College Advice Blog

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Oct 6, 2012

A Guide to moving-out-Stress Free: Calling All Freshmen


I still remember the first time I moved out of our home into my University’s dormitory many years ago.  Admittedly, my mother helped me pack my stuff.  I remember how she ironed all my clothes and neatly packed them in my suitcase with strict instructions to hang-them all up as soon as I can to avoid any creases. While she tidily packed my clothes, however, she did not instil in me the importance of packing.

I ended up standing in my dorm room, surrounded by boxes and suitcases’ not knowing what was in what. It took me about a week to get myself organized. While I did show up in class looking impeccably wrinkle free, my shoes didn’t match my clothes (because I didn’t know where my stuff was) and when you’re a teenager that matters A LOT. 

Looking back now, I could have made my first few days in college so much easier and stress-free. 

Here’s how:
Organize
Even before packing, do a list of what you’ll need – you will be surprised to see how much it grows.  Then, as the time nears, organize everything into neat little piles of what you are going to pack e.g. clothes, shoes, books, accessories, beddings and other personal stuff.   

Make sure you have enough boxes or luggage to put all your stuff into.  If possible, use clear boxes so it will be easy to know what’s in them.  If you don’t have them, there’s no need to buy.  Cardboard boxes will do.

Label
Label all the boxes and even your luggage.  Don’t forget to label the contents too.  You don’t need to buy stickers to do this.  All you need is a bright red marker to label boxes and clear tape and paper for your suitcase.  After putting that all important label, number the box. 

Make a List
Once you’ve labelled them and packed the stuff in those boxes and luggage – make another list, this time of what’s in each box.   For example 1) Clothes; 2) Books; 3) Shoes; 4) Stationery; 5) Cooking utensils (you may be needing that pronto!), and so on.  With your list in hand, unpacking your things will be so much easier.

Have a System
Pack all t-shirts and tops in one pile, do the same with jeans, jackets etc. Make sure you don’t take everything though, especially clothes you won’t need like formal attire.  If the occasion calls for it, I’m sure your parents won’t mind sending it over.  
And don’t forget to do what my mother did – iron clothes before you pack them.  You wouldn’t want to look crumpled on your first week in college, would you?  Remember, first impressions last and are important.

Over-Night Bag
Pack an over-night bag with the essentials.  Make sure you have your tooth brush, toiletries and a change of clothing.  In case you’re not able to un-pack right away, you’ll be able to take a shower and sleep in clean clothes without having to panic and open all the boxes in search of your things.
Important things to Remember:
  1. Pack your gadgets carefully.  If packing them in boxes, make sure you have all the necessary padding to ensure their safety.
  2. Don’t overload your boxes.  Chances are you might have to lift this on your own once your parents leave.
  3. Make sure you seal your boxes properly, marking which way up the box should be so as to avoid transit disasters. Imagine the contents of that box scattered all over the hallway of your dormitory. Save yourself the embarrassment.
  4. Lastly, don’t drive yourself and your parents nuts by packing the day before you leave for University.  Believe it or not, to achieve a successful and stress-free move out entails at least a month’s worth of planning.
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About the Author
Emma Cecil writes tips and advices for students at Rate my professor.

   
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