Tips for Packing Up Your Dorm Room

The end of the year can be wildly stressful for many reasons; the occurrence of final exams and papers, goodbyes, summer planning, and packing up rooms, all at the same time is both overwhelming and daunting. Having experienced this same routine in high school, I have crafted a method of tackling this intersection of several responsibilities in an attempt to make each more manageable. Below, are some tips for efficient ways to approach the intimidating process of packing up your dorm room.

Do an initial evaluation

The first step towards packing is organizing and evaluating the work that needs to be done in order to pack. Survey how much stuff you have, what needs to go, what should be kept for next year, and how much stuff you accumulated that you simply. never. use. It’s super important to be honest with yourself during this sort of assessment; you’re not doing yourself or anyone else any favors by keeping that one crop top you shove towards the bottom of your drawer every time there’s any possibility of wearing it. If you live far away or need to take a plane to get home, this is the stage where you should decide how much of your stuff you’re going to lug back with you, and how much you’ll just store in College Storage (the Brown-affiliated service) or Campus Storage (the outside vendor company).

Obtain proper packing materials

From my experience, storing clothes/bedding/other cotton and linen items if not absolutely necessary, is not ideal. Your items are kept in a warehouse, which is fine for items like your desk lamp, but may not fair well for your clothes or bedding. Using this logic, you’ll need to decide what’s going in storage, and therefore how many boxes you’ll need to buy from the company you signed up for, as well as how many suitcases or other bags you’ll need to fit your belongings. You want to avoid the scenario where you are ¾ of the way done with packing and completely out of space, at all costs!

Get rid of/donate things you didn’t use

This has proved one of the most important components of packing up a room for me. Every year, I drag a box of miscellaneous items like halloween costumes, strange sunglasses, purses I never use, unnecessary and precious-space-consuming bulky decorations, and much more, to school with me, promising myself that I do so because “one time it might come in handy!” Your packing experience will immediately improve as soon as you’re able to let go of these sort of items. The best way to do this is to go through each drawer and your closet/window sill/desk draws, and make a pile of all the things you don’t use. With this pile made, you can decide what is trash, and what can be used by someone else. We are lucky because Brown has a program called Clean Break which puts donation boxes of any items in the dorms during this time! This way you, will feel like you’re doing a good deed as you organize your life!

Put winter stuff at the bottom

Once you only have the necessities, decide if you want to store or bring home your winter stuff. In any case, you’re going to want to try your best to pack your stuff by season, so that everything you will need in the summer is easily accessible, and your winter stuff is tucked away at the bottom. This often leaves a gray area of fall/spring clothes that you convince yourself you might need. Chances are, you won’t, and you’ll save yourself a lot of room if you opt to store that one pullover that you sometimes wear if “it’s really cold” on a few nights in August.

Turn off your phone

The biggest obstacle to packing is getting distracted. Essentially, we all are guilty of procrastinating packing because, let’s be honest, who the hell wants to spend their time folding and categorizing clothing and personal belongings (besides maybe me)!? To ensure efficiency, turn off your phone, and try to resist any possible distractions that arise when you’re packing – you’ll be so happy that you’re done and it’s not longer hanging over your head. To make the experience more enjoyable, have a friend help you or play some music!

Happy packing!