Leaving Newhouse or Moving In? Here’s How to Pack Like a Pro

Leaving Newhouse or Moving In? Here’s How to Pack Like a Pro

It’s that time of year: the Newhouse graduate class of 2017 is getting ready to move out and the graduate class of 2018 is moving in. Some of us are moving home with our parents (no shame in my money-saving game) and some of us are on to our next great adventure in a brand-new city. I came right into Newhouse from undergrad, and I’ve lived somewhere different every year for the past five years, so by now I’ve got packing and moving down to a science. Here are my top five tips to make moving (somewhat) of a breeze.

1. Pack a “lazy box.” This is the box for you to open when you’ve spent all day traveling and lugging everything you own into your new space and you say to yourself, “I’m so tired, I only feel like opening one box.” In this box goes cleaning supplies, garbage bags, toilet paper, hand soap, paper towels, one bath towel, minimal toiletries, curtains/blinds, a garbage pail, and your bedding. This way, even if you only unpack this one box, you’re set for the first night in your new place. Five star accommodations they’re not, but it beats having to urgently find the grocery store because you don’t know where you packed the toilet paper.

2. Before you even start packing, go through all your clothes. If you didn’t wear it in the place you’re leaving, you probably won’t wear it in the place you’re going to (unless you’re moving to a drastically different climate). If it doesn’t fit, toss it out. See if a thrift store like Plato’s Closet or Clothes Mentor will give you some cash for your gently worn stuff. If not, offer your stuff to your friends or make a donation to your local Salvation Army. You don’t need those dozens of free t-shirts you got from sporting events or your old college — there will always be more where those came from. Use them to pack your breakables or just throw them away.

3. If you’re getting ready to move out, don’t throw away unopened nonperishable food. Leave it for your neighbors in an apartment building or a multi-family home, or find your local food bank and drop it off there. There’s nothing wrong with it, it just takes up too much space and it’s too heavy to drag to your next place.

4. If you’re only going to be home for the summer, pack with a purpose. Keep your winter stuff organized or in a storage unit that you share with friends in the area so if you aren’t going to be using it, it won’t be taking up space in your parents’ house. Your mom will appreciate it.

5. Pack by room. Unpacking gets so much easier when you know exactly where all of your kitchen stuff is and you can find all of your bathroom towels. Plus, it’s not as overwhelming to unpack when you can empty an entire box in just a few minutes and your new place suddenly feels a lot more like home.

Laurie Silverstein is a graduate student studying advertising

Laurie Silverstein