Student Life

6 Packing Tips for Your Student’s First Apartment

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By Elana Goodwin, Uloop

Packing up to move your student into their first apartment is a lot of work — which is why being prepared to tackle the packing process is so important and you want to have the tools necessary to ensure packing goes smoothly.

Here are some tips to know and keep in mind while packing for your student’s first apartment.

1. Start early

Procrastinating is something you and your child absolutely do not want to do and getting started is often the hardest part. A few weeks prior to moving day, start to pack a couple of boxes each day, packing first the things that your child doesn’t actually use regularly or can do without for a few weeks until they are in their apartment.

Beginning the process early means you’ll leave yourselves ample time to get the job done and won’t be as overwhelmed. Plus, if as your student is packing they realize they need certain things, you both will have more time to buy them, in addition to more time to sort through things they already own and decide what they want to make the move with them.

2. Stock up

Packing is a whole lot easier when you have everything you need. Obviously, the biggest thing is boxes, and you’ll want to get boxes of different sizes to accommodate all of your student’s various items. For some of your child’s items, using boxes obtained from grocery stores or other places might be okay — but for heavier items, boxes intended for moving are a better bet.

Further, boxes that have some sort of handles will make them easier to carry and move. Another packing must-have is duct tape, and colored tape will help your student color-coordinate their boxes and make things easier. Lastly, you’ll also want to buy bubble wrap and labels to help your student pack better.

3. Label everything

Rather than just writing on the boxes what room it goes in or what the box contains, a better option may be to invest in packing labels. They’ll be easier to write on and read, plus allow your student to write a general list of what’s in the boxes and where it should go. Using different colored labels, tape, or markers will also be helpful.

Your student can also opt for a number system and then number each box and keep a list in a notebook of what is in each box by number. Even if things are labeled, you want to be sure your child is also keeping a descriptive list of what they’ve packed and in what box to make sure they don’t forget anything and know where everything is.

4. Be organized

Beyond labeling and getting what you need to pack, you want to approach the packing itself in an organized manner. That means packing room by room so boxes don’t contain a bunch of items that will end up being spread out all over the apartment. This way, when you and your student are unpacking them into their apartment, you can just put the box in the room it will belong in and know that you won’t need to carry stuff from it into other rooms.

Additionally, pack the heavier items on the bottom of boxes and lighter things on top, and try not to leave any empty space in the boxes as that will allow things to shift which may not end well.

5. Wrap it up

As you and your child are packing, make sure things that are somewhat breakable are wrapped well. Between dishes, you can put packing paper around each one or use towels or something else cushiony that will be moved also as a sort of protection.

Things like cups and bowls can be stacked and inside pots and pans, other kitchen items can be stored for the move. If new items were purchased, like a toaster or a set of kitchen items, there may be extra room in there to pack other items so it may be worth opening and rearranging to make those boxes more economically packed.

6. Pack for the other side

Things that you and your student will need to access right away or first when you are unpacking in your child’s apartment should be clearly labeled and packed in a clear plastic container so they’re easily discernible. Items like scissors, a box cutter, paper towels, trash bags, toilet paper, tools, tape, cleaning supplies, and other essentials should be put in the box. This way, they can be accessed conveniently right when you and your student get into the apartment and you won’t have to rifle through the other boxes to find the items you’ll need to help with the unpacking process.

Don’t let the packing process overwhelm you and your student — follow these tips for a more painless packing experience as you get ready to move your student into their first apartment!


Visit uloop.com for more college news and to search for off-campus housing, college roommates, tutors, study abroad opportunities, student travel, online courses, textbooks, jobs and internships for college students, and more.

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