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Packing For College 

  • Start planning early. Involve the student in making lists. Walk around the house and see what they take for granted or usually borrow from you---tools, medicines, etc. They will soon realize how much they took for granted in your house and become a bit more appreciative!
  • If your student likes to shop, make getting ready a joint activity. If you have a non-shopper, come to an agreed upon compromise. Perhaps the student will help with the list and the packing, but leave the shopping to you. If you can never agree on anything when shopping, perhaps most of the shopping could be done with friends.
  • Remember that they do have stores in Eau Claire (even several within walking distance). Your student may appreciate the year's supply of shampoo and conditioner when you buy it, but she probably won't be so pleased when she tries to store it.
  • You can never have too many extension cords and power strips!
  • Pack an umbrella. As one student put it, while it may not seem cool to carry one, it is even less cool to arrive at class drenched from head to toe.
  • One parent suggested filling three buckets-- one with health and beauty items (first aid kit, cold medicines, toiletries); one with tools (hammer, screw driver, scissors); and one with other household stuff (tape, glue, needle and thread, safety pins, batteries, light bulbs if you bring a lamp)
  • Remind your student that he/she will have to get from the room to the bathroom and back, so pajamas, robes, caddies for toiletries are essential. Shower slippers are also great.
  • Remind your student that you can't fit an entire house into a dorm room. And remember, not everything needs to be brought to college the first week. Your student will return for a visit!
  • While not everything can come to college with the student, it is still important to respect your student's choices on what to bring. Before you voice the almost inevitable "You're not going to bring that." remember that the large, ragged stuffed elephant or the book series from third grade may have sentimental value of which you weren't aware.
  • Try to pack up the car the night before-it will relieve some of the stress of move-in day. And try to pack using boxes with lids-they stack more easily in the car.
  • Pack a "surprise" or two-a family picture, a box of cookies, a "good luck card," a $20 bill.
  • Read the housing information your student was sent and check out the Housing web-site (so you know what is provided in the residence hall rooms).
  • Make sure your student talks with his/her roommate about what each one is bringing. Commonly shared items include: Refrigerator, microwave, VCR/DVD Player, Television,Carpet, Stereo, Couch/chair/futon