Monday, September 03, 2007

Good experience: College move-in day

We delivered Carolyn to Northeastern University on Sunday to start her sophomore year. For those looking ahead to this experience, make it less stressful with some good packing and loading.

1 - It starts with the student. They do not need everything that is in their room or at home. They need to consider taking the minimum amount. The dorm room they generally get at college is smaller and with less storage than they have at home. If they go to college reasonably close to home, then some of the seasonal clothing can be left off the first trip and taken closer to the time it will be needed.

2 - Pack in carry size items. Sounds simple but I see so many folks struggling to carry an item that is over sized, or a bag that is overloaded. Make it easy for yourself. Keep it simple. Keep it small enough to carry.

3 - Load to unload. Follow the normal guidelines for loading your vehicle. Heavier stuff on the bottom. Light stuff on top. Fragile and delicate items packed with care. This is all well and good but consider how you load the vehicle. Consider the room where you are going. A closet, a bed, a desk and someone else in the room as well. Load the vehicle in the order you want to get started in the room.
3a - While there are other ways to do so, I recommend clothing (especially if it is in a suit case) loaded last, unloaded first. Take it to the room, put it in the closet, close the closet door and leave it for later.

3b - Bedding should be next. Load the vehicle so you can take the bedding in next. You can make the bed (or have the student do so while another load is being fetched). Now with the bed made, you can use the bed as temporary storage.

3c - After these two priorities, you can move whatever else is required as long as you consider the space where it is going and leave yourself room to move around. Especially to allow room for the student to start unpacking and settling in.

Parents, once the vehicle is empty and everything in the room, it is time to leave. You can linger and help settle a little but this is your student's life, get used to letting them get going on their own. It may be hard to make the break but the sooner you give them space to stand on their own, the better off both of you will be.

You've done your part, let them learn the rest on their own.