Packing & Moving Back to College

Posted On May 30, 2017
Categories 2017 News Archived

Summer is in full swing. Students may be back in the family home for the next couple of months. While August seems a long way off, it is never too soon to start preparing for students’ least favorite task: packing up and moving. Here are some helpful tips to make sure the last few days before students go back to school are less stressful:

  • Don’t unpack the non-essentials. Students are probably coming home with quite a few boxes. Not everything in those boxes needs to find a place in the family home. Parents should ask students only to unpack the things that they need for the summer. Students do not want to be repacking the things that they won’t use before going back to school!
  • While unpacking essentials, also remove from boxes any items that were not used during the year. There is no reason to move boxes with items that were not used and simply cluttered their room. These items can remain at home or be donated. Looking through these now will save time when packing and energy when moving.
  • Ask students to sort through unpacked items before repacking. Again, there is no need to move boxes with items that they did not use the previous year. Have them leave those items at home or donate them.
  • Asks students to consider how often they did laundry during the school year. While some clothes can be worn more than once (e.g., jeans), as parents, you do not want students to wear others (e.g., undergarments) more than once. Students need to consider how many single use items they may need. This may include towels, since they will be unlikely to want to use a wet towel in the morning.
  • Ask them to consider bringing large sizes of essentials rather than multiple bottles. Given the limited space, bringing multiples of shampoo, conditioner, body cleansers, etc. is problematic. Buying larger sizes saves both space and the time needed to purchase more.
  • Don’t pack all the clothes needed for the fall semester. Unless students do not intend to come home during the fall semester, there is no need for them to pack every piece of clothing they might need for the entire semester. Instead, students should consider the weather and type of clothing that will be needed for the early fall semester and add some warmer clothes in case the weather turns cold unexpectedly. This will save both the energy it takes to move the clothes and the space, usually limited, in their closets and drawers.
  • Ask them to consider what items they wish they had during the year at least several weeks before moving day. This will give them plenty of time to think about and purchase these items, so there is not a last minute rush to get what is needed.
  • Start early: Students might not realize how long it will take to pack up to get ready for the next semester.Packing always takes more time than anyone thinks. If you can get them to start early and do a little bit at a time, they, and you, will likely be less stressed, and moving day will be easier.

Some items adapted from Packing for College.