It is that time yet again where the sunshine and warmth claims you as its own and Cinderella’s fairy godmother turns your room full of color and memories back into a drab pumpkin.
Wasn’t it only yesterday you were struggling to carry large boxes, fluffy pillows, and useless trinkets up a million sets of narrow steps? It certainly feels that way.
If you are anything like me, one wrong look during this stressful time (of drowning in a sea of socks and stuff you swear you’ve never seen before) will turn you into the true wicked witch of the west.
So before you fly off your broomstick, take a deep breath, channel your inner Glinda the good witch, and follow these simple college packing and moving tips to ensure a stress-free day:
1. Declutter your stuff before you pack!
There is no getting around the simple fact that it is much easier to get it together once it is already together!
Mopping and sanitizing can take a back seat at this moment; instead you should start your packing by going through all of your stuff. Analyze what is worth keeping and what you keep around just for show — and be ruthless.
We have a full guide to decluttering tips so be sure to check that out for full details. But here are a few more helpful tips to help you determine an item’s worth:
- Have you worn it or used it in the past year? Chances are that if it has been forgotten, it will most likely stay forgotten.
- Is it a good memory or just garbage? Notes and ticket stubs can be nice to keep, but if you’re going to hang on to them, I recommend using a scrapbook to keep them organized. Also, you can consider taking pictures of random memory items so you can look back on them without physically keeping them around.
- Do you REALLY need it? What is this item’s purpose in your life? If you can’t answer this, it might be time to let it go.
Once you’ve gone through your items and decided what you want to keep and gotten rid of what you don’t want to keep, it’s time to begin the packing process. Start by organizing your things into sections. Decipher which items will be needed soon (i.e. this summer) and which can stay tucked away till you need them again. Then, ready the items to be packed so all that’s left to do is to put them into boxes.
Try these tips to ready all of your items for packing:
- String loose necklaces through straws to keep them from tangling, and organize earrings and smaller jewelry items in old egg cartons.
- Recycle the middle of toilet paper rolls to keep loose wires and cables together and untangled.
- Group similar items into piles, like electronics, toiletries, and trinkets.
- Wrap breakable items in bubble wrap, sheets, sweaters, or sweatshirts to avoid broken pieces.
- Any liquids or easy to spill makeup items require individual plastic bags.
- Get a sharpie and labels (if needed) to label your boxes and bags for easy access later on! There is nothing worse than not remembering where you packed something and needing it right away!
3. Prep your closet for packing.
Keeping clothing organized is important but keeping your items in good condition is even more important!
Follow these steps to keep your clothes organized and looking great:
- Wash all your clothes before packing to keep everything fresh.
- Pack by season: winter and fall clothes should go at the bottom of the boxes since they aren’t necessary at the moment. Put your clothes in order so when you pack, you’ll be able to do this easily.
- Fold your pieces neatly so you can optimize the space you have.
- Dryer sheets are your friend! Have some sheets ready to throw into any box containing clothing to keep everything smelling good and feeling soft.
- If you want an easy way to transport clothes, use large garbage bags to pack hanging items: Just pull the top of hangers through a hole at the top and tie them shut at the bottom. Then you can hang them up easily in your closet at home!
4. Make a packing plan.
While leaving everything to the last minute feels okay in the moment, when the last minute strikes you will no longer feel okay! So now that you have all of your items decluttered, sorted, and readied for packing, it’s time to get your packing strategy in place.
Make a plan to pack a little bit at a time:
- Tackle packing the easier items first, like items you don’t need on a day-to-day basis or clothes that aren’t in season. If there’s anything you can pack today and not miss, do it.
- Do the same with textbooks, old notebooks, and school supplies (anything you’ve decided to keep). Pack up last semester’s items first and continue to do so after finishing exams.
- If you don’t have moving boxes, consider visiting a U-Haul store to purchase some (and get packing tape while you’re there). Yes, these cost money, but they’re sturdy and can work for multiple uses, so they’re a good buy.
- Shop for reusable packing items like Tupperware bins with lids and drawer sets so you can keep your items dry, safe, and easy to transport!
5. Get packing! And whistle while you work.
Yes, packing and moving is stressful, so lighten the mood!
Pop some tunes and get moving and grooving, ask for help from friends and make packing a party! You’ll be all boxed up and ready to move before you know it.
I want to hear from you in the comments below!
What helps you move out with as little stress as possible? College veterans, what tips have helped you? Help your fellow CF girls out by leaving a comment!