You never realize how involved packing is until the first time you move away college. After you’ve picked up your boxes from Staples, it’s all, “Where should I put this? Should I even bring this? What even is this?” while sorting through junk you haven’t touched in five years. You don’t really want to bring your entire Star Wars figurine collection, but absolutely cannot leave it behind because it’s SENTIMENAL, DAD. It’s okay, we’ve all been there.
What’s in it? Essential clothes only
You won’t be able to fit all of your clothes in your itty-bitty dorm dresser. You just won’t. Instead of asking yourself, “What do I actually wear?” the day before packing, create an entire album of pictures of the six tanks, one pair of jeans and three grandpa sweaters you somehow make work for all seven days of the week. If the sequin dress didn’t make it into the photo album, then it’s not making its way into your bag. Box closed.
What’s in it? Professional clothes
You will have to give a presentation at some point, and you’ll need to dress the part. Don’t forget career fairs, interviews and fancy dinners with your new boyfriend’s parents. All will require business-professional attire, and since you don’t plan on learning how to iron any time soon, you better make sure it gets to campus unwrinkled.
What’s in it? Toiletries
You might not appreciate this during packing, but trust me, when you’re trying to unpack your first night and you cannot, for the life of you, remember where your toothbrush is, you’ll be happy you put it with your other toiletries. Besides, your newfound organizational skills will make your mother so proud.
What’s in it? Future apartment stuff
You know your parents are just waiting to convert your room into a gym the minute you leave. If this is the case (or your parents actually need the space), remember it’s cool to pack up some too-adult things. Pack a box or two of must-haves that you’ll definitely want when you move into a full-blown apartment (or even scarier, a house), but won’t be able to fit in your mini jail cell disguised as a dorm.
Box 5: Mailing tubes
What’s in it? Posters
Choose 3-5 posters max. You’ll only have four walls and you want to let your roommate have a say in the décor. To all of the BFF pictures, and random ornamental objects you have lying around, kiss good-bye to all but your top 10 favorites. You’ll have new collectibles to fill your room soon enough.
Box 6: Vacuum Bags
What’s in it? Towels
Forget folding up your clothes. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Skip right along to the nearest Staples and purchase some vacuum-seal bags. You’ll be amazed how compressed your wardrobe will be after using some of these.
Box 7: Bubble Wrap
What’s in it? Fragile Stuff
Bubble wrap your breakables. Don’t risk breaking your picture frames, your favorite hot coco mug, and your glass jewelry box. Remember, these are your few earthly possessions, protect them.
Pro Tip: Having trouble packing your box right? In any Staples store, go to the shipping counter and ask for a shipping expert, they will pack your boxes for you.
What’s in it? Lightweight practical stuff
Toilet paper is more important than your going-out clothes. This is the golden rule to remember when packing. Be practical. Think of that desert game: if you could bring only three things with you to a desert island dorm, what would they be?
What’s in it? Medical supplies
Until now you relied solely on your mom’s medical expertise and never worried about actually taking care of yourself (and why would you? She knows everything). I’m not saying pack an emergency room, just prepare for the basics like Band-Aids, antibiotic ointment, aspirin, cold medicine and cough drops.
What’s in it? School supplies
Remember that you’re going to college to get an education. Don’t forget your backpack, books, and the mountain of notebooks/pens/post it notes/staplers you’ve gathered in the weeks leading up to the big day.
If you leave anything behind don’t worry, your parents can ship it to you. Staples has UPS service desks in select stores for convenient package drop off seven days a week. Who doesn’t love getting a package from mom and dad?