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Tips For Packing Your Room Like A Pro

I’ve moved out of my fair share of college dorm rooms in my life…well, okay, I’ve moved out of one. Don’t knock my ethos though — I learned a lot last year when my parents made me wait three days after my last final until they could come get me, on top of the fact that I’m the biggest procrastinator and most nostalgic person you’ll ever meet.

Whether it’s your first year packing up your college dorm or you’ve done it before and admittedly did a terrible job, we’re here to help. Here’s a few tips for putting all your stuff into boxes and shipping home (just to come back and unpack it all in a few months!).

Stay An Extra Day (Or Three)

Packing your room up is stressful, but not nearly as stressful as if you have a test in a few hours and you have to be ready to leave 10 minutes after you turn it in. If you can, give yourself a chance to decompress from exams and schoolwork and stay an extra day or two after your last final*. That way you’ll be able to take your time packing up your room so everything’s neat and will actually fit in your car. Better yet you don’t lose time you could spend studying.

*Note: Penn State says you have to leave 24 hours after you finish your last final. This rule is stupid and they have no way to enforce it, so, sorry Penn State, but stay as long as you want.

Wash Now, Store Later

To make life a little easier when you get home, run all your sheets, towels, and dirty clothes through the wash while you’re at school and pack them up nicely. When you get home you can just unload your car, throw your things in a closet, and they’ll be ready to go when you get ready to come back up to State in the fall. Plus, think how happy your mom will be when you tell her she doesn’t have to do your laundry.

Start With The Small Stuff

If you’re anything like me, your room is cluttered with trinkets, school supplies, pictures, and posters. It can be daunting when you take a step back and think about packing everything up, but if you take baby steps, it’s not too bad. Take all your pictures and decorations down and put them somewhere they won’t get folded or bent, or just throw them all away if you hate your friends and decided you’ll just make new ones next year. Once the walls are clean, put all of your school supplies in one place and (girls) your makeup and jewelry somewhere it won’t get ruined and you’ll have access to it. Once you just have your clothes and linens to take care of, you’re practically done…-ish.

Consider The Summer

As you start to put things away, think about what you’ll need over the summer and what can just stay in storage. Shot glasses? Printer? Probably not necessary. Laptop charger? Might want to keep track of that. In addition, you don’t want to have to rummage through all your neatly packed stuff in June because you just threw your umbrella somewhere and now it’s raining before your outdoor family reunion.

Get Rid Of As Much As You Can

As you pack up, you’ll realize you have way more stuff now then you did in August. If there are clothes or electronics or whatever else you don’t want but it’s still in good condition, consider donating it to Trash to Treasure. If it’s junk however, just let it go. The things I trashed the most of last year were papers from my classes that I wouldn’t need anymore. I’m not saying to get rid of stuff you can reference in the future or that might come in handy in another class, but will you really ever need that one piece of scrap paper you once did a chem problem on?

Just Start Somewhere

Yes, I know, packing up your entire life is a daunting task, but at some point you just have to start picking things up and putting them in boxes. Start pulling things out, taking things down, and getting everything together in one place, but before you do that…

Take A Look Around Before You Start

Unless for some reason you’re moving into the same room next year, this is the last time you’ll see your room as it was for the entire year. Once you take that first poster down and keep going from there, your room will look less and less like the space you lived in and made memories in all year (even if those memories were staring at the clock on your microwave every night because your bitchy roommate snores like he or she swallowed a chainsaw). Either way, take a minute and take it in. If you’re nostalgic and lame like me, take a picture…or 24.

About the Author

Lexi Shimkonis

Lexi is an editor-turned-staff writer who can often be found at either Irving's or the Phyrst (with the chances she'll have her backpack being the same). Lexi is a senior hailing from Spring City, PA (kind of) and studying Civil Engineering. Please email questions and/or pleas for an Instagram caption to [email protected], or for a more intimate bond, follow her on Twitter @lexshimko.


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