Summer has begun, which means rest and relaxation…and extremely long and exciting shopping trips to deck out your new dorm room! But the thing is, you don’t want to spend four-plus hours unpacking on move-in day only to realize that you’ve overpacked. By following these quick, simple tips, I ensure you’ll have an easy, speedy move in the fall.
1. Don’t buy what you don’t need
It’s super tempting to splurge at places like the Christmas Tree Shops and Five Below for all new dorm room decor, but buying doubles of things you’ve already got will make move-in day—and move-out day—your worst nightmare.
I recommend going through your house and deciding what items can be brought from home and what items should stay. For example, if you have a ton of twin sheets and pillows, save a few bucks and pack a couple bed sets that you already have. The same goes for anything from stationery to wall décor—go with what you have. Then you can build upon it later if you need to.
The most helpful items I was able to bring from home were towels, bedding, and cleaning supplies, because my family had an abundance of each lying around. Bringing items from home saved me about $50 in just bed and bathroom supplies alone.
2. Think: do you really need that?
Asking yourself this question before you finalize your packing list will save you a bunch of room in the car and limit your stress when hauling everything into your tiny dorm room. You’re going to find yourself thinking you need to bring that sweater you haven’t worn since freshman year of high school, but ask yourself: do you really need it? Are you really going to wear it? Don’t overpack on clothes; chances are you’re going to be wearing leggings and sweatpants once the third week of college rolls around anyway.
If you go to school close to home, plan out what to bring depending on the seasons. If you’re going to be home again for Thanksgiving break, only bring light summer and fall clothing and plan to switch out your wardrobe once you’re home. This will make it easier when moving in and out, and you will have more time to hang out with friends and family.
3. Storage is key
Unless you have been able to tour your school’s dorms, you probably aren’t aware of the lack of space each room has. Typically, you will have a small closet, a set of three drawers, and maybe a couple shelves. Other than that, a lot of your stuff will be stored under your bed or on the windowsill. I found it really handy to have a few cloth storage boxes because they don’t take up a lot of space and can be folded down easily when moving out. If it is easier to have all your things in one place, I highly recommend purchasing a set of plastic drawers that fit perfectly underneath a lofted dorm bed. Either of these options is great for keeping things together and for lugging your stuff in and out of the room.
Moving into your college dorm can definitely be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be pricey! By reusing and planning ahead, move in and move out will be a breeze, not a nightmare.