Best Ways to Pack to Move Out of Your Dorm Room

Hello, World.

Today was my last day of Spring semester! Can you believe it? I sure can’t. Now that official classes are over, that means that I need to start thinking about final exams and… packing. Someone once told me you should try to pack before finals, and while I think this is a great idea in theory, I prefer to wait until DURING finals to pack. Packing during finals gives me something to do as a study break, and it also keeps me calm because I’m pretty sure if I was almost completely packed before my finals started I would feel like I had no time left to study, and I would mentally move past the semester. So, I thought I would share some tips I’ve discovered over the last two years about packing to move out. Moving out is much different than moving in because you’re mentally drained, physically exhausted, and ready for summer. Moving in is when you’re excited and well rested, but by the time May rolls around you’re ready to just through all your belongings either in your trunk or the trash.

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1. Take inventory. It is highly important to know exactly how much stuff you have, and it’s equally as important to know all the things that you have. Over the course of the academic year, you’re going to acquire SO much stuff, whether it’s free stuff from collegiate events, new items from shopping trips, stuff your parents brought your, gifts, etc. The first step to having a successful packing experience is knowing what you have so you can make a list of everything that needs to be packed.

2. Separate into three categories. Once you know everything you have, you should separate everything into three categories so you can see what needs to be packed with what. So, the first category is what you’ll need over the summer. This will likely include clothing, contacts or glasses, hair products, etc. The second category is stuff you won’t be using again until the fall. When considering this, consider what you have at home. Last summer I thought I would need a bunch of stuff and decided to take it with me, but halfway through summer I realized I didn’t need it because I had one at home that I used. There are numerous things I use everyday at school, but only because I’m not at home. The third category is stuff you won’t use again. This may include an old agenda, a fan, clothing, etc. Consider selling this stuff to a friend or throwing it away (namely old agendas and such).

3. Go through textbooks, papers, binders, and all schoolwork. There may be textbooks that you will never open again or had such a bad experience with that you never want to see it once the semester ends (that would geology for me). Think about selling these books back either to your campus bookstore or amazon.com or Chegg. This will cut down what you have to pack! Also, go through all school work and if pick out anything you want to keep (like a huge project or a paper you got a great grade on). Whatever you don’t want to keep throw in the recycling! Also, if your binders are in rough shape, think about throwing them away while you’re still at school so you don’t have to worry about packing them. Make sure that you’re keeping all important study material, though. DO NOT do this step until you’ve already taken the final.

4. Look into a storage unit. I live just far enough from campus that using a storage unit near campus is ideal. I hate having to take my mini fridge, storage mechanisms, microwave, and stuff that I won’t use until fall all the way home. My friend and I split a storage unit every summer because we both like to store stuff, and it makes it easier to keep your room de-cluttered while you’re at home. A lot of storage places near college campuses will offer a student discount, so look into that possibility!

5. Use Space Bags. Using Space Bags saves SO much room when trying to pack clothing, bedding, and towels. My clothing usually takes up the most room because I, well, have a bit of a clothing addiction. Space bags, however, make everything much more manageable when packing.

6. Use plastic tubs or medium boxes to pack decorations. I typically use plastic tubs when packing my room because they are a little easier. They hold up better, they’re durable, and it’s easier to see what is packed in it so you know where to put it when you get home. Medium boxes are a great alternative if you prefer them, but I usually go with tubs.

7. Use furniture as a packing method. Did you buy under-bed storage in August? How about a book case? Well, wrap your mugs in newspaper, or books you’re going to need in the fall, and pack them in the furniture you’re already taking home. This will cut down the amount of boxes or tubs you’ll need, and get everything home safely.

8. Collect all items that are scrapbook worthy in a common place. Since I typically try to make a scrapbook of my school year, I pack all the items I want to include in my scrapbook in the same place so I don’t have to rummage through a ton of things to find them when it comes time to make my scrapbook.

