Whether this is the first time you are moving away from home to go to college or the third year, you know how important this moment is. It’s the start of a new year and a fresh opportunity to create the yearlong educational path you want.
Though before hitting the road to move into your dorm room, it’s important to organize your belongings and create a plan for the process. Investing a few extra minutes now will make both move-in day and the rest of the school year less stressful and potentially more successful. Here are a few essentials worth noting:
Get the Details From Your School First
Before doing any actual packing, contact the school. Find out what you can pack and bring with you and what you cannot. You also need to know what appliances and furnishings will be available to you and which you need to take. Finally, learn about the move-in date. When can you move in, what times are appropriate, and what’s the address? Even find out where you can park while you unload. Keep the following in mind:
- What is the layout and amount of space in your dorm room? This will impact what size furnishings you bring.
- What’s already included and do those features (dressers, bed frames, microwaves) fit your needs?
- Who is your roommate? What is he or she bringing that you’ll share?
Making a List of What You’ll Bring
The next step is to make a master list of everything you want and think you’ll need, including:
- Packing supplies (paper, boxes of multiple sizes, tape, utility knives and plastic wrap)
- Look for a dorm room checklist from your school. Many will provide you with items that are beneficial.
- Personal documents — copies of your information should be brought in a protected folder
- Clothing for a few weeks of school
- Accessories as well as any personal products you need
- School supplies (notebooks, pencils, etc.)
- Bathroom supplies including towels
- Mementos and other items to help make the space feel more personalized
Anything you have to buy at school will likely cost you much more than what it would if you brought it from home. However, there are often limitations on how much space you have. Make decisions wisely based on the value of the items. There’s no need to bring everything you own.
Make Packing a Process
Don’t save all of your packing for one day. It’s best to pack over a few days or even weeks. This gives you more time to organize. When you pack a box, make a short list of what’s in it on the outside. That way, you can easily grab what’s needed. You’ll also want to consider vacuum bags and other tools that can help condense belongings into easier-to-carry totes.
Packing the Car
When it comes to heading to college, there’s nothing more important than packing the car properly. Allstate provides some great tips about how to pack the vehicle not only as full as you can, but also safely. For example, it recommends having a second vehicle for those who are coming with you, giving you more room in your vehicle for belongings. You’ll also want to remove anything from the car that’s not necessary, balance the weight of the boxes on each site, and avoid putting heavy stuff in the truck or cab.
Of course, you’ll want to coordinate with your roommate about the process as well. Make decisions beforehand where you each plan to sleep and what space you’ll need. That way, when it’s moving day, you’ll both be ready to go and there will not be disagreements. Moving day is a lot of work, but if you pack over time and remain organized throughout the process, and perhaps even hire a team to help you, you can make this a very productive time and a great start to your college career.
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Last update on 2019-10-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API