Moving day tips: Packing up your dorm rooms and apartments

Moving dayLeaving your old dorm rooms or apartments behind can be exciting, but it can also be stressful. You can make it all go a lot smoother when you have a plan for boxing up your belongings. These moving day tips will insure that you pack up and move on with ease. Time to say out with the old and in with the new, one box at a time!

Make a plan

Ever noticed how things seem to go a lot better when you have a plan of attack? Well, moving day is definitely not the time to fly by the seat of your pants and wing it. As your moving day approaches, sit down and create a plan of attack. We’ll get you started with this checklist.

1.  Get help: Odds are you’ll need to enlist family and friends for help. Make sure that you have firm commitments to help and volunteers with vehicles that can handle your belongings. A sofa simply isn’t going to fit in the back of someone’s Kia. Be prepared to thank your helpers not only with the offer to help them when it’s their turn to move, but also with meals as well. Tell them you’ll order pizza since hungry people have less energy to tote boxes.

2.  Purge your stuff: Moving day is a great opportunity to pare down the belongings you have accumulated throughout your stay. Sharing a new place with a friend who already has a table? Then, pass yours on. Or, you can take all the stuff you’re getting rid of and hold a garage sale. (It’s a great way to raise funds for pizza to feed your moving day buds!)

Yard sale too much hassle? Maybe you donate the items to a local charity instead. Organizations like Donation Town can put you in touch with charities in your area that accept donations. Most areas groups such as the Big Brothers Big Sisters, Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army or Vietnam Veterans accept items as well, from clothes to furniture. If mom and dad don’t have room at their place, worst-case scenario, you might have to store some items at a local storage facility. Think about how long you’ll be storing things, how much space you need and if any of your stuff requires a climate controlled unit when you’re pricing your options.

3.  Essential supplies: You’ve lined up helpers and vehicles to cart your stuff and you’ve gotten rid of things you no longer need. Now it’s time to pack up the remainder. Start by finding packing supplies.’s blog, Move, suggests the following list of what you should have on hand:

  • Box cutter and/or scissors
  • Note pad
  • Dark, water-resistant marker
  • Boxes of all sizes
  • Packing tape
  • Bubble wrap
  • Packing peanuts

U-Haul has moving box kits for various size homes to make it easier. They even have a student mover kit with everything you need already packaged for pickup.

4.   Prepare smartly: HGTV’s Front Door offers their own complete moving day guide, including packing tips.

  • Try to repurpose towels and sheets to wrap up anything fragile.
  • Things you use least pack first—say you are moving in the summer, pack up those winter jackets you won’t need for a few months.
  • Write what’s in the boxes on the outside or even what room they go to—if your box of dishes is labeled kitchen then they won’t mistakenly end up in the bedroom requiring you to schlep them yet again.
  • Keep your valuables with you so they don’t get lost, including your computer and any jewelry.

The big move

Maybe you’re gearing up for the big move—leaving college life behind and entering the land of adulthood? Grace Boyle, the blogger behind Small Hands, Big Ideas knows a thing or two about a cross-country trek. She posted about her own experiences relocating for a job on her May 18, 2009 post, “How I Prepared to Relocate and Made It Work.”

Boyle says, “I’ve relocated twice in the past five years, both times were over 1,500 miles away. I may not be an expert, but I’ve done it both times with general success and I am a proponent, especially while you’re young.” She suggests picking cities that gel with the industry you hope to work in and to investigate the city online, as well as by talking with anyone you know who lives there. She also advocates taking advantage of your school’s alumni office to find other alums in that part of the country. Finally, she recommends anyone relocating to be open minded and ready for adventure.

Whether you’re packing up your dorm rooms or apartments for the summer or for good, you can make the moving day process a lot easier with a little bit of planning. And of course, pizza makes everything better.

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