Packing for college is extremely stressful. This past August was my first time experiencing it and I can definitely say that I did everything wrong. I packed way too much stuff and gave myself way too little time to do so. I will say that I could have avoided many of the problems I faced if I had given packing a little bit more forethought. I guess part of me was just hoping we could just cut to the scene where I close the fully packed trunk, look back at the house with a grin and a sigh as I get in the car, and pull out of the driveway or that my mom or dad would just pack for me. Neither of those things happened, of course, which in turn helped me learn what not to do and five things, in particular, I should probably do next time.
- Make A Checklist
A checklist will definitely be an essential of mine from now on, and, if you’re, like me, very forgetful and maybe just a tad disorganized, it should probably be an essential of yours too. The checklist should be made at least two weeks before the day you’re supposed to leave. That way you have the time to think about and add anything you may have missed. When making the list you should start with the things you already know you’ll need off the top, then look around for other things you may need and keep the checklist in the back of your mind, in case you may have missed something. Once you have your full checklist, it might be helpful to reorganize it in the order in which you think you need to pack the items.
- Start Packing At Least 4 Days Before Leaving
Having enough time to pack is definitely a big advantage. While it’s possible to pack all your stuff in less than a day, it’s not ideal because that’s how you end up leaving two really cute pairs of shoes in your closet or some of your expensive school paraphernalia (not based on personal experience of anything…). I say you should at least start four days before you’re due to leave so that you won’t be as stressed and so that you can focus on organization and space efficiency.
- Categorize Packing Days
With those four days, you might also want to break up your tasks. This would look like packing all of your decorations and school supplies one day and then your shoes and hair products the next day. This way, packing will seem less daunting, making you less likely to get overwhelmed and push it all back to the last minute.
- Sort Through Clothes
The clothes will take up more space than anything else, so it’s important that you’re not taking anything unnecessary. This is why I would say you should definitely sort through your clothes and decide beforehand what’s staying and what’s going. That way you’re not trying to choose as you’re packing and so that you don’t end up sending clothes back home because you over-packed.
- Use Bigger Containers
Lastly, I really wish I had used bigger containers, especially when it came to clothes. As long as you have the vehicle space and something that will help you get the containers where they need to go, I feel that extra-large containers would be helpful. In my case, I ended up sending all but one container home, so it’s nothing that would have been in the way, and I wouldn’t have had to bring up so many containers. Extra-large containers would help with organization because one entire category of items would be able to fit in one container.
I hope this list helps your next packing experience go a little bit more smoothly!