5 packing tips before moving to college

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Though we may not want to acknowledge it yet, the beginning of a new semester is fast approaching, which means you will soon be packing your belongings to move into your dorm or apartment. We at the Clog can relate firsthand to the struggles of packing, especially when it feels like you have too much stuff and not enough space. But fear not, here are some tips to make the moving process more manageable!

Do a little bit each day

Similar to what you should be doing when your professor assigns a 10-page research paper, breaking up the packing process into bite-sized chunks will make your life so much easier than doing everything in one night. Plan out in advance what categories you will target and sort through the items each day before your move. For example, you can designate Monday for your clothing, Tuesday for your dishes, Wednesday for your shoes, Thursday for your toiletries and so on.

Be mindful of what clothing you bring

When I first came to UC Berkeley as a freshman, I committed the cardinal sin of overpacking clothes. I had way too many shirts, sweaters, jeans and jackets that I barely ever wore, and they took up precious closet space. To avoid making the same mistake I did, reserve time prior to your move to carefully sort through your clothing and decide which pieces you can actually see yourself wearing and which ones you want to toss. I find practicing the Marie Kondo method to be super useful: As you sift through each piece, hold it up close to your face and decide whether it brings you joy or not. If it leaves you feeling nothing, or even worse, triggers bad memories, don’t be afraid to donate it. Another tip to save luggage space is to pack for the season: Don’t pack all your winter clothes for the first semester, but rather wait to retrieve them during winter break. 

Wait to buy larger and heavier items instead of packing them

This tip is particularly applicable for out-of-state students who must travel by air, and are thus confined by the parameters of one carry-on and a 50-lb checked bag. Because of weight and size limitations, refrain from bringing school supplies, books, bedding and kitchenware with you. Instead, opt to either buy such things in the town of your college once you get there, or order them online and have the company ship the items to your address. Many stores such as Walmart, Target, Ikea and Bed Bath & Beyond have the option to decide the day you want your items delivered, so you can ensure it arrives at the right time!

Roll clothes instead of folding them

Trust me, rolling your clothes instead of folding them is a game-changer. Not only can you see where everything is in your backpack or suitcase, but you’re also saving a ton of space! YouTube is saturated with many different video tutorials on how to effectively roll your clothes; check out this one on the army roll technique to get started!

Envision where an item would go in your new place

It’s easy to mindlessly jam things into a box or suitcase under the impression that you may need to use them eventually, but such a mindset will just lead to clutter in the long run. To keep your space tidy, calm and stress-free, when you pick up an item, visualize where it will go and how you will use it before packing it. Intent is key to creating an organized, decluttered environment. Similar to the aforementioned tip on clothing, it’s important to be introspective and reflective about whether a certain item fits into the overall vision you have for your ideal living space. 

Packing for college can be a stressful process, but with these tips in mind, it doesn’t have to be! We at the Clog wish you all the best in your moving endeavors and hope to see everyone on campus once again this fall! 

Contact Madeleine Lorie at [email protected].