Now, I know you may be saying, "But Sydney, I got all my stuff here the first time! Why is moving everything out any different?" Because, young one, you have unconsciously accumulated more stuff since that fateful day you first moved into the dorms - more clothes, more decor, more toiletries...it added up when you weren't looking. This is a whole 'nother ball game - a similar one, like baseball and softball, but the rules have changed.
If you've never packed up an entire room before, never fear! I have, and it's completely possible. Here are some tools and ideas that can make this daunting task just a little less stressful so you can better focus on the REAL issue here - your 4 finals next week.
When packing clothes...
It may seem tempting to just take everything on hangers out of your closet, still attached to said hangers, and just put them on top of the big pile of everything else that you have to maneuver into the backseat of your car. Sorry, Charlie, but that can quickly become a safety hazard when checking your rearview. Instead, pack them in suitcases like a normal person.
If you have too many clothes to fit into suitcases (like most girls do, myself included), take a page out of my friend Katie's book and use a vacuum bag. These allow you to fit all your clothes into a bag, flatten the bag, and then put the bag in your suitcase. And then you have room for all your shoes on top. Then, use your laundry hamper to store all your empty hangers. Done and done.
If you absolutely must leave something on a hanger for fear of wrinkling it, use a garment bag to keep it looking nice during the trip.
When packing decor...
Plastic bins are you new best friend. I suggest buying a huge one and/or a few smaller ones and using them to pack all your wall trimmings, desk accessories, books, etc. Warning: these can get really heavy really quickly! To avoid breaking your back, separate heavy items into the smaller bins and the lighter items into the huge bin.
When packing accessories...
One of my favorite ways to store/move accessories are in cloth bins. They are big enough to hold everything but small enough to carry, and they are so functional, you can use them all year round. I use mine for belts, hats, scarves, purses, etc. For jewelry, use small boxes or plastic baggies. If you have a hanging jewelry organizer like I do, use masking tape to seal the openings so nothing falls out in-transit.
When packing toiletries...
Here comes the tricky part. Toiletries are highly susceptible to leakage, given the fact that they are more than likely liquid, so you don't want to just throw them in with everything; however, you still need them when you go home, so you want to pack them so they are readily accessible. My top 3 suggestions are 1. a plastic (whether solid or like a bag) shower caddy or zipped bag, 2. a small plastic bin, 3. a duffle bag. Just make sure not to put anything heavy on top or they'll burst!
Example of a plastic shower caddy
When loading the car...
This can be the worst part of the whole experience, worse than carrying everything down three flights of stairs - trying to play Tetris with your belongings. My best advice is this: utilize every inch of space your vehicle possesses. Start with the trunk - load the biggest things in here first. If you have something that won't fit, lay it across your backseat and continue filling the trunk. When it is so full you can hardly close the lid, move onto the back. Utilize the excess room you have on the floor and in the front passenger seat as well. But again, don't stack things too high! If you sit in the car and can't see out the rearview mirror, you need to rearrange things to where you can. The worst thing you can do is get in an accident (or get pulled over!) because your rear view was obstructed.
Or, beg your parents to come and move everything for you. That works, too.
- Common sense: heavier stuff on the bottom, lighter stuff on the top.
- Make a list of all the areas that need to be done, and tackle one area at a time.
- Set aside clothes you're going to wear the next day and pack your toiletries last.
- Don't put it off! Start packing now or suffer the consequences!
If this is your first time moving, don't worry - it'll be over soon. If this isn't your first rodeo, what are some tricks you use when packing up your room that I didn't mention? Please comment!
Good luck with finals, good luck packing, and May the 4th be with you (sorry, had to).