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  • Writer's pictureLisa Harris

How Did This Happen So Fast? Now, Pass the Swiffer

We moved into our house eighteen summers ago. Two bedrooms upstairs and our master bedroom on the first floor. With our newborn son one flight up, we invested in the most reliable baby monitors known to humankind and checked them frequently.

Fast forward to yesterday and we’re moving that now 18-year-old out of his upstairs bedroom and into a college dorm room … and yes, we left the baby monitor behind!

While nostalgic memories and thoughts of “how did this happen so fast?” kept swirling through my head, I was determined to save my tears for the car ride home (lucky hubby!) and call upon my organizing skills to make his move-in experience a fun and easy day for all of us!

So here are the top 5 things I remembered to bring and do, picked up from others, or learned for the next time:

1. Where’s your Outlet? – At no point during your college student’s experience will you say “Wow, this room has too many outlets! And they’re placed exactly where they should be!” Plan on the need for extension cords and a multiport surge protector with an extension. I like this one from Belkin that it has a flat plug, because their bed/dresser will otherwise stick out from the wall.

2. At your Command – If you’ve started your “off to college” research, you’re familiar with the flexibility and ease of using 3M Command strips and hooks (see picture).

However, my son had some thin framed posters that didn’t effectively support them. I placed a call to their customer service who recommended these strong, metal, easy to use universal picture hangers that work great for sawtooth or wire backed frames. My only caution is that you read the instructions and specifications carefully to make sure they work well for your specific situation. And bring rubbing alcohol to prepare the wall if called for.

3. It’s in the Bag – Another common tip is using Ikea’s durable and popular large blue FRAKTA bag instead of heavier duffle bags or suitcases. They fit into tight spots in your car, fold up small, and can be stored easily for move out day! As of this blog, they’re only $1.49 a piece! My suggestion is to buy at least one zippered FRAKTA bag. Just under $5, this bag can double as storage for the other bags. It can also be used as a backpack for trips home, to do laundry, or both!

4. About the Swiffer – My inspiration for the topic of this blog was watching my son use the Swiffer to dust the walls (never thought I’d see that) He was so surprised by what it collected that he asked to keep it! If your student is sensitive to dust, it’s consoling to know they’re moving into a relatively dust-free space.

5. What to Bring – In addition to the Swiffer, supplies that came in handy included rubber gloves, paper towels, and cleaning wipes. For tools, my husband packed his cordless drill and driver for items we needed to assemble/reassemble, a tape measure, a hammer (who knows?), scissors, a pliers and a multi-tool. He even wore his super-hero utility belt; a mini hardware store that comes with a bottle opener. One call-out for next time is to bring extra screws.

So that’s the beginning of my list, while it’s fresh in my mind. I’ll be sure to send this out early next season for those heading off to school next year. What tips have you learned that I should include for next year?

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