Pack It Up, Pack It In

Pack it up pack it in

With finals coming to a close, only two real struggles of the school year remain: figuring out when all your friends are leaving so you can remember to say goodbye and packing up your entire life and moving out.

If you’ve lived in the same place since August, you probably don’t even realize just how much stuff you have in such a small space. So here are some tips for getting the most into your limited packing space

NOTE: Most of my packing experience comes from packing suitcases for flying cross-country – but I’ve done it A LOT. If your parent is driving down to pick you up, I’m pretty sure you just stuff as much as you can fit into the car until you run out of stuff, which is a lot less complicated than making sure none of your suitcases weigh over 50lbs.

The Basics

  • Actually fold your clothes. Crumpling them up and shoving them into random corners is only to be used in extremely dire circumstances. 
  • When it comes to T-shirts, fold them lengthwise and roll them from top to bottom and pack those last in the little crevices left from other things.
  • Use the pockets. Your suitcase extra has pockets for a reason. Stuff them with whatever fits!
  • Throw away what you don’t need.

Safety in Layers Need to pack mugs or other more fragile things? First, fold your blankets and sweaters and other fluffy-like things, and put the breakable stuff between the layers. That way they don’t take up extra space and your stuff is more protected. The downside of this is that your boxes and suitcases get deceptively heavy very quickly so be prepared to call in reinforcements when you actually have to move them.

It’s All About the Shoes Put all the extra empty space in your boots, sneakers and other miscellaneous footwear to good use by stuffing them full of your socks and underwear. It may seem silly, but there’s a surprising amount of space you aren’t taking advantage of in there that you might as well use.

Overdressed to Impress…ed  I have developed the habit of flying in my Hunter rainboots. Is it horribly inconvenient at security to have to take them off in a timely manner? Absolutely. Do I look ridiculous when I step off the plane in Southern California? The most ridiculous. But the space I save in my limited checked luggage by wearing the rubber behemoths, as well as multiple layers of fleece jackets and cardigans more than makes up for the hassle and embarrassment. It’s about efficiency, not comfort, people.

A Balanced Approach When you pack up your bedding – mattress pad, comforter, pillows etc. – don’t put them all in the same box. If you do, that one box will be nice, light and easy to carry, but any others will weigh an absolute ton. Distribute these so you have a lot of manageable boxes, instead of a few that are nearly impossible and a few that could be lifted with your pinky.

In the end, as long as you are able to get yourself completely moved out of your room or apartment in time, it doesn’t really matter how it gets done. Just zip those bad boys up and don’t think about it again until you unpack at home and find four articles of your roommate’s clothing stuck between yours.

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