It’s almost time to send your child off to college, but how are you going to fit all of her belongings into your car? Check out my car packing organization ideas below before making those visits to the shop to stock up on school supplies and dorm requirements. They will help you pack more efficiently and safely.
College essentials are no longer limited to clothing and toiletries. Computers and other devices, furniture, and small appliances are among them. You’ll need to make sure your car is packed in a way that doesn’t obstruct your view and prevents stuff from becoming projectiles, as well as avoids you getting hit with traffic tickets!
Car-Packing Organization for Back to College: Before You Pack the Car
Use Storage Bins
When compared to trash bags or grocery sacks, it’s far easier to pack a car with regularly shaped objects, such as plastic bins. Plus, especially if you choose ones with handholds, plastic bins are considerably easier to tote up numerous flights of packed dorm stairs. Many dorms lack elevators, and those that do are likely to be overcrowded. Finally, unlike cardboard boxes, plastic bins will not rip or sag.
If your child will be storing extra towels and bed linens in under-bed storage boxes, place those items in the bins before you load up. The bin then goes straight from the car to beneath the bed, with no need to unload anything.
Make Sure Everyone Has an Essentials Bag
Not only should your kid have an essentials bag with them separate from the cargo, but you should too. Cell phones, simple toiletries, IDs, essential paperwork, a first aid kit and those all important electronics chargers are all things that should be close at hand. And maybe a few snacks and drinks, to save time and money on fast food and expensive convenience store purchases.
Make an Inventory List
As you pack things, take inventory and create a master list of just what is being transported. This can then be used at the end of the school year when it’s time to bring everything back home to help ensure nothing gets forgotten and left behind. Give one copy to your student and keep one for yourself – maybe use a shareable Google Doc for ease.
How to Pack Your Car for Back to College Trips
Practice Smart Prioritization
It’s tempting to pack everything you think your kids may need, but you should concentrate on items that aren’t readily available near their school.
Once you’ve arrived in their college town, go to the local grocery shop and mall to get any items that don’t need to be brought from home or are very cumbersome. Remind your kid that they only need a fraction of their clothes for each season. During the Thanksgiving break, they can switch their lighter clothing for winter coats and sweaters. So they really do not have to pack everything they own. This is good not just for car packing organization, but also for dorm room organization in general, as most dorm closets are very small.
Understand Your Vehicle’s Limits
You don’t have to pack your SUV or minivan to the brim just because you have one. Check the owner’s manual for information on the vehicle’s load capacity. If your load is heavier than your vehicle can properly manage, it might affect the handling, steering, tires, and fuel economy of your vehicle. And with gas the price it is, no one needs to pay more at the pump than they need to right now! Also, check the pressure in the vehicle’s tires before you get on the road to make sure the cargo hasn’t changed it.
Put Heavy Stuff Up Front
Keep the heaviest stuff on the floor and as far forward as feasible in the cargo compartment. The heaviest objects should be placed toward the center of the car in all vehicles, but especially SUVs. This lowers the vehicle’s overall center of gravity, reducing the risk of a rollover. Too much weight in the back may compress the vehicle’s rear springs, reducing the weight over the front wheels and impairing your ability to steer and brake.
Secure Loose Items
If the car comes to a sudden halt, cargo can fly across the cabin, so pack smaller items inside covered storage bins and use the cargo anchors to secure larger objects. To avoid striking passengers, secure storage bins and bigger things in the cargo section. Anything loose, big or small, should not be placed on top of the final cargo pile, since it could become a dangerous missile in the event of a panic stop or accident.
Don’t Obscure Your Rear View
Make sure your kid’s possessions aren’t piled so high that you can’t see out of the rear windshield. Driving becomes more difficult when the rear window is blocked, and backing up becomes more dangerous. You may also receive a traffic ticket if you do so, something you definitely don’t want.
Need help getting your kid packed and organized for college? Or have a home, office or life organization project you seriously want to accomplish but keep putting off? Book a free 15-minute Zoom consultation today and let’s chat about how Just Organized by Taya can help.