Pack for College with These 20 Tips

Edited by Andrea Jaenen, Maria, Eng

Packing for a new stage in your life is exciting, and very quickly any future student can become overwhelmed with all the tasks ahead of them. Whether you're living in a dorm or off-campus, chances are you will be moving a lot of items. By following these tips and guidelines you can easily ensure that you're properly prepared.

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Tips and Guidelines to be Properly Prepared

  1. 1
    See What is Allowed
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    Before you purchase or pack anything, check with your college to see what is allowed. Many schools prohibit things like bringing your own furniture, or bringing along items such like alcohol, speakers, or certain types of appliances. Be sure to check ahead before buying anything that may not be allowed in your new place.
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  2. 2
    Create Your Own List
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    Typically, if you're living on campus in the student dormitories your college will send you a list of required items. While this is fantastic, not all colleges do this. Or if they do, most colleges will not include the most basic items. So in order to ensure that you have everything you need, make your own list. Be sure to include items for the bedroom, bathroom (including toiletries), and kitchen. Also make sure not to forget about including clothing, laundry items, school and cleaning supplies on your list. Be diligent in checking off items as you gather them!
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  3. 3
    Save Money by Buying at Thrift Stores
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    Chances are you're going to be spending a lot of money in preparation of moving to college. You can easily save a couple extra bucks by buying supplies at your local thrift stores. You can find things like used containers, hangers, or clips that you might need to get yourself organized and packed properly.
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  4. 4
    Skip the Boxes, Try Rubbermaid Storage Bins
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    Cardboard boxes are the classic method of moving objects from one place to another. Unfortunately, boxes are easily broken if they experience a tumble or fall into some water, and your items could be damaged. Instead, pack away your precious cargo into some plastic storage bins. These bins are perfect for sealing away your items from the elements. Most bins also come with handles for easy carrying, and are designed to stack nicely. Plastic storage bins are very affordable and can be found in a number of stores. Not to mention these bins can be used for a number of other jobs after the move!
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  5. 5
    Check to See Who is Moving Your Things First
    .
    While it varies from college to college, if you are moving into a residence on campus, you might have fellow student helpers who will assist you with the process of moving. If this the case, be sure to label your boxes with "fragile" accordingly. Extra padding in case of an accidental tumble is recommended.
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  6. 6
    Pack Ahead of Time
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    Don't leave packing until the last minute, otherwise you might be left in a sticky situation when it is time to move. Packing earlier also gives you more time to prepare and organize yourself. Start with items you won't need and then gradually add items as the date of moving looms closer.
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  7. 7
    Pack the Essentials First
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    Pack away everything you would absolutely need first. This includes toiletries such as toothpaste, a toothbrush, and women's sanitary items. This could also include items such as your glasses, extra cash, important documents, and most importantly a very warm jacket. Be sure to Maximize Space in Your College Dorm Room as chances are you will have a limited amount of space!
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  8. 8
    Label Your Items
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    While this is the most simple and basic step, many future students neglect this step. Labeling your boxes (or in this case plastic storage bins) is vital for proper organisation on the big moving day. Simply grab some paper, a pen, tape, and some scissors and mark each individual box with where the items within the box will be going. Organization is key!
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  9. 9
    Pack the Necessities
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    If you're living in college dorms, chances are you will have very little space. Try to limit the amount of clothes and decorations you take. So before you seal up anything, go through all of your items and heavily consider, "Do I really need this?". If the answer in question is "Yes!" then re-pack it. If the answer is "No." discard the item.
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  10. 10
    Don't Bring Everything All at Once
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    This is a step that I personally wish I had acknowledged. If you're attending school for the fall, don't bother bringing your spring or summer clothes. Chances are you will be visiting home at least once for the holidays or for any other reason. Use those visits home as an opportunity to bring items you passed over in the beginning. You can also use these visits home as an opportunity to switch out your wardrobe according to the season.
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  11. 11
    Roll Your Clothes
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    This tip can be applied for any sort of packing. Simply take an individual piece of clothing, and roll it up into a cylinder. This method can help you save valuable space while packing. Thankfully, this method will not wrinkle your clothes if you roll your clothes tightly. While rolling your clothes, you can also fix socks over the rolled clothes to conserve additional space.
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  12. 12
    Forgo the Groceries
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    If you have moved anywhere with food stored in the trunk of your vehicle, you know the strain of exactly what and how to pack away food. This extra burden is unnecessary for an already stressful day. Be sure to visit the local grocery store after you've unpacked your kitchen. However, packing a snack and some water should be heavily considered for the trip and for shortly after you've moved.
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  13. 13
    Don't Forget Your Important Documents
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    While these important items should be first on your list, many people tend to forget these documents until they are needed. So don't forget things like your passport and health or insurance card. When you're packing these items, make sure they are secure and placed in a safe location until you are ready to relocate them to your new living space. Consider placing this documents in their own individual container, or at the very least ensure that these items are far away from any potentially harmful substances.
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  14. 14
    Enlist a Friend to Help You Pack
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    A second eye can be very beneficial if you are prone to forgetting things. Having a friend or a relative help you pack for college is useful and can significantly reduce the whole stress of packing. They may even provide you with some useful tips or advice! Be sure to thank your friend or relative for the help afterwards.
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  15. 15
    Use Clothing to Pack Fragile Items
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    Whether you want to pack the trinket your aunt gave you for your birthday, or pack up a piece of glass like a mirror, be sure to utilize the resources you have at hand. Take those rolled up articles of clothing you have and stuff that delicate trinket in the middle of it. Be sure to leave some sort of indication that the fragile item is within the clothing, lest it be forgotten and then broken accidentally.
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  16. 16
    Shoes for Toiletries
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    If you are packing already opened bottles of moisturizer or half empty shampoo and conditioner bottles, tuck them into the shoes you are taking with you. This way the bottles will not burst open in your toiletry bag.
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  17. 17
    Wrap your Jewelry in Cling Wrap.
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    Jewelry can easily get tangled up in the process of moving
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    So in order to keep your pretty pearls tangle-free, place your jewelry in between two pieces of cling wrap. This way, your jewelry will be unable to move. For further protection, be sure to tuck these cling-wrapped valuables into a pair of shoes or in some clothing.
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  18. 18
    Separate Your Electronics
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    Electronics are usually the most expensive item you bring with you. Whether it's a laptop, tablet, or just a bunch of cords, you want to be careful when you're packing these items. I recommend that you pack away your electronics in cases specific to that particular device. If you are bringing extension cords, be sure to fold the cords and tie them together with a piece of string or a zip-tie. Make sure these items are far away from anything that could potentially damage the device.
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  19. 19
    Pad Your Dishware with Newspaper or Bubble Wrap
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    If you are packing away any dishware, separate each dish or glass by using a length of newspaper or a sheet of bubble wrap. When packing glasses, stuff a wad of rolled up newspaper in each glass before stacking them. And be sure to place newspaper or bubble wrap in between side-by-side dishes. Of course, if you have the original boxes the dishware came in, use that, as it has likely been designed in such a manner that prevents breakage.
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  20. 20
    Forgo Packing the School Items
    .
    Even though you are moving for school, you should neglect to pack away any items like loose-leaf, notebooks, or copious amounts of pens and pencils. Most colleges and universities have on-campus stores that are stocked with all the school supplies you need. Many on-campus stores will have discounts too, so you will be saving money by buying from the stores located on your campus.
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What to Do When You Arrive

