Lots of students find themselves scrambling to find a place to store their dorm room items before the end of the spring semester. University of Richmond sophomore TJ Tann was no different.
As an out-of-state student, he understood the challenges of finding affordable storage facilities around Richmond. Tann decided something needed to change, so he became a UR campus co-founder of a nationwide storage company called College Truckers.
The company was started by undergraduates at Washington University in St. Louis who purchased a small storage and shipping business to help college students move in and out of their campus dorms, according to the College Truckers website.
College Truckers is represented at about 60 colleges across the nation, according to its website. Tann took on the task of bringing College Truckers to UR because he wanted to change the way that college students thought about storage, he said.
“Around 84% of [UR] students are from outside of Virginia,” Tann said. “So what that usually entails is the majority of students have to find somewhere to store their items in the summer.”
The company provides free packing supplies, comes to your door to pick your items at the date and time chosen, stores what you need in their facility and then brings the items back at the end of the summer, according to the College Truckers website.
College Truckers is meant to alleviate some of the stress of finding summer storage, Tann said. He also wants to make sure that students have the opportunity to pack up what they need and not be forced to leave valuables behind.
“When they go back in the dorms, it’s just stuff left there because people didn’t know what to do with it and that’s valuable stuff you’re losing a lot of money on,” Tann said. “This is a service that could work for a lot of students.”
Director of Sustainability Rob Andrejewski has witnessed the amount of materials left behind by students. The Office of Sustainability works to collect gently used items after students have moved out for the summer to give to Goodwill and save for the annual Big Yard Sale.
“We get a lot of items donated from people moving out, but there are also a lot of items left behind,” Andrejewski said. “Clothing, rugs, cleaning supplies, shelving units, all sorts of stuff that people just don’t take with them gets collected and then laid out and sold.”
Through the Big Yard Sale, the Office of Sustainability was able to avoid putting tons of material into the landfill, Andrejewski said. He loved the idea of College Truckers, adding that there was a lot of waste on campus that could be avoided.
Along with making spring semester move-out more sustainable, sophomore and College Truckers campus representative Omar Ibrahim wants students to know that College Truckers is all about convenience for the students.
If a student is going to beach week or home for an internship, having a storage plan is one less thing to worry about, Ibrahim said.
“Convenience is essential in college,” Ibrahim said. “You need things to be easy and done as soon as possible, especially in an affordable way.”
For college students, the most important part of College Truckers is the “pay for what you need” pricing model. College Truckers' prices run by the box, with its largest box, 4.5 by 6 cubic feet, priced at $16 per month, according to the College Truckers website.
College Truckers campus representative India Henderson, sophomore, appreciates this model, especially after paying for a storage unit she didn’t completely fill the summer after her freshman year.
“I paid way too much money, and I had no things,” Henderson said. “[College Truckers] is not that you have to pay one solid price for storage, which is what you typically do if you’re just getting a storage unit in the city. It’s financially friendly to young people.”
In comparison, Dorm Room Movers, a storage company used by UR students, lists its storage prices by item, with the lowest rate at $45 per item, according to its website.
Henderson is a part of the recruitment team for College Truckers. The UR branch has 22 students on staff, but Henderson is trying to get more people excited about the student-run program.
“I have the job of trying to recruit more people,” Henderson said. “So getting more students involved, whether that means getting storage for the summer, moving boxes and different things, there’s a lot of opportunities for students.”
College Truckers is looking for more students to get involved or use the storage company for the summer. If interested, contact TJ Tann at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the College Truckers website.
Contact features writer Kyla Coleman at email@example.com.