It probably seemed like this day would never come, but it’s almost here. Your child is moving out of the house and into a college dormitory. It’s a major transition for everyone, and there’s so much to do. Between the practical side of figuring out how organize the move and the emotional side of figuring out how to cope with everything, it’s no wonder if you’re feeling more than a little overwhelmed.
To help you, here are a few pointers that will make the move as smooth as possible for the entire family.
How to Deal
Emotions tend to run high around events like this. As a parent, you’re probably proud of your child’s accomplishments, sad about your child’s move, or happy about getting some extra space and time to yourself – or all three at once. Let yourself feel all the emotions that are a natural part of this important event, and read more about what the Mayo Clinic has to say about empty nest syndrome.
If you’re worried about your children managing on their own, this TIME article has a list of skills you should teach your almost-adult children. Bonus – the lessons double duty as some extra bonding time.
Finally, don’t forget the benefit of some good planning. The better prepared you are, the less stress you’ll feel, and more you’ll be able to appreciate this exciting time.
What to Pack
Packing for college isn’t a matter of throwing everything into boxes. Some items have to be left behind, and new items have to be purchased.
College dormitories have a well-deserved reputation for leaning toward the miniscule. Even if your child is moving into off-campus housing, there will probably be a need to maximize space. First, decide what will stay behind. Although most new college students will want a few keepsakes for when they’re feeling homesick, there simply won’t be enough room for boxes full of memorabilia. The climate will help determine which clothes to bring, but again, some may have to be left behind.
Next, head to the store for some space-maximizing organizers, like the ones featured here. You’ll also want to think about flip-flops, robes, shower caddies, and other essentials for a shared dormitory bathroom, like the ones listed here. Of course, a few school supplies will come in handy, too, so remember to bring all the notebooks, planners, and other items necessary for class.
How to Get There
Once you have everything packed, you have to decide how to transport it to the college. While many families opt to load up the car with boxes and suitcases, this may be difficult if you have a lot to move or are traveling a long distance. Also, if you’re planning to turn the journey into a road trip – one final family vacation – an overly full car can become a burden. In that case, it may be time to consider a moving company.
When choosing a moving company, you want to look for the best deal, but that doesn’t always mean the lowest price. Look into the reputation of company and ask all the questions provided here to make sure you’re not getting ripped off or falling for a moving scam.