Tips & Products to Get Organized for College

So your kid is off to college in the fall. Congratulations!

It’s an exciting yet bittersweet time for both parents, and there are a lot of things to think about before your teen leaves home. The move to college requires some planning and organization. It may seem daunting at first, but by taking some steps now, you can reduce the stress of the college move-in and focus on enjoying your teen’s company.

Be prepared, flexible and patient. Your student’s college may send some information ahead of time. They may even probably do everything they can to help with the navigation and transition, but here are some suggestions to make the move to college as smooth as possible.

Getting Organized to Move to College

Do a Preview of What You Need.

It would be best if you and your teen can visit the college before your teen moves into the college dorm. If you can do it during a preview day, you will be able to see someone currently living in and this should give you an idea how the room is arranged and determine how much space your teen will have. A college visit will also help your teen become accustomed to the campus and help make her transition to her new surroundings much easier.

If you the opportunity to take measurements and pictures, even better. Create a small notebook with all the information you can gather and start jotting down anything you think will be needed or useful to your son or daughter.

Decide on What to Pack

Make move-in day go smoothly by preparing well at home. Now that you have seen her future dorm room, you can help your teen pack and prepare for the big move. Start with a checklist of things to bring. Organize the list, one item per line, by areas or by activities, like: sleep, clean, store, study.

The summer before your teen leaves for college is the best time to go through your teen’s wardrobe. What must be brought with him/her to college? Be realistic, and only bring what’s really necessary and useful. College dorms have limited storage, small or no-closets and bringing a well thought out wardrobe – or even a closet capsule – will make your teen’s life so much easier.

You also need to keep in mind differences in the climate so you can bring appropriate clothing. If you receive a suggested list of items to send to college with your teen, review the list and make sure that you don’t take more than will fit in your car!

Be Storage Savvy

Where to put all that stuff that’s ready to go? You will need boxes and plastic containers. You can get free, foldable boxes with lids from local merchants or you can invest in clear plastic boxes that you can save for the many moves your young adult will do in the near future. You won’t have to spend extra money on packing supplies, and you can fold them up and store them under your bed for later. For small items, use small clear plastic boxes to organize and sort items that typically get lost in a room. These boxes work great for school supplies, jewelry, etc! Organize your belongings in boxes by priority and make sure they are clearly marked.

Finally, keep a calendar or day planner for important dates such as housing registration and deposits, visitation days, class registration, move-in day, orientations, etc. This goes for both parent and student. You don’t want to miss any of these so write everything down!

With planning and preparation, you can help make your teen’s move to college smooth and well organized.

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Download the College Packing Checklist here

 

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4 Comments

  1. Just pinned this – lots of great options here!! Always good to check with your individual school before buying. Some of them having rules now about hanging things and what percentage of the wall you may cover.

    1. Hi, Seana. Thank you so much for stopping by and for those tips. Great points! I’ll be on the “send kids to college” journey in 4 years and will certainly count on my amazingly organized community.

  2. Ahhh. I remember getting our girls ready for college. And you’re so right that it was a bittersweet time. They were ready…but there was something about the editing process, shopping for dorm room supplies, reviewing lists of what to take and what to leave home that also helped them (and me) get even more ready. It was an important part of the transition. Some of the things they wanted my help with, while other parts they wanted to do on their own. So it was also an exercise in letting go.

    You’ve given great suggestions to help make this transition a lot easier.

    1. Linda, so good to hear from your experience! I still have 4 years to go but am already preparing myself for the task and organization will for sure be an important part of it.

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