A first test in Adulting 101: Balancing college finals week with monumental move-out tasks. But, just like you’ve been progressively studying in advance to ace those final exams (right?), you can begin preparing for the early-May move-out right now.
We talked to higher education experts about the tasks that you can do now to make move-out go smooth so you can seamlessly transition into summer break.
1. Check out Closetbox
Whether you will be boomeranging back home for the summer or are traveling abroad, it doesn’t make sense to pack those extra long twin bed sheets, your cold-weather clothes and other college essentials. Instead, take advantage of Closetbox to store your belongings while you’re enjoying summer break. The way it works: We’ll come pick up your belongings and take them to our climate-controlled, secured storage facilities. That frees up more time for you to study for that physics exam or write that final exam. Come August, when it’s time to move back into the dorms or an apartment, we’ll deliver your belongings.
2. Label your belongings
Take an afternoon to start labeling your belongings with Post-Its, suggests Amma Marfo, a college speaker and facilitator who has spent the last decade working with college students. What do you and your roommates want to keep? Those can be one color- if you’re sharing among multiple people, each person’s Post-Its should be a different color, she suggests. What needs to be recycled? Designate those another color. What can be donated? Designate those another color, she suggests.
3. Do an end-of-year swap
If you find yourself with a lot of items that you need to get rid of, consider chatting with your RA about setting up a “swap” in the dorm lounge, suggests Marfo. This could be a good way to exchange textbooks, sports gear or clothes.
4. Check your move-in documents
Get a copy of the move-in condition report and do a preliminary inspection of your space looking for any discrepancies, suggests Craig E. Ullom, Ed.D. Founder of NextPath Learning, LLC. Then, make necessary repairs before move-out, he suggests.
5. Start with your clothes
For students on campuses that experience four seasons, it’s a good idea to start packing up cold-weather clothes, suggests Felice Cohen, an author, organizer and speaker. “With the weather changing, students can start packing up winter clothing,” she says. “Maybe keep out one or two sweaters, and a scarf or two, but the majority will not be needed in a few weeks.” Set these items aside to store.
6. Organize your study materials
Go through notes and books from the previous fall semester, suggests Cohen. Recycle those notes you no longer need and earn some cash by selling back any books that you no longer need.
7. Don’t procrastinate
But … it can help to take an hour break from studying to sort through your belongings, Cohen says. “Taking an hour break to go through T-shirts or coffee mugs can give one side of your brain a break and allow you to do something a bit trivial,” she says. “The act of accomplishing something, even small, can motivate you to go back and study more.”
8. Have an “Empty the Fridge” dinner.
Take out food from the cupboards and refrigerator and create a meal to share with friends, suggests Catherine Agopcan, an expert on minimizing. “Ask others from your floor to contribute and have one last gathering together,” she says.
9. Move out a few days early
During the final move-out push, the dorms and apartments are busy with fellow students and their parents moving furniture and other personal items, points out Marty Basher, a home and organization expert with Modular Closets. Avoid the chaos and carry out your move out a few days earlier. “The less stuff you have on the last day, the easier it will be to get through the summer rush,” Basher says.
10. Save a memento from the year
That free T-shirt a credit card company was handing out on campus probably doesn’t have sentimental value. But maybe a game ticket from a memorable football game you went to or a funny note from your roommate does. Hold on to it as a fun way to remember the college year.