Francesca's Focus: Packing Tips

Friday, August 22, 2014

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That's right, guys. Today's the day that I've been putting off all summer: IT'S PACKING DAY. I shouldn't say put off because I've been slowly but surely filtering through my closet for my most worn clothes and putting those off to the side and going through boxes to make sure they're ready for everything that I've left in its bag. It's all a matter of getting what I need into boxes and suitcases. That's the easy part when you've got a mom like mine (guys, she packed up pretty much my entire dorm into one Jeep at the end of the year. ONE. JEEP.)

Packing day might be packing week or packing month for somebody else. I just think it depends on where you're living, what your car situation is, and various other factors that I don't think I'd ever be able to predict. If you're living close enough to home and are lucky enough to have a car (or live in a city with decent public transportation!), forgetting a few things while packing isn't the biggest deal in the world. However, if you're shipping off to the other side of the country with no car and no contacts, well, then being adamant and precise about your packing might be the best idea for you.

1. Make lists

I make lists for everything, so it should come as no surprise that I make packing lists. After a preliminary shopping round, where I just kind of let loose in Target and threw things into my cart that I may or may not have needed, I made a list of everything that I didn't grab. I separated my lists into clothing, beauty, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and school supplies. The categories can obviously be adjusted if you don't have a kitchen (though having plates and other utensils is always convenient) or any of the other "speciality" amenities.

2. Recruit an expert packer

I can pack things like books and towels and things that require little to no folding skills. When it comes to clothes, I am absolutely the worst. My mom can fit what I stuffed into a large suitcase into a medium sized one without breaking a sweat. Needless to say, she is going to be packing away all of the clothes that I hand her from my closet once again this year.

3. Take breaks

Nothing is more stressful than trying to pack up your life and temporarily move it someplace else. Take a few breaks here and there. Watch some TV, go for a walk, go out shopping for something that you forgot to put on a list. If you do it right, packing shouldn't take the entire day, so breaks should be welcomed with open arms!

4. Label boxes

If you're worried about labeling your boxes with the actual names on the side (i.e. kitchen tools, clothing, etc.), use numbers and write down what each number means on a separate sheet of paper that you carry with you for your own reference. This will make packing easier, as everything will have its place, and will most certainly make moving easy for the same reason.

5.   Double check everything 

Do this while you are packing, not after it's all been said and done. Nothing is worse than having to tear apart the boxes you've just spent so much time and effort trying to pack just to make sure that you have a toothbrush and toothpaste or something minor like that.

One thing to remember about packing day is to not let yourself get too worked up about it. It is very stressful. Trying to put your life in boxes is hard to do and hard to watch as well, but letting it get to you is distracting and almost not worth it. Packing and unpacking is the hardest part, but once it's over, you get the most wonderful sense of relief and accomplishment.

Good luck to everybody who is going back to school or who is starting college for their first year!

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