9. Unplug fridge and microwave. You’re going to want to clean you mini-fridge out (and let it defrost), and you’ll want to wipe out your microwave before you move home. Unless you’re moving into an apartment, there is a slim chance either of these items will be used over the summer, so make sure they are clean while you store them. There’s nothing like opening your fridge in August and finding something rotted… That’d be gross on multiple levels.

10. Plan for Travel. This is probably one of the biggest tips I can offer you… be aware of travel conditions. Driving a long way? Have a tiny car? Are you using a truck? Are you flying? These are all questions to consider. Travel experience can change the best way to pack and what should be taken home. I have roughly a three hour car ride, but I must keep in mind how much I can actually fit into my car, how much space I have, any weird nooks, etc. Make sure you’re aware of how much space you actually have in your car (consider any people who will be taking up room), and also make sure you know how much weight your car can hold. Take into account wrapping all breakable items and where they should be put in your car!

How do you pack to move home?

Happy finals week to those still preparing for exams, and happy packing!

Truly,
Callie leigh

4 Quick Study Breaks for Finals Week

Hello, World.

Guess what today is? If you answered Thursday, you are correct, but this Thursday is important for a few reasons. Today marks one week from me moving home, one week from my last final exam, and one week from the end of my second year in college! It’s crazy to me how quickly college is going by, and I’m actually quite sad about how fast the days are going. I’m heading to Starbucks soon to study with a friend, partly because I have a coffee addiction, and partly because it’s getting close enough to finals that everyone in the English-speaking world is holed up in the library. As I begin my intense, crazy, relentless days of studying, though, I am thinking about breaks. I am the type of person who has to take breaks every hour while I study because otherwise I become a stressed out, emotional, unable to retain anything person. I also get hungry and grouchy, but that’s beside the point. So, in light of studying and breaking and all that jazz, I thought I would share my favorite four study breaks with you!

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First, try painting your nails as a way to de-stress and gain a little motivation to keep studying. I’m so OCD that I actually have trouble concentrating if my nails are chipped, so I will take twenty minutes or so to paint my nails before book my textbook back up.

Second, I will be utilizing this break as much as possible this week because I have yet to start packing, and as I look at the stuff in my room, I know its going to take me a while. Not only do I bring a ton of stuff with me in August, but I also acquire SO much stuff throughout the year. Packing will give you incentive to keep studying so you can be done, but will also help you get that much closer to leaving!

Third, two days ago one of my best friends walked into my room looking stressed out of her mind and asked, “Anyone up for a run? I need to move or I’m going to explode.” Let’s just say runs can relieve stress, they can get your endorphins moving, and they make you feel way calmer so you can study without having any anxiety.

Last but not least, we have one of my personal favorite study breaks! Starbucks with friends, of course. My friends and I always ask each other to go grab some kind of coffee drink because we need the caffeine, we need to talk and laugh for a bit, and we need to do something other than stare at a semester’s worth of school work.

How do you study for classes?

Truly,
Callie leigh

Champagne Taste, Beer Budget

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Hello World. Something my friends and I talk about when conversing about clothing is how hard it is to have expensive taste while being on a budget or trying to save money. A lot of really cute clothes cost a lot of money, and it seems like buying clothes is becoming a more expensive process with each passing year. Outlet malls seem to be gaining popularity, but I still feel like there are a ton of places that offer amazingly cute clothing that is way less than if you shop exclusively at JCrew, Banana Republic, Urban Outfitters, or Free People. Here I’ve compiled a list of stores that I like that have awesome deals and a wide variety of clothing. I like to call this my “champagne taste, beer budget” list. Sometimes the look we have in our heads doesn’t match the amount of money we have in our wallets, similar to how you can want pink champagne for your birthday party, but can only really afford a nice ale. Image

Have you ever shopped at ASOS? They have great deals, and adorable clothing. From the UK, they offer tons of retro-inspired pieces, but also a lot of modern, uh, “hipster” if you will, clothing. Their sale sections has great prices, and awesome pieces. There are also tons of great sun dresses, and cutoff shorts for summertime! Their sales are often up to 70% off, so make sure you head over to asos.com to shop for some summer necessities! Image If you watched Laguna Beach or The Hills, or paid attention to pop culture in the early 2000s, you’re probably familiar with Lauren Conrad. She’s always had a great sense of style, and her job at Teen Vogue and other fashion-industry based places probably enhanced her style choices. Her line, LC Lauren Conrad, at Kohls are great pieces for super low prices. Though I don’t love all he materials her pieces are made in, I still love her pieces. She has adorable colored denim, summer tops, and awesome summer dresses.

