Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pack up for sustainable send off

There are only 21 days until summer vacation (not that I’m counting), and I am already starting to dread moving out. 

I feel like every year I accumulate more stuff, and the thought of having to move out this year is frightening. But there are ways to cut down on the amount of things you have to pack and to make moving more sustainable. 

The biggest factor in making move-out tolerable is planning ahead. Shoving things into boxes and every available space in your car the day of move out is not only stressful, but it often means throwing things out or ruining your stuff in the process. Make a plan at least a week before of what you need to pack and strategize your attack. 

To make moving out more sustainable, be sure to reuse boxes or use reusable containers to move. I have started to collect a few big boxes that I will start to fill in the coming weeks, and everything else will go in milk crates or storage bins that I already own. Good moving boxes can be found all over campus in or around recycling containers. 

When it comes time to actually pack and you are frightened by the hordes of junk (or treasured items if it may be), don’t be afraid to cut back. Donate all of your unwanted clothes and other items that are still usable to the locations in every dorm on campus or to a charity that accepts donations. 

There are also drop-off locations on Santa Clara's campus for used rugs and electronic waste. However, be sure that you only place broken items that run off of electricity in the e-waste drop off and donate all of your fans, vacuums and other electronic items that still work. 

Once you have donated a few items, your load should be lighter, but it’s still important to pack efficiently and carefully. This is especially important if you are flying home. 

Think back to the countless hours you spent playing Tetris, and try to fit as many items as possible in every box. The more you fit into each box, the fewer boxes you have to carry, and the better it fits into your car. If you have more than will fit in a single carload, consider placing some of your items in storage for the summer instead of using the gas and the time to make multiple trips. You can share storage units with friends to cut the cost. 

Don’t forget to try to pack similar items together and label your boxes to make unpacking quick and easy in the fall.

This article originally ran in The Santa Clara

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