We’re much too close to needing to know how to pack clothes for moving to college in my home. Once your child decides what to take to college, the next biggest challenge facing parents is how to pack and load all the stuff your child wants to take to college. We’ve started packing my daughter’s belongings and I thought I’d share some simple tips on how to pack clothes for college.
In my house, we’re getting closer to C-Day for Operation Take My Daughter to College. C-Day is the day that deployment (departure) begins. (Can you tell I worked in transportation when I was in the military?). While I’m not emotionally ready, I have to be ready to help my daughter get her things packed because she’s going, whether I’m ready or not.
With more than 20 moves (thanks to the military) under my belt, I’ve picked up quite a few tips that I’ve share about how to pack clothes for moving. These moving tips have served us just as well in packing and moving clothes to college.
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Pack Clothes for Moving to College
- What to Pack First
- How to Fold Clothes to be Packed
- What Type of Containers to Use for Packing
- How to Organize Clothes
- How to Keep Track of the Packed Items
What to Pack First
We’ll pack my daughter’s summer clothes in her suitcases since she’ll be using those clothing items up until the day we leave. But her fall and winter clothes can easily be packed up early.
Start by packing clothes that your child won’t be using until later in the fall or winter. Leave the summer clothes to pack last, in the last couple of days before she leaves.
How to Fold Clothes to Be Packed
I fold the clothes using my usual folding techniques. You can find all my folding tips in How to Fold Clothes and More. I take the time to fold each item so that it is as wide as the suitcase or box to maximize the space.
However you choose to fold the clothes, take the time to do it neatly to minimize wrinkling during the packing and moving process.
What Type of Containers to Use for Packing
Use the suitcases that your child will take to college for packing clothes. But in addition, I like these banker’s boxes for packing and moving. They’re small enough that even if you pack them full, you’ll be able to easily pick them up and carry them without much trouble. The built-in handles are key to making these boxes easy to manage. Plus they stack so nicely and neatly in your home, in the car and in the dorm room.
How to Organize Clothes
We started by separating her clothes into piles:
- fall items
- early winter (lighter weight winter items)
- sweaters (heavy winter sweaters)
This will allow her to store the boxes away for the first couple of months and then access each box as needed.
I packed one category in each box. I filed the clothes items so she can simply open the box and pull out the item she wants (no pawing through a pile to find what you want is on the very bottom).
We put her winter pajamas and socks in the fall box since it’s always cooler at night.
Early winter includes her lighter weight sweaters and jackets.
I folded her heavy coats and placed them in one box. This will probably be the last box she accesses.
How to Keep Track of Packed Items
I used removable labels so that she can reuse these boxes to pack away her summer clothes. I could have used a label maker, but I want her to have a piece of home when she sees mama’s handwriting on the labels in a couple of months.
Be sure to label each box clearly. This will help you when you prioritize what to unpack in the college dorm room in the limited time you have. It will also help your child decided what clothes to hang up and put in the dresser immediately and what clothes can stay in boxes until the weather changes in a month or two.
My daughter is even considering stacking 2 or 3 of these boxes as a nightstand. She’s looking for a pretty piece of fabric to dress up her storage box nightstand. I think she has a brilliant idea since storage space will be at a premium in her dorm room and we live too far away to pick stuff up. She has to live with all of it all year-long.
Whew,we’ve figured out how to pack clothes for moving to college. I shared the lessons I’ve learned moving my daughter to college and into dorm rooms. You can read more:
I’m a mom of 3, a veteran and military spouse. I’ve moved into 20+ homes all around the world. My passion is helping busy people make the space and time for what’s really important to them.