Image Forever 21, as most of you know, is a great store to get cute items for less. Having a huge selection, it is almost impossible to enter a Forever 21 and leave empty handed. They have adorable jewelry, nail polish, dresses, blazers, tops, and shorts. Their summer sandal selection is also really great. Personally, I love the jewelry, but I also find tops that I really like. Image

Modcloth is an online shopping center that has amazing retro, vintage-inspired clothing. If you’re a fan of the clothing on Mad Men, this is the place for you. This store is widely popular among bloggers, and they offer so many adorable items. Their bags, home accessories, dresses, and jewelry are among my favorite sections. For shopping on a budget, I recommend the sale section. For this site, I usually pick out items, then wait a long time to see if they go on sale, and if they do, I grab them!

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I feel like  a lot of people underestimate what Target has to offer. I’ll admit, I’m kind of a fast shopper so if I have to dig through racks to find items, I have a hard time. It stresses me out. However, Target has great deals, and really great items. There are many times when I pick out something at JCrew or something, and find it too expensive, so I try Target because they have a ton of great, similar items. They also have a great selection of tights and leggings, as well as summer dresses.

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The last place I would suggest as a place to shop that has pieces very similar to upscale stores that has affordable price tags is H&M. I know a lot of people that absolutely love H&M, and I usually find super cute things here. Sometimes it is hard for me to shop here because I’m pretty tall, so the dresses are a little on the short side, but the tops are always a great find. If for some reason you can’t find what you’re looking for at any of these stores, I would recommend looking at outlet or factory stores. Sometimes if you like an item, but wait a little bit, it’ll go on sale for a great price, but it just depends. You also have to think about what is practical. Maybe it’s a great price, but you don’t totally love it, and you won’t be able to wear it for a season or two (fall piece bought during spring in example), you should probably wait until you find something you love for an equally low price elsewhere! Part of saving money on clothes is looking a LOT, and waiting until you’re absolutely in love with an item. Where do you like to shop on a budget?

Best,

Callie leigh

5 Quick Tips for Improving Time Management

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Hello, World.

Today is Sunday, and that means that midterms are finally finished, I feel way less stressed, and I’m a happier person. However, last week was extremely hectic, and it reminded me how important time management is. So, this week I wanted to stop in, and share 5 quick tips for improving your time management. As college students, employees, etc., we lead busy lives, and sometimes it is hard to find a balance between work and play. But I have five ways to make enjoying life and being successful a little easier:

1) Figure out the time of day you’re most productive, and accomplish a bulk of your work during that time. I know that my schedule works better if I am in class in the morning, and have the rest of the early to mid afternoon to finish homework, projects, or essays. Once 3pm hits, I am basically useless for a few hours, so I take this time to go for a walk, work out, watch a TV show, etc. I plan my schedule according to when I will be most productive, least productive, etc.

2) WRITE IT DOWN. I don’t know about you, but I am one of those weird people that cannot remember something if it is not written in my [color coded, extremely organized] planner. If it’s not on paper, it won’t be accomplished. Therefore, anytime I get my syllabus, I write all important deadlines, exam dates, etc. down to make sure I am aware of what is coming up. This also makes it easier to plan other events since you will know if scheduling an event on a Thursday night is going to affect your study time for a Friday exam.

3) Prioritize how you see fit. When I am planning my week, I make sure I know what is the first thing I need to accomplish, and what can wait. I prioritize from most important to least important, and often make to-do lists to keep track of what I need to be doing. I am constantly making sure I am accomplishing items with deadlines, that I am writing this blog, and that I spend time with friends.

4) Limit distractions. You know that moment when you’re trying to be productive, but your phone is buzzing, social media is getting more and more interesting, