How To Unpack For College
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Student Life

How To Unpack For College

Here's the right way to start off dorm living without going too crazy.

How To Unpack For College

Everyone’s read articles on Facebook and Pinterest about the “perfect college packing list” and all the necessary items you have to stuff in your tiny car that will somehow fit into your tiny dorm room. Of course you need those 20 different pairs of shoes: sneakers, flip-flops, boots, and 17 pairs of heels for those frat parties you will probably regret the next morning. Especially when you have that midterm at nine in the morning. And, while you continue to read different lists that never quite match up, you’ll struggle more with the unpacking of it all. The frustration, tears, and overall surrender to organizing and unpacking it all will surely get the best of you -- especially if it’s your first time away at college. While it does take patience, it is possible to get it done under 24 hours. Here’s a few tips to get you sleeping under covers and dancing under those fairy lights:

1. Start with the bed.

By making your bed first, you’re guaranteed to have a place to sleep if you do end up just giving up and throwing the rest out the window. This can take from five to 15 minutes and as tempting as it will be to just sit down and let your mom finish it all, you will have to help out with the rest of it.

2. Turn on some music.

Jam out! This is exciting – you’re starting a new experience and meeting new people. Leave the door open as well because that will draw people by your room who might compliment you music taste. And while you might want to start dancing around to that new J Bieb's song, know that this is meant to increase your productivity and encourage you to get things done so you can go to those first week parties.

3. Organize your clothes.

*Groan.* This will take time. But it’s worth it. By figuring out what will fit in your dresser and what nicer clothing will hang in your closet, you’ll have outfits ready for the next day and feel super accomplished! Have drawers set for PJs and underwear/socks, t-shirts and short sleeves, long sleeves (that can be folded up neatly without crinkling), jeans and pants, and an extra drawer for blankets or anything you might want to chuck in it. You want to have your dresses, button down shirts, and anything you would be worried about ruining hanging up in your closet where they will stay wrinkle-free. This can take from half an hour to an hour, so be patient – but make sure you fold it all neatly!

4. Save electronics for last.

This is very important! I’ve had my dad fiddling with my TV and clock the entire time it took me and my mom to unpack everything. You don’t want to build up more frustration by trying to figure out the Wi-Fi password. Granted you can put them up to see how they’ll fit in the room, but save the details until you have time to ask your school any tech questions. Also, reminder: power strips are your friends – use them whenever you can.

5. Have your parents bring any “illegal items” home.

This is another important one. Most colleges don’t allow candles or hot plates in dorms in case of fire. You’ll be able to ask your RA or any upperclassmen for a list of these. Some include lamps charging outlets, Christmas/fairy lights, Keurigs or other coffee makers, etc. A lot of these vary with schools, so don’t be afraid to ask! (All of these are permitted at my school, but the rules do change often.)

6. Be prepared to forget everything.

It’s true. You’ll forget a toothbrush or deodorant or plastic drawers to fit all the books and DVD’s you brought that you probably won’t even read or watch. So get your debit card, drive to Wal-Mart, and prepare to drop a couple Ben Franklins. Just remember to buy everything you forgot or you’ll be making another trip over. (Guilty as charged)

7. Hang your decorations in your free time.

Sometimes you won’t get to everything in that first day depending on when you arrive to move in. That’s OK! Posters, decorative lights, picture frames, and all of your meaningful items might take a couple days to put up – especially in places you like them. For your dorm room to be your perfect aesthetic, you will definitely change it around a few times before it fits your liking. This could mean two weeks from winter break, you’ll be pushing your dresser in front of your window and moving your rug towards your bed. But that’s the beauty of a dorm room – it’s yours to do with what you want.

While this isn’t guaranteed to work for everyone, it’s the most effective way I’ve found to start my college semester right and feel accomplished early on. By moving from one task to another in an organized manner, you feel like things are actually getting done. Plus that way you have more time to binge watch that show on Netflix before all the papers start rolling in. Good luck to you all and may your Nirvana posters never fall down.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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