Tricks and Treats of Move out Day

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The dizzying atmosphere of sleep deprived college students moving out is the polar opposite of move in day. With finals over and friends saying goodbye, the last thing a college student wants to do is linger and be the last one to leave. Simplify move out day with these tried and true tips:

Totes:  Instead of finding more room in your house for accumulated college paraphernalia, box it all up in totes. Labeling these totes will cut your unpacking and organizing time in half when school starts up again. Consider totes for “bed”, “desk”, “kitchen”, “closet”, and “decorations”.  Totes come in all sizes, but go big when going home.

Time:  Packing up the car is best accomplished late at night. Everyone and his mother will try to secure early morning pack up duty. If possible, begin loading the car around 9:00 p.m. the night before. It will be cooler and you will have easy access to an elevator.

Tricks:  Wrap a trash bag around pillows coming home and use those pillows as buffers in the car to prevent valuables from sliding in the backseat. In addition, save the time and energy by transporting clothes on the hanger from the closet to the car. This should be the last step in packing since the clothes can rest on other boxes and totes without being crushed. If a fridge is coming home, use the dried out fridge space to store small, loose knick knacks so they do not get mixed up with everything else. Avoid severe pile up in the passenger seat. One hair pin turn can send a mountain tumbling on the driver.

Trays:  In the chaos of move out day, small necessities can unintentionally get taped up in boxes. Student ID’s, car keys, wallets, Chapstick, cell phone/cell phone chargers should always be placed in a designated tray. This tray will prevent frantic unpacking to find car keys ten minutes before hitting the road.

Tag:   Remain goal oriented but keep priorities in mind. Leave time for your son or daughter to exchange goodbyes with friends. It is easy to lose track of people since finals end at different times for everyone. Tracking down close friends feels a lot like playing tag on the last day, but allot a solid 20 minutes for photos and reminiscence before packing up the essentials tray and heading home.  

Treat:  After finals week, emotional goodbyes, and packing battle wounds, your college student will be exhausted. A quick ice cream/coffee stop on the way home is a thoughtful way to gently ease your son or daughter into summer mode after nonstop hard work all year. But never forget the golden rule when dealing with college students: a rested student is a happy student. If your son or daughter is fast asleep on the way home, keep driving and save the edibles for later.

No matter what your tactics are for move out day, stay patient, stay focused, and prioritize. With your support and help, packing up an entire year will not feel like a nightmare. You can meet a few friends, be the most organized family there, and come home with a ton of junk…plus one very loved, but perhaps semi conscious, college student.  

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College Costs HOW Much?! Financial Aid Tips to Prevent You from Losing Your Mind

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Today, two-thirds of college students have to take out loans to pay for their education, and the average borrower graduates with close to $27,000 in debt!  Right now, the standard repayment schedule is 10 years – meaning that your kids will likely have kids of their own before their college tuition is paid for!

Wouldn’t it be nice to help them come up with a payment plan that doesn’t need to be paid back (and, no, I’m not talking about winning the lottery, suddenly agreeing to a contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, or going on a bank robbing spree).
Instead, your kids can get scholarships and grants.  Neither has to be paid back.  But to get them, you (and your kids) will have to do some work now, before they head off to school.
To make things easier, try some of these tips!

Weekend at Home

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The first day of college marks the automatic fall break countdown. Students live for long weekends that provide a significant pause from the noise of university life. For the past few weeks your son or daughter has lived independently.  Family systems differ from these independent routines. Don’t waste limited time fighting over petty misunderstandings with your son or daughter during a long weekend. Read through the following Do’s and Don’ts of weekends at home to keep the peace and provide the perfect college getaway for a maxed out college student.

College Visits: Be There to Show You Care

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Oh, the joys of college visits. Parents drive for hours while their teenager snores in the backseat until they reach the campus. Then they attend an informational meeting led by a peppy college student who is employed by the admissions office, and this person cleverly highlights the college’s bright spots and manages to answer any question thrown his or her way, even if the answer has little to do with what was asked. Parents listen intently, especially when tuition is mentioned, and the potential students yawn and glance at cell phones. After a half hour or so, everyone is whisked away to tour the campus, which, they are assured, is the most picturesque, the most accessible, the safest, the greenest, etc. Tour guides point to buildings and give them apparently meaningful names and present a recently cleaned dorm room to the group’s inspection.

Should I Drop Our Home Phone?

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antique phone oldI am currently in the middle of this conundrum about whether to keep or cancel our home phone line. We are currently paying about $60 a month for this landline and with our cell phones we hardly seem to use it at all anymore. So the analysis and second-guessing is in full swing as I try to answer this question. What would you do….

The Big Guns of Closet Storage

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With barely any space for shoes, coats, and clean clothes in a college closet, dirty laundry is squeezed into any nook and cranny available. The inevitable result? Clean clothes fraternizing with the sweaty, haven’t-been-washed-in-three-weeks enemy. Secure an easy truce in the battle between clean and dirty laundry with these five Bed Bath and Beyond closet organizing essentials.

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