How to Pack the Car for a College Move… Like a Master

Gil's Tips on How To Pack Your College Student

Any students lucky enough to be heading off to college with their very own vehicle will soon become familiar with the profound challenge of packing, then loading up their car—or their parents will. Whether it’s you or your college-age baby doing most of the work for the big move, planning is key. Here are some things to keep in mind as you go:

If you don’t use it, then lose it

To simplify the whole process, have your rising college student go through their belongings and purge unwanted items first. After they clear out all the clothes, books and random junk that they don’t want to keep, deciding what to move to campus and what to store at home will be much easier.

On a related note, don’t start buying things like shower caddies, trash cans, or full-sized toiletries before the move. There will undoubtedly be a Target or a Walmart within an easy drive of campus, so stocking up can wait.

Consider the container

As you prepare to pack, remember that boxes stack well in a moving truck, but are hard to squeeze into a sedan’s backseat. You’ll want at least one suitcase for visits home, but otherwise clothes can be packed into plastic garbage bags or cloth laundry sacks that can be reused on laundry day.

Books and other small items that won’t travel well in bags can be packed in recyclable, file-sized boxes. Any bigger and you’ll regret it—both while loading up the car, and while carrying the box up the dormitory stairs. Instead of using newspaper or bubble wrap to cushion breakables, use clothing or towels that you’re already planning to bring.

Don’t move your whole childhood to college

While it can be tempting for students to pack four years of high-school yearbooks, ten bedraggled stuffed animals, and all the macaroni picture frames their younger siblings made as Christmas presents three years in a row, they’ll feel more open to their new, college journey if they aren’t over-burdened by childhood memorabilia. Help them be selective in their choices—and if you’re the over-packer, resist. If your college-baby tells you they’ll be fine without their threadbare crib lovey; believe them.

Start big, then prioritize

You’ll want to load the biggest items first, then pack smaller things around them. If there’s only one spot in the car with enough square footage to fit the mini-fridge, you don’t want to find out at the last minute.

Also, make sure to prioritize, loading the most important things early on. You might not have room for everything, and you don’t want to wind up unpacking a full car because you need to make room for something your student simply can’t live without.

Prepare your vehicle

Before you even start packing, you’ll want to get the car ready for the trip. Clean the inside well, emptying out any junk that takes up valuable real estate that could be used for more important items.

To ease your mind about your student’s safety on the long drive, be sure to bring the car into Gil’s Automotive Services for a free brake inspection!

Gil's Automotive Services: 254 Parks Mill Road, Buckhead, GA  30625 | 706-485-2576

Click here for our Summer Specials