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Packing Hacks: 7 Tips & Tricks to Consider When Packing for College

Whether you're returning to campus or showing up for freshman orientation, your first campus should be focused on catching up with friends or making new ones, not wrestling with boxes trying to unpack a mess. When it comes to time to take everything from your closet, just throwing it in the backseat seems like a great idea until you're spending hours untangling cords and refolding clothes.

Organization, planning and execution are key to successful move. College is all about maximizing your potential and putting your best foot forward toward your academic future. Why not start off on the right foot while you're still at home. Look over our 7 easy tips and tricks for packing and college.


1. Start with a list

Not sure where to start? Sit down and start a running list of items that you think you may want to bring with you. This list isn’t concrete and will probably change as the time to move gets closer, and that’s okay. All we are trying to do here is prevent any, “Oh, man, I can’t believe I forgot it,” moments once you start to get settled in.

2. Keep your clothes on the hanger

You'll be able to save yourself time and a headache if you keep your clothes on the hanger during the move. An easy way to stay organized and protect your clothes during the trip would be to separate your clothes into categories (pants, long sleeves, dress shirts, etc.), group them together by the hanger hooks and pulling them through the top of a large garbage bag.

3. Don't bring everything with you

Resist temptation to bring more than you need. You may have toured your dorm already and have an idea of the amount of space you must work with, but once you show up with all your belongings in tow you're going to be surprised how quickly the space disappears. Only bring what is necessary, and if you find yourself in a situation where you need something you did not bring, follow the right channels to replace it or have it sent to you.

4. Bring extra luggage bags for added storage

We don't have to tell you again that your dorm is going to be limited on space and storage. Bringing along extra pieces of luggage, purses, or everyday bags to help store items will help keep you organized and maximize your space. For example, you could keep your jeans and long pants in your suitcase and all your school supplies in a tote bag or reusable grocery bag. Don't be afraid to get creative.

5. Got plastic wrap?

If you find that you can't part with your epic Blu-Ray collection or your video game library, using regular kitchen plastic wrap will help keep your items organized and in one piece. Nothing is worse than getting to your dorm and finding everything has spilled all over your back seat. You could also wrap jewelry boxes to keep items from spilling over or small shelving units that require assembly to keep them intact during transport.

6. Pack your car appropriately

When it comes to loading everything into a car, be strategic. It's like playing Tetris. Placing the larger and heavier items on the bottom will prevent boxes or items from falling over during the drive. Use bedding, pillows and blankets to protect your electronics. Wrapping your TV, monitor or other fragile devices with the bed clothes you are also bringing is a great way to save time, energy and money.

7. Pack extra bed lines in your pillowcase

Unless you want to be constantly washing one pair of sheets, bring along a couple extra pairs. Fold your fitted and top sheets and neatly place them inside your pillowcase. Saving money and unnecessary trips to the laundromat are going to keep your schedule and your wallet happy.

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