Moving strategies for those far from home

By Masaki Sugimoto, Editor-in-Chief

Moving out of your college apartment can be a relatively easy process for students who come from Illinois. You can simply have your parents come to pick you up, stuff the car with everything from your apartment and drive home in a few hours. But for many students who are international or out-of-state, the move-out period can be daunting.

For those students who can’t afford to drive home from school or take all of their possessions with them abroad, this can be a difficult and stressful time. Moving stuff can be an easy arrangement for many of their peers, but these non-native Illinois residents shouldn’t worry. There are plenty of options available when it comes to moving your stuff out for the summer.

Evaluate what you need

A good first step is to take an inventory of what you have and of what you don’t need. You may have used plastic cabinets in one apartment, but you may not need them in your new apartment if it comes with a full closet and a set of drawers. Those free t-shirts that seemed so great at the beginning of freshman year may not have been touched since you moved in, and if so, it may be time to get rid of them.

Knowing what you don’t need is a crucial step that can make moving your belongings an easier task overall.

Once you’ve created a pile of things to get rid of, you can try to sell the bigger items on Craigslist. You can then use this  extra money to replace any items you may need at the beginning of the next semester. Donate unwanted clothes or other small items to the local Goodwill.

Don’t be too quick to trash items like hangers or desk chairs that you know you will need in the future, though. Those could easily be replaced at the beginning of the next year, but buying them year after year can be far too expensive.

Please don’t be the person who throws their TV, printer or expensive computer in the trash.

Use a storage unit

Storing your items is a pretty good option. Look into local storage unit centers and see if you can afford them. I recommend sharing a unit with a friend so that you both pay less for the unit and have a secure place to leave everything. Some storage units can hold big things like cars, mattresses and other items that can seem impossible to take home with you.

If you and your friends pack things efficiently, you can store a lot of things in a storage unit. Do keep in mind, though, that getting to a storage unit often requires a car to transport stuff from your home to your unit.

Try to go the long haul

For out-of-state students, especially those on either of the coasts, it can be hard to rationalize driving back home. If you have a group of friends who are from the same area, you could consider renting a U-Haul or else sharing someone’s car to take a good amount of stuff home.

A road trip could be a fun way to start the summer, but keep in mind that there are a lot of logistical issues you have to work out, especially because it can be dangerous to drive for long amounts of time in places you are not familiar with. Look into this option with caution.

Whatever you do, don’t freak out. Explore your options early and often. A lot of students go through this dilemma, so just know that you are not alone.

Masaki is a senior in Media.

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