out of their room when summer rolls around. 

Off-Campus Housing

If your child needs or just wants to find off-campus housing for their sophomore year, have them start looking now for suitable locations. While your student may be more focused on looking for housing that is in a good party location or that has a pool, suggest they also look for a building that is within walking distance to their campus and grocery stores. I they will be living with roommates, have them look for landlords who are willing to make separate leases for each person. Many buildings are going that way, and this type of arrangement makes it less stressful for all tenants. 

Storing Your Child's Belongings

Whether your child will be returning to a dorm room in the fall or moving into off-campus housing, you are probably going to need a place to store their belongings. It may be just for a week or two while their off-campus housing opens up, or it could be for the entire summer. You could, of course, choose to store their stuff in your house.

But before you decide on that route, here is a bit of unpleasant reality that you may want to think about before deciding what to do with the contents of your child's dorm: their belongings are probably going to be filthy. Some items will be broken; while others may be crusted with some unknown substances. So depending on your comfort level with grime, you may want to decide to store them in a storage unit for the summer instead.

Another factor that may sway your decision? At the beginning of the new school term, you're going to have to haul your child belongings back to their college. And that may require renting a truck twice. So it is possible that renting a storage unit for a couple of weeks or months may actually be more cost-effective than hauling everything home and back. Local self-storage facilities like 1st Stop Storage can help keep their stuff safely stored until the new semester. 

But if you do decide to rent a storage unit, be forewarned. Units typically fill up quickly, so you may want to book one early. Fortunately, some storage facilities do offer a free first month or other bargains, which could save you money. And your student might also be able to save money by renting and sharing a storage unit with another student.