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Heading off to college can be a logistical nightmare. Deciding what to bring, leave behind, pack, store, sort, keep, purge… it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin. These simple tips will help make your dorm-room move easy as can be so you can start your college career on the right foot.

Rent a Self-Storage Unit

Renting a self-storage unit close to your university is an excellent way to ensure you don’t need to haul your items back and forth between seasons or semesters. When it’s time to move or simply put stuff away, you can easily place items into your storage unit, without having to worry about shipping them home (on the roof of your parents mini-van no less).

Storage units are available in various sizes, and most are climate controlled—with security 24/7. With prices designed to meet even the college students tightest budget, finding a unit that works for you is easy as can be. Plus, getting a few students together to share a unit will make the cost next to none.

Color Coordinate Belongings

Whether you decide to split the cost of a storage unit with some roommates or have one of your own, color coordinating your boxes will help make packing and unpacking easy. Keep a detailed list of the items you have in each box as well, so you can decide what boxes you need to bring home with you without the hassle of sorting through belongings. Be sure to keep your list updated should you remove anything from a box.

If you are sharing a unit with roommates, make large notations to differentiate your boxes from theirs, using different, bold colors, stickers or markers to ensure items don’t get mixed up. You can even split your unit into sections so that your items remain separated.

Forget the Suitcases

Unless you’re flying to your dorm, suitcases are big, bulky, and a waste of space. Keeping items in bins or boxes will allow you put them away into storage easily. When empty, they can be broken down (and then re-engaged) with no trouble at all.

If you’re worried about getting boxes to move your items, don’t sweat! While your local storage unit may have some for sale, it’s simple to get some free boxes from retail or grocery stores after they’ve had a large shipment.

Less is More

Remember, your dorm will not be big (and you’ll be sharing it with others), so pack minimally. With a little creativity and some heart, you new dorm room will feel like home in no time.

“I learned three important things in college—to use a library, to memorize quickly and visually, to drop asleep at any time given a horizontal surface and fifteen minutes.”

 -Agnes DeMille, Dance to the Piper, 1952

…So stay awake, keep organized, and remain focused. To a successful first year!