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Asking For a Friend: How Do I Start Packing?

This is a new article series in collaboration with the Leading Women of Tomorrow Bates College Chapter. This 4 part series will highlight and address some of the unique challenges that come with this school year. Read for some tips about how you can navigate through this pandemic school year.

As we all know, this year is going to be different from any other. Many schools are encouraging lighter packing than usual. If you’re anything like me, I usually attempt to move every single belonging of mine to college. Thinking about how I am going to pack lighter has created some new challenges. However, I still have come up with some tips that will hopefully help others plan how they will pack.

1. What do you need the first few weeks? Although not ideal, you can always have things shipped to you later. It’s a good strategy anyways to see your room size, assess what you need, and then order more furniture or items. Like heavy winter clothing for example may seem important from the start but it’s really not. Bring a coat or two but realistically, schools are leaving before Thanksgiving anyways so there’s not much winter time in this first semester. Also, go light on the decor for the first few weeks. I know you want to have the trendiest room on campus, but all of that is a quick order away on Amazon. Plus, it is nice to get the room and get a feel for it before just having all this decor you are trying to force to fit within the style.

2. To-do lists. I think lists are a great way to stay organized. Even setting up little goals of what you are going to do each day for packing can help the process be really easy and smooth. Maybe one day get boxes for moving in. The next, do some grocery shopping. This will help you stay organized and not do everything at the last minute. Staying organized with lists will also help you not ‘binge-shop.’ This is when you run into Target at the last minute and buy every last thing in sight because “I might need it, if __ happens.” DON’T DO THIS! You don’t need it! Stay organized and stick to what you need with some to-do lists.

3. Coordinate with your roommate(s). After all this consolidation, it would be pretty silly if you room had two fridges, two tv’s, etc. That takes up a lot of packing space so really plan out who’s bringing what to try to make it easier on everyone. This can help with practical items, like a fridge, but also with room decor. It can sometimes be nice to have a constant theme in a room, so more communication with a roommate can never hurt!

4. Start with clothes. Knowing where to actually start with putting things in boxes can be overwhelming, so just start with the clothes. You know you are going to need clothes, and probably bring more what you actually need. This makes it a perfect place to start! It will probably result in some of your bulkier boxes, and let’s you know how much room you have left for packing. Put the clothes and bulky items in the car or set for shipping first, and then evaluate what else you have room for.

Hopefully these tips will help you get started! It may be a little different than usual, but you can do it! Find ways to make the packing process fun by listening to some music and getting in a groove. And don’t stress! Even if you forget something or need changes, there will be plenty of time once at school to make adjustments, purchase new items, and of course get some College On Tap Merch once it releases!

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