7 Tips on Packing the Car for Back to Campus

Your first college lesson involves a bit of geometry and logic: packing the car and heading off to school.

Use these 7 tips to ace the test.

1. Corral your clothes.

Before you pack your entire wardrobe, remember that dorm room clothing storage is generally limited. Some dorms will only have a standing wardrobe, others will have small closets. You’ll also want to limit how much you take to the shared laundry space. Think about leaving your out-of-season items at home, or limiting your seasonal pieces. Do you really need to pack your ski gear or ugly holiday sweater? Probably not yet.

Once you’ve pared down what you will be bringing, take your hanging items and gather them together. Put a rubberband around the top of the hangers and slide a garbage bag over the bunch – instant garment bag.

Gather the rest of your clothes and pack them into your laundry basket or laundry tote. There’s no need to pack clothing into boxes with this method. Grab your gym bag while you’re at it, and put your shoes inside.

2. Things and Linens.

Vacuum bags are key in this department. Put your bed and bath linens in vacuum bags and suck out all that excess air. This will shrink your comforter, sheets, blankets and towels to a fraction of their original size, perfect for placing them in the bottom of your trunk or truck bed.

Photo credit: The Container Store 

3. Ban the boxes.

If you don’t have any vacuum bags on hand and don’t have time to purchase them, use trash bags or plastic grocery bags. Bags are always better than boxes when packing your belongings into a vehicle. Bags are flexible and soft; use their squishiness to your advantage to shove them into smaller areas.

4. Use every space.

Let no car space go wasted when moving to your new dorm. Use the area under the front seats of your vehicle to store smaller items, like your school supplies. Binders, folders and notebooks fit almost too perfectly in this spot.

Taking storage systems like plastic drawer units? Fill those up too before putting them in your car. It’s good to put the more fragile items, like electronics, wrapped in clothing you’re already packing, and then place them in these containers.

If you are moving into an off-campus apartment or will have a small kitchen in your dorm, you may want to consider getting a rooftop cargo carrier. You’ll be able to fit extra gear with room to spare.

Photo credit: Travel BLAT

5. No car? No problem.

If you don’t have the opportunity to take a car or truck to school, download the Truxx app, load up the truck and have your driver deliver all you goods to campus for you! Plus, you’ll earn CASHBACK in points to use on things you need for school. Start here.

6. Be strategic

Keep what you will need during the trip easily accessible. Snacks, important documents and anything for a possible overnight stay need to be reachable after packing up the car.

The key to loading up and leaving for school is to pack lightly. Don’t take what you don’t need, and do think through what will be useful while away from home. If you have your future roommates’ contact info, coordinate with them on what you will be bringing so that there aren’t duplicates cluttering up your car (and dorm). Keeping it simple will keep you sane on your journey.

7. Tune it up

Before you drive off, be sure to get a tune up and inspection on your vehicle. The pros at Sears Auto Center are happy to do that. Check your Shop Your Way coupons before making your appointment to see how you can save, and use your CASHBACK in points for future services.

Score 7 out of 7?  You’re ready to roll.

LifeYourWay Editor

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