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It’s almost that time of year again! Time for dorm room shopping, textbook buying and freshman orientation. Before you pack up the car with all your or your college bound kid’s essentials and hit the road toward higher education, check out our packing tips to ensure all your essentials (and some non-essentials) fit in the car and make it to school.

  1. Make a list- One of the best ways to make sure you don’t forget anything is to make a list of everything you need to bring- from textbooks to toothbrushes, no item is too small to add. Check them off as you pack them to ensure you’ll have everything you need when you pull up to your dorm.
  2. Part with what you DON’T need- It can be tempting to  bring all the comforts of home with you- especially when you’re living on your own for the first time. However, your stuffed animal collection, library of favorite books, and high school athletics trophies are best left behind. They will only take up room in the back seat from the things you really need and will likely end up on the floor of your dorm room. Save space for the things you really need.
  3. Pack the car strategically- Remember playing the game Tetris as a kid, where you’d have to move different shapes around to fit them into one box? Well, that’s kind of like packing up your car for college. Make sure larger, heavier things go on the bottom and then pile on the lighter stuff. Slide flat items like whiteboards and mirrors on the sides. And remember, safety first. If your vehicle has too much weight making it difficult to drive or you can’t see out the rear window, consider taking two vehicles.
  4. Labels, labels, labels!- When you have boxes and bags galore, it can get a bit difficult to find exactly what you’re looking for quickly. Labeling each box can make for easier unpacking once you arrive. You don’t want to be digging through a box of t-shirts searching for your toothbrush. Trust me.
  5. Not everything needs to come for the ride- It can be nearly impossible to fit all of your dorm essentials into one car. Instead of overloading your vehicle, see if you can have a few things shipped to your dorm via mail. Also, save buying some smaller items, such as soap or pencils, until you get to school. If something really doesn’t fit, leave it at home and you can make a Wal-Mart run when you get there. This is also especially helpful if you need to travel by plane or have limited space .

Any other essentials you’d include? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

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