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You have arrived at your college! You have brought everything into your room, and now it's time to unpack. Follow these steps to reduce your stress and unpack efficiently.

  1. 1
    Organize First
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    Start by moving around your labeled boxes to the room where the items inside belong. Start at your bathroom, kitchen, then your bedroom, and then living area.
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  2. 2
    Unpack Accordingly
    .
    Start unpacking your bathroom first, kitchen, bedroom, and then your living area. Your bathroom contains the items most crucial to your comfort, so begin there. Start with the most essential items. As you completely empty one box, move on to another room.
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  3. 3
    Put Away Empty Boxes
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    The second you empty a box, place it in an empty area. As your boxes empty, be diligent in placing the boxes in the same area. This way you will be keeping yourself organize, and you won't waste time by looking through empty boxes.
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  4. 4
    Place Items Where They Belong
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    When emptying your boxes you might be tempted to pile the items on one surface and then organize later. Don't do this. As you take out items, put them where they belong. This will save you an extra step and time.
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  5. 5
    Reuse the Boxes
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    If you followed through and purchased a plastic bin, keep in mind that you can reuse these! If you're lacking furniture, these bins can be used a temporary chair or a surface that you can place items on. If you brought more than one season's worth of clothes, you can store away the clothes you won't need. This way you can conserve space.
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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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Categories : Communications & Education

Recent edits by: Maria, Andrea Jaenen

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