By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
It is just about time for college to start, and parents everywhere are about to embark on the most feared part of sending kids to college. No, we are not talking about paying tuition — they get a lot of guidance on that part. Student loan administrators, admissions counselors, and personal finance professionals can show them how to plan for every college expense ahead. The real anxiety at this point is the task of packing and moving your baby into their college dorm room! Where are all the pros to help with that?
Your college dorm packing help is right here. Take it from the packing and moving company professionals at A-1 Freeman Moving Group; you have got this, parents! Picking out new coordinating room decor and desk amenities can be a lot of fun for kids and enthusiastic parents but fitting it all in place may not be so enjoyable. It does not take a structural engineering major to pack for college, but here are a professional moving company’s tips to help you maximize your child's limited dorm space without the stress.
- The dorm room is going to be small and possibly a shared space — So make a list of the essential things that you need first. You might want to start this list on your own before you involve your student. Let's face it, your child is more likely to leave behind toothpaste before they abandon their Bluetooth speakers.
- Personal hygiene — Start with a small plastic caddy with a handle. It's easy to keep all your items separate from your roommate's, and it's easy to grab and go when you have to get in and out of a community bathroom. Make sure it is durable. There are going to be a lot of trips down the hall in the next few years.
- Bedding — Ten stuffed animals that consume your child's bed at home is not essential bedding. Start with the standard sheets, blanket, and pillow/pillowcase. Make sure to check with the college if special sized sheets are required. Throw pillows look great the first day you set up the room, but in a limited space environment they may be thrown aside frequently. Keep the throw pillows to a minimum.
- School supplies — Let's not forget what your child is moving into a dorm for. If possible, find out ahead of time if there is built-in storage around the desk area. You may need to pack some small desk organizers. Be sure to go vertical with stacking compartments since desk space will be limited. You might want a small lamp for that late-night cramming when the roommate wants to sleep, but your student must study late for a big test. A clip-on clamp style mount is helpful because it may be used at the desk or other areas.
- Coordinate with your new roommate — You really do not need 2 mini fridges, 2 microwaves, and 2 TV’s. The number one college move-in mistake — double dipping on appliances. Do not stress about choosing the perfectly coordinated appliances, only to find the roommate already has it in place. Remember, there's limited space in the college dorm, and limited electrical outlets too. Speaking of limited outlets, make sure and add a surge protector or two to the list.
- Check with the college or university on items that you are not allowed to have in your dorm — Obviously, this can quickly eliminate some dorm packing stress right off the bat.
- Do not pack clothes for the entire year — Just take what is needed for the season or until the next time you will be going home. Parents, they will be back — sooner than you think. Closet and drawer space are a premium in dorms, so just concentrate on one semester at a time. The hard part is making sure the student brings home the clothes they will not need for the next season so there is space available for the replacement clothes.
- Make sure and pack cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer and masks — Considering the current COVID-19 situation, some extra precautions are needed. It's easy to imagine your student living in a bubble in your perfectly organized dorm room. But this could not be any further from the truth. It is close quarters and items will be shared, so having a way to clean them is crucial.
OK, Mom and Dad, you have got this. Break it down to essentials and coordinate whenever possible with the roommate and school dorm officials. You have provided an education for your child that has prepared him or her for a successful college career. Now do not get schooled by over packing for your student's college dorm! There is more moving and packing advice available at our A-1 Freeman Moving Group website. Make sure and check it out.
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