Incoming college freshman usually start packing a week or two before they leave. Follow these tips and you will make better use of your time, relieve some stress and probably save some money in the process.
Most freshman are required to stay in the college dormitories for a year, sometimes two. One key thing to remember is that the really nice college dorms you were shown during orientation are probably not the ones most freshman will be assigned. Dorms room are usually small and storage space is very limited, so don’t over-pack or you may be shipping items back home which could increase your costs.
Here are some tips to make your move easier.
- Make A List: Start a couple weeks early and with the basics. As you go through a typical day, write down everything you use. Keep the list somewhere convenient, like your desk or computer, so you can add to it over the next few weeks. Whenever you remember something, add it to the list. (By visiting the website at the end of this article, you can download my free college packing list that will get you started.)
2 Resist The Urge To Over Pack: This is especially important for women. You may be tempted to pack everything you own, but you really DON’T want to over pack for college! Your space is limited and until you get there, it’s hard to judge just how small it will be. Concentrate on packing only what you need, and maybe one or two special extras.
- Clothes Packing: Figure out when your first home visit will be (eg. Thanksgiving? Christmas?) and only bring the stuff you’ll wear before that date. If you will be gone for a few months, it’s probably a good idea to bring some fall and winter clothes now. When you get back home you can change your clothes to fit the upcoming season.
- Coordinate With Your Roommates: Before you move in, talk with your roommates and decide if there are any common items that you can share. Plan what items each roommate should bring, so you don’t waste money and end up duplicating your efforts.
- Survival Kit: Pack a clearly marked “Survival Kit” which will include items that you will need for the first night just in case you arrive late or are too tired to unpack everything. This will save you the headache of digging through everything just to find your toothbrush or pajamas.
- Simple Tool Kit: Some basic tools like a screwdriver, removable adhesive strips, and a multi-tool can be great for those little hook-up or screw tightening situations.
- Take Short Breaks: Take a few breaks throughout the day to reduce stress. Grab a meal with your family. Take them on a short tour or anything else to break up the tension.
Summary: Having helped pack and move my five children multiple times back and forth from different colleges over the past seven years, I have learned just how stressful those days can be. Some colleges make it easier with volunteer “moving crews” that help get everything into the room, but then you have to contend with the unpacking and hook-up phase. Don’t worry, it will get easier each year.
If you would like to discover more strategies specifically designed to help maximize financial aid and reduce the high costs associated with college, you can download your FREE College Cost Savings Kit by clicking here. Download, print and share it with your friends or family. I’m confident it will help you to find new ways to save and get the most out of your college education… and do it all for less.
Keith Maderer is a financial expert and father of five. He has been a financial adviser in the Western New York for over 30 years. He is the owner of SENIOR Financial and Tax Associates and is the founder of the Maderer Foundation, a private scholarship program for area youth since 2006.
Keith is the author of “How To Get Your College Education For Less”. Available on Amazon.com – ISBN No: 978-1-4538-2053-7. This book is filled with practical strategies you can use right now to save money on college.