Spring clean, pack up and move out — for less

Kelli Fitzpatrick

It seems like you were just restocking your residence hall room or apartment after winter break — and now it’s already time to move out. Students can start moving out of residence halls April 21, and must be out by May 4, according to Residence Services.

It’s never too early to formulate an exit plan. Follow these tips for an efficient, pain-free moving-out day.

The spring cleaning experts:

Mitch Wright, junior interior design major

Katie Fickle, junior public relations major and blogger at WhyPayMoreForDecor.Wordpress.com

Michele Tetenbaum, style adviser for design site Dormify.com

Jessica Hansen, writer of the dorm decorating blog LovelyUndergrad.com

Clearing spaces:

Start with your closets and dressers. Evaluate pieces you rarely wore this school year: Will you wear it more often in warmer weather, or do you really not like the piece anymore? Throw out what you don’t or hardly wear anymore. “This opens new opportunities to place items in those now cleaned-out space,” Wright said.

Move on to your desk or work area. Recycle old papers, but hold on to class material you’ll need for finals week. To reduce paper clutter in the future, consider creating a free Dropbox account, Wright said. You can save files and projects on the online storage site and print as needed.

Organize with Tote boxes. Use the large stackable containers to keep your space in order, Fickle said. The boxes start at $15.99 at ContainerStore.com. Fickle suggests donating old items to clothing drives or Goodwill.

Once you’ve cleared unwanted clothing and items, host a swap party with friends. Make some drinks and exchange items with one another.

“This way, you can give away things you don’t want and find treasures in someone else’s giveaways,” Tetenbaum said.

Packing it all up.

Compress bulky clothing and towels into flat packages. Space Bag travel bags, available on Amazon, start at $8.22 for a pack of four. You’ve seen products like this on TV infomercials: Load your clothes into a bag, squeeze out the air and fit a wardrobe in one suitcase.

Large duffel bags can be easily filled to the brim with bulky clothes (in space savers or not) due to their flexible fabric. When you’re done using it, the duffel bag can be folded up and stored away.

Inexpensive plastic storage bins can pack a lot and cost you little. Large Rubbermaid or Sterilite storage boxes start at around $10 on Target.com. “Buy big bins to store you winter clothes [so] they are out of the way for your spring clothes and your dresser is not exploding overcapacity,” Wright said.

Divide and conquer. Pack winter clothes and boots in one box and little-used décor items in another, Hansen said. Then, “label, label, label … You’ll be so thankful you did come next fall when it’s time to move back,” Hansen said.

Moving out.

Before it’s time to pack up two semesters’ worth of junk, ask friends and family members if anyone has a van, pickup truck or SUV you could borrow to transport your things. If not, rent a moving van and get going.

Other options:

U-haul in Kent (330-673-5585)

ABF U-Pack Moving (330-673-8545)

Budget Truck Rental at Portage Leasing (330-673-1827)

Contact Kelli Fitzpatrick at [email protected].