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How to Pack for College

by | May 30, 2024 | Parenting, College Kids

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How to Pack for College: 6 Tips

It’s coming! That day filled with excitement, anxiety, dread, tears, fun, and sweat – that day you finally climb in the car and drive your child to his new temporary home – a college dormitory. You’ve spent the summer going over the College Dorm Room Checklist and meticulously checked off the items. But before you hit the road, you need some College Packing Tips. Let’s talk about How to Pack for College!

And, don’t forget your Parent Survival Kit for College Drop Off!

how to pack for college with girl packing suitcase. everything you need to know to pack for college
How to Pack for College 46

How to Pack for College with these College Packing Tips

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How to Pack for College Tip #1: Gather your supplies

Gather these supplies:

  • Bankers Boxes: (can be purchased in multi-packs at Sams, office supply stores, or from Amazon). These are just the right size for small collections of items, are easy to carry (handles), and stack in the car or on a dolly. They also can be collapsed and easily stored for the move out.
  • Heavy Duty Extra Large Moving Bags and/or duffle bags. We have used Ikea bags along with a lot of duffles we already own. They are inexpensive and are great for packing clothes, linens, towels, really anything… Like banker’s boxes, they can be easily collapsed after the move for storage.
  • Depending on your items, a few larger boxes
  • Drawer Units storage boxes, laundry baskets, etc. (Any dorm room item that will hold other items.) We love these Like-It Modular Drawers. You will never be sorry you purchased good, quality drawer units that will last through college and beyond.
  • Stretch Wrap Roll: This stuff is so handy for wrapping around your drawers to keep things from falling out. You can also wrap things you don’t want to get dirty.
  • A system for labeling
  • Trash bags
  • Heavy duty 12 inch zip ties or Hook and Loop Straps. Bring a pocket knife or scissors if you use zip ties to cut them off. Make sure you buy long enough zip ties to go around your hangers.
  • Wheeled duffles or suitcases
  • The Parent’s Survival Kit for College Move In

How to Pack for College Tip # 2: Clothing

Make a small hole in the middle of the non-open end of several trash bags. Slip the trash bags over clothes on hangers. We have learned over several moves to Zip tie the hangers together to keep individual hangers from falling.

Place other clothing in wheeled suitcases or in your drawer units.

hanging clothes
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How to Pack for College Tip #3: Small items

Packing school supplies and other small collections of items for the move to college:

Small items like desk supplies that will not stay neat in a duffle fit perfectly into banker’s boxes. These boxes have handles are are very easy to label. They can be collapsed and put back in the car for the drive home or easily stored in a dorm room.

bankers box
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How to Pack for College Tip #4: Large and oddly shaped items

Some items will not fit in boxes and will have to be placed in the car “as is.” Wrap anything that might get dirty or has loose parts with stretch wrap rollThe plastic wrap can also be used to hold drawers closed and contain items in a laundry basket or trash can.

How to Pack for College Tip #5: Label EVERYTHING

Label every box with your child’s dorm name, room number, and name. Hopefully you will be met at the curb by some smiling upper classmen who will empty your car and have everything to the dorm room in less than 10 minutes. However, you want these willing souls to bring your stuff to the correct room!

label
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How to Pack for College Tip #6: Flying

Flying complicates the packing process. We flew with one of our sons to graduate school at NYU. If you can, fly Southwest Airlines because of their bags fly free policy. Every person is able to check 2 bags for free carry on another one, and carry on a “personal item.” We were setting him up in an apartment, so we then went to Target and Ikea and purchased everything we were not able to bring.

This picture shows the 6 bags we checked, 3 carry-on bags, a backpack, and my small bag. We got all of this from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Newark, New Jersey for free. (Sadly, Southwest no longer flies into Newark.) It includes all of his clothes, bedding, and some kitchen items.

luggage
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Best of luck as you move your student to college. Using these College Packing Tips for your Move to College will save time and headaches once you arrive at your school. The more you can compact the items into containers that are easily carried and stacked, the better it will fit in your car and the easier it will be to get to the dorm room.

Related posts for How to Pack for College:

25 Brilliant Dorm Room Ideas and Shopping Tips

Dorm Room Move In Planner

What You Need to Know When Your Teen Turns 18

Mama Bear Legal Forms Review: NPP Reports

College Dorm Room Shopping List

College Dorm Storage Ideas

College Move-In Day Checklist

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