10 tips for making the move to college a smooth one

(BPT) - Moving to a college campus is an exciting experience for both students and parents. Whether you're destined for the dorms or will be sharing a modest apartment with other students, you'll need to pack strategically and move mindfully so you get just what you need to feel comfortable and be productive.

The moving experts at Penske Truck Rental offer 10 smart tips to help make college moves go smoothly:

1. Verify move-in dates

Colleges establish dates when students can move into on-campus housing. If you’ll be leasing an apartment off campus, agree with the landlord and any roommates on a date for your move. Once you know when you can move in, you can start preparing.

2. Use a checklist

When packing, use your college-provided checklist as a guide, and start setting aside the essential items needed to make your first term at school a success. College dorm rooms and apartments tend to be small, so avoid bringing unnecessary clothing, knickknacks or valuables and plan to revisit home to retrieve seasonal items later.

3. Ready tools

Gather cardboard boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, scissors, moving blankets and markers so they are ready for packing. Keep in one location for easy access.

4. Reserve a moving truck

Make sure you call at least two weeks ahead of your moving date to reserve a moving vehicle from Penske. A 12- to 16-foot truck is typically the ideal size to transport the contents of a dorm room or apartment, but these trucks book fast during the college moving season, so a reservation is recommended.

5. Label all boxes

Start packing several days ahead to reduce stress, saving daily-use items for the last 24 hours. Mark the outside of packed boxes with your name and descriptions so contents are unmistakable and will be easy to find even if mixed with other students’ belongings.

6. Keep necessities separate

Instead of inadvertently packing away important papers, identification, credit cards, medications, glasses or contacts and other important items, set aside a special bag you’ll keep in your car during your travels. Make sure to bring this bag with you or secure it in a locked space during any stops.

7. Pack the truck strategically

Position heavier items in the back of your vehicle before proceeding with lighter items. Not only does this allow you to fit smaller and lighter items into the remaining spaces, but that positioning helps to optimize the vehicle’s power so it drives better and you get more efficient gas mileage.

8. Drive safely

Driving a moving truck is different than driving a normal vehicle. Handling the extra size, height and weight requires that you avoid sharp turns, brake earlier before stopping and navigate around low branches and building overhangs.

9. Drive strategically

Depending on the length of your drive, you should consider pre-mapping your route, reviewing weather forecasts, avoiding rush hour and leaving yourself extra time for breaks, refueling and unloading.

10. Stay secure

Unfortunately, college students are a target for theft during the hectic moving process. Protect your belongings by parking only in well-lit and well-attended areas when you stop, and padlocking the back doors of your vehicle when it’s not in use.

Enjoy the excitement of moving to college without the stress when you follow these 10 simple tips. For more insight on making your move to campus smooth and easy, visit PenskeTruckRental.com.

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