Tuesday, August 8, 2017

How to Succeed in College: The Ultimate Packing List + Move-in Tips!

I remember one of the scariest parts before leaving for college freshman year was making sure I had everything I needed. I made multiple lists, pinned a ton, and still ended up forgetting things. My mom is the ultimate packer, though, and got the things I forgot (thanks mom!) luckily. My dad, of course, gave me such a hard time about having a lot of stuff, but hey I was prepared for anything. The feeling of forgetting something doesn't ever go away from me, but once I made a master list of all that I would need for my dorm, I felt a lot better.

Since I found the list so helpful, I decided to make a digital copy for you guys, so you can use it yourselves! I found packing lists on Pinterest to be really useful, but I wanted to make one with all the things I know that I ended up using after Freshman year. Now a senior, I feel like I have the packing thing down pretty well and know what I'll end up needing!

Below is both a photo and PDF version of the list I made - print it out and use it how you'd like!

I didn't want to stop there, though, and wanted to give you some tips on moving in, since a lot of people will be doing that soon and are feeling the stress that moving brings! College honestly just feels like a constant state of moving, and I actually just moved myself into my friend's apartment for the summer, and I'll be moving into my new apartment in September. Yay moving!!! (I've come to hate it so much). Since I've been moving so much these past couple of years - in and out of dorms, and my family moved about a year and a half ago - I want to share what really helps me.

1. This may sound obvious, but make sure you stay well hydrated and fed.
Moving is already terrible enough - add in thirst and hunger and you have a recipe for disaster. I will be the first to admit that I get hangry, so for the sake of my family I try and have snacks available so no one (me) starts getting unnecessarily angry. It's also the worst when you're super thirsty and having to do a bunch of manual labor (moving is hard!), so make sure you have plenty of water. If anyone is helping you move, it's also nice to make sure they have food and water!

2. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
While moving, you are going to get hot and sweaty. There's really no getting around that, unfortunately. To help with this, make sure you wear clothes that will let your skin breath, and won't be super uncomfortable when you're having to bend down a lot and pick up boxes and move random things. I also can't stress how important it is to wear comfy shoes! I made the mistake of wearing a newer pair of sandals that I thought were really comfortable but ended up being a little bit too big, so once my feet started getting a little sweaty (hey, it happens), I got a blister on my heal from the friction. By the end of the day, my feet were absolutely killing me, and all I wanted to do was soak them in hot water.

3. Enlist help
Beg, plead, and bribe your friends and family to help you move. It's hard work, and you'll be glad you have the help. Like I said earlier, offer to buy them pizza, coffee, or their favorite food to get them to help you. My parents and boyfriend are the sweetest and graciously helped me move, and I know a lot of my friends ask their family to help, too.

4. Start packing well before the move.
I try and not procrastinate on things, but since I hate packing and moving so much I always wait too long to do so. I packed up my apartment a couple of days before I moved, and ended up staying up till, like, three in the morning and moved the next day. Don't do this! Learn from my mistakes! Start packing a week or two in advance, depending on how much stuff you want to bring to your dorm. Try and make it as easy as possible on yourself, even if you hate packing like I do. I've definitely learned my lesson, and since I know I'll be moving again soon, I haven't unpacked a ton of my boxes because I know I'll just have to pack up all of the stuff again.

5. To help with packing, go through your stuff and get rid of anything you don't use.
I still need to do this, because as I was packing I realized I have a lot of junk that I really don't need. I especially need to go through my closet, but being at college is weird because you have some stuff at home, and some stuff at your closet at school, and it's all kind of a jumbled mess. To lessen the load, though, it really helps to go through your stuff and get rid of unnecessary items that you know you won't be using at your dorm. You can donate the stuff to places like Goodwill, and someone down the road will use it!

6. Label what's in your boxes, with a lot of detail.
I like to label my boxes with as much detail as possible, and list a lot of what's in the box. Oftentimes I'll label bigger items that are in there so I'll hopefully remember what all I ended up putting in the box. This really helps for the unpacking process so you know where to put which boxes, and so you don't end up losing anything. Also, it's really helpful to know if you won't need to open a box as soon as you get to your dorm, so you can save some time unpacking and spend it getting to know people on your floor, instead.

7. If you can, use a cart or dolly of some sort to move boxes.
Again, this is fairly obvious, but sometimes you have to reserve a moving cart or dolly in advance, so it's important to keep in mind! Having one of these is really useful and makes the unloading part of moving go a lot smoother and quicker. Alternatively, if you or someone you know has a dolly, definitely ask if you can use it because it makes it easier to move boxes around quickly, and they're of course a lot lighter to move.

8. Keep your clothes on the hanger and just bag them up.
This is super nice because you can quickly hang them back up in your dorm closet, and you don't have to waste time folding and unfolding clothes. I did this my freshman year, and I've been doing it ever since!

9. Coordinate with your roommate(s) about move-in dates.
If you aren't already assigned a move-in date and time, make sure you talk to your future roommate and ask them when they'll be moving in. This is just nice so you know if you should go earlier or later to avoid two people trying to move in at once, each with a ton of boxes. My roommate was assigned an earlier move-in time, so it was really nice to not have to worry about running into someone else moving boxes at the same time.

10. Keep any decorations you'll want to use soon handy.
I didn't do this my freshman year, and I really wish I had at least kept my photos handy. I ended up feeling really homesick the first couple of days so it would've been really nice to have photos of my friends and family handy. If you know what sort of decorations you want to put in your dorm, make sure to keep them on the top of a box, or somewhere that's really easy to get to so you can start making the place feel like home! It's important to do this soon, especially if you're a person who gets homesick really easily.

Alright, those are my tips on moving into your college dorm, and a packing list! I hope this post was helpful, and that it eases your nerves just a little bit. I remember how I felt freshman year, and it really helped to know I was prepared to move in. It's crazy that it's already August, and that people are going to start moving into their dorms soon!

Also, check out the video I did of this below!

Do you have any moving tips?

Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day! :)


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