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As you close the yearbook and plan for your exciting move to college, you face many new challenges, including that of downsizing. But before panicking about how your 30 pairs of shoes are going to fit in the tiny shoebox of a closet, take a look at our expert tips that will help organize and simplify your move.

Decide What's Most Important

Make a list of all the items you want to take to school, so that you're less likely to forget something important. Important things not only include your favorite outfit and iPod, but also toiletries, cleaning supplies, a sewing kit, tools, plastic dinnerware and flatware. Leave items off of your list that can wait until the next trip home, like your winter sweaters or photo collection that may or may not fit in your new room – resist the urge to overpack. Your parents can also send you anything you find you can't live with once you arrive on campus.

Think Creatively

Separate your list into what you will be bringing from home, what you can purchase in your new town, and what can be ordered online for shipment directly to the dorms – lightening your load on the way there will help reduce the labor of packing, fuel and even shipping costs, whether you're driving or flying. If you can, communicate with your roommate and decide who will bring items that can be shared, such as an ironing board or DVD player, to help save space.

Shopping for Solutions

Be mindful when shopping for the move to college to purchase items that are easily disassembled or that fold flat for storage. Not only will items like folding drying racks or collapsible shelves save space in your car, they'll be easy to take down and move at the end of the school year.

Pack Smart

When it comes to packing, pack everything you can inside storage containers that you'll use once you get to school, like a laundry hamper or storage bin. Consolidating will save you on the number of large boxes you'll need. If you're driving, use collapsible containers to pack things on the way there; you can then use them to store stuff at school or they can be folded for easy storage.


Keep Your Things Organized

Categorize and label your boxes clearly – DVD's & CD's, books, pictures, school supplies, etc. – and avoid mixing different items in the same box whenever possible. This will make unpacking in your new room a breeze and help you locate items until you're entirely unpacked. You may want to pack a bag with your favorite DVD's, magazines and outfits, as well as a cell phone charger and toiletries, to get you through the few days you'll be living out of boxes!

 
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