For many of my college-aged peers, the countdown to college move-in begins in early August – as does the impending mania of loading every essential item you own into your parent’s car and moving into a tiny suite all in one day. Whether you’re eager and excited or dreading the first day of school, packing for school is pretty much a universally stressful process. As I enter my sophomore year of school, here are some tips and tricks that I’ve acquired that may make the process go a little smoother for you and your family!
Make an itemized list of what you want to bring ahead of time.
This is especially helpful for clothing – I, like many young women, have approximately seven billion articles of clothing, only about ten of which I wear on rotation in my daily life. If you wait until the last minute to mentally pack your clothing, you may find yourself digging to the back of your closet and rediscovering the thrifted pink sweater you’ve only worn once, subsequently becoming convinced that you just HAVE to bring it to school, despite the fact that you hate the color pink and find sweaters unflattering. STOP IT. You’re just being silly.
I’ve had a Google Doc open on my computer for the last few weeks so that I have the mental clarity to add an item that I know I’ll need/wear as it pops into my head. Overpacking is the bane of my existence, so I tend to just stick to the basics.
If you’re a returning student, don’t unpack when you come home for the summer.
This obviously may require hindsight for a lot of us, but when I came home from school in May, I simply washed my bedding, towels, and curtains and put them right back in their plastic trunks. It’s awesome knowing that, while I’m stressing about silly things like which of my scented candles to bring, that’s one less thing to worry about.
If possible, plan your visits home with enough time to exchange weather-appropriate clothing.
I always think ahead – it may be sweltering flip-flop weather in Connecticut at the end of August, but in a month or so, it could very well be boots and scarves weather. To save yourself the hassle of bringing clothing for all four seasons, either time a visit home to allow yourself to exchange sandals for cold weather gear. If not, you can always have your parents FedEx your winter coat in case of an uncharacteristically chilly fall.
Print/develop photos of friends!
At the end of every summer for the past few years, my mom has always encouraged me to go online and send a collection of my favorite pictures of memories and friends from the past year to be printed at CVS or Target. Additionally, any store currently selling dorm room supplies will usually carry twine and clothespins or some other trendy method for displaying your photos – I’ve seen them at Target and Five Below. If you find yourself homesick like me, seeing your dorm room literally wallpapered with physical copies of your best memories may comfort you.
Go on and be successful during your first semester! 🙂