If you live on campus, you may be asking the same question as hundreds of other students: how do I get all this crap out?
I have a few suggestions but first things first. Don’t stress too much over moving out, it’s a lot simpler and less scary than moving in was – especially if you do it right.
1. Do you have boxes? Bags? Anything? If you don’t, now is the time to get them. Waiting until move-out day will leave you with a shelf of knick-knacks and no way to get them to your car.
2. Are you living off campus next year? If you have an apartment or house that you’re renting over the summer (as many students do) think about what things you need at home and what you don’t. Anything you don’t absolutely need for the summer can stay at your new place in Monmouth: thus reducing the number of boxes you have to cram into your car.
3. What will you actually be using this summer? As you come across things you don’t think you’ll have much use for this summer (notebooks, extra textbooks, boxes of pencils) put them in a separate box. When you get home, shove it in a corner and forget about it. This way you’ll already have those things packed when you move back to school next year.
4. How do you plan on getting everything home? If you have a huge Jeep, good for you! Unfortunately, some of us are stuck with not-so-spacious vehicles. You could ask a friend or parent for help, if need be. If you live close or are making trips home this weekend or next, definitely pack up some of your “extras” that you won’t need during dead week or finals week: this could even include half of your wardrobe.
5. Do you really need that? You have a late spring cleaning opportunity. If you’re about to pack it and you haven’t even seen it all year, toss it out. Clutter accumulates, so use moving out as a reason to clean it up.
A tip: Clean out your fridge and freezer at least 24 hours prior to moving out. Unplug it, and put a towel in the freezer. Before you move it, take out the towel, wipe up any extra water, and you should have no problems with pools of water dripping into electrical spaces and breaking your fridge.
Below, I’ve compiled some ideas for packing and how to do so without the use of extra boxes (hint: trash bags):
Clothing: Trash bags! Most of it will have to be re-folded once you get home anyway, so pull it out of your drawers and toss ’em in: ta da! A free, squishy travel container.
Shoes/Belts/Scarves/Sports Equipment: Trash bags might work, but if you’re like me you would probably just end up with a bunch of heels poking through the plastic. A better idea would be to make use of that pop up laundry basket you bought specifically for college. It’s clearly strong enough to hold three weeks of laundry, so it should be fine with six pairs of shoes and some sports equipment.
Kitchenware: Remember those reusable bags they sell at grocery stores? Do you have any of those stuffed in your trunk, at home, or hiding in your closet? They’re durable and often have cardboard pieces to give them a flat bottom: it’s perfect for extra food, silverware, and even the pots and pans that you brought but never used.
Toiletries: You probably already have a shower caddy, so make sure it’s not dripping wet and these should be good to go.
Sheets: First off, ask yourself if you will ever be sleeping in an XL Twin sized bed again. If the answer is no, you might as well throw them out (or make some cool pajama pants or something). If the answer is yes, trash bags are your friend. That’s a good place for a pillow and stuffed animals too.
Everything Else: Tote bags, trash bags, the boxes you’ve been storing food in. As far as I’m concerned, if it can’t break it doesn’t need a box.
Fragile Items: The exception to my rule: put these all in one box. Don’t mix your fragile items in with a blanket to “keep it safe” because you will probably just end up forgetting it’s there. Nobody wants a broken porcelain horse.
I have only one other suggestion, which is actually one of the requests your RA might make. Try to move out on the day of your last final. This prevents all that nasty congestion we had to deal with while moving in. It makes it easier on everybody to have a few people move out every day of finals week, instead of everybody making a rush for the door on Friday.
Moving out can be a daunting task, but if you take it piece by piece, you should have no problem.
As long as the elevator doesn’t break, that is.
By Quinn Murphy