Packing Shortcuts: 6 Tips for Bringing Your Stuff to College

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Moving boxes

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It's that time of year again... time to pack up and head back to school - which means it's time to get all of the stuff from your closet into your car. Over the past few weeks, I have found that there are all kinds of lists that help you decide what to take to college, but its a lot harder to find tips on how to get it all there!

As I prepare to head back for my senior year, I'd like to share some packing tips and tricks I've picked up along the way to make your move to college easier and give you more time to focus on making new friends or reconnecting with old ones your first few days back on campus. (For more tips on packing, see our post, 3 Essential Tips for Successfully Packing for College.)

1. Keep Clothes on Hangers

messy closet

You'll save lots of time moving in if your hanging clothes stay on their hangers so all you have to do is fill your closet once you get there. I separate my clothes by type (short sleeve shirts, dresses, skirts, etc.), punch a small hole in the top of a garbage bag and slip the clothes into the bag with the hanger hooks coming through the top of the bag.

2. Pack Bedding in Your Pillowcase

Sweet dreams pillow

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When you pack your bedding, it's a great idea to slip the fitted sheet and top sheet inside the pillowcase so that you know everything is together and easy to grab when it's time to change your sheets!

3. Pillows in Plastic Bags

Pack pillows in plastic bags in order to squeeze as much air out of them as possible. No need for vacuum bags -- extra large Ziploc or other sturdy plastic bags will do just fine. Just make sure to squeeze the air out of your pillow then seal the bag.

On the other hand, if you have delicate furniture or boxes to pack, sometimes it's best to leave the pillows fluffy and use them as natural padding.

4. Pack Your Purses and Luggage


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I find that it works best to pack as many things as I can into bags I'll use during the semester. Keep in mind the fact that any boxes you take with you will need to be either stored or thrown away, so it's a good idea to fill up as many everyday bags as you can. For instance, fill your backpack with all your school supplies, your suitcase with all your jeans, and a purse with all your makeup. Just make sure everything that can spill is tightly closed and put in a plastic bag first!

5. Secret Weapon: Cling Wrap

cling wrap

Cling Wrap is truly my packing secret weapon. Surprising, right? It works like a dream. Use it to:

  • Keep DVDs neatly wrapped on a DVD stand or shelving unit. No unpacking required!
  • Remember these jewelry storage ideas? Get everything organized at home and then wrap it up with Cling Wrap to keep it organized on the way to school.
  • Shelving units that require assembly can be held together in transit with Cling Wrap. I use this for both my kitchen shelves and my closet shoe racks!

6. Be Smart About Packing the Car

Put heavy items on the bottom and build up from there. Once you have the big things in place, use softer items like clothes and bedding as cushioning between bulky items.

Your turn!

Are you ready to move back to school? Do you do any of these things when you pack? What are your packing shortcuts? I know that there are lots of other great other packing tips out there! Share them will your fellow CF readers (and me!) in the comments!

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