(BPT) - In many areas of the country leaves are turning, apple orchards are attracting crowds, football teams are starting practice and nighttime is bringing a chill to the air. For better or worse, that means college students' thoughts are turning to studying and everything else that goes with campus life.
This year, some 15.2 million students are slated for enrollment in America's public and private post-secondary institutions, up from 15 million last year. If you're a student or parent, that means it may be time to transport key belongings to a new living space.
That process can be emotionally bittersweet, even without the logistical challenges of packing, carrying, unpacking and installing multiple loads of gear. Fortunately, forewarned is forearmed, and there's much you can do to make the process easier for everyone involved. Consider the following suggestions for making a move to college efficient and friction-free.
1. Be selective. When packing, use your college-provided checklist as a guide, setting aside the essential items needed to make your first term at school convenient and comfortable. Remember that college dorm rooms and apartments tend to be small, so avoid bringing unnecessary clothing, knickknacks or valuables and plan to revisit home to retrieve seasonal items later on.
2. Assemble your tools. You're likelier to do a better job packing if the right tools are at your fingertips. Secure cardboard boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, moving blankets and/or markers well before your move, and make sure you call at least two weeks ahead to reserve your moving vehicle at PenskeTruckRental.com. A 12- to 16-foot truck is often perfectly sized to transport the contents of a dorm room or apartment, but such rentals tend to get booked up quickly during the ultra-busy summer and fall moving seasons.
3. Identify everything. Start packing several days ahead so the process seems less burdensome, saving daily-use items for the last 48 hours. Mark the outside of packed boxes with descriptions so contents are unmistakable and will be easy to find even if mixed with other students' belongings.
4. Keep crucial items separate. Instead of inadvertently packing away important papers, identification, credit cards, medications, glasses or contacts and other important items, set aside a 'carry-on' bag you'll keep in your car during your travels.
5. Pack your truck strategically. Use your space well by positioning heavier items in the back of your vehicle before proceeding with lighter items. That optimizes the vehicle's power and allows you to fit smaller items into smaller spaces.
6. Drive safely. Getting behind the wheel of a moving truck need not be intimidating as long as you keep a few precautions in mind. Handling the extra size and weight requires that you avoid sharp turns, brake earlier before stopping and navigate around low branches or building overhangs. Depending on the length of your drive you may also wish to pre-map your route, review weather forecasts, avoid rush hour and leave yourself extra time for breaks, refueling and unloading.
7. Stay secure. Unfortunately, students are often targeted for theft during the hectic moving process. Protect your belongings by parking only in well-lit and well-attended areas when you stop, and padlocking the back doors of your vehicle when it's not in use.
Back-to-college time can be ultra-busy while filled with anticipation and hope for what lies ahead. For more tips on making your move to campus smooth and easy, visit PenskeTruckRental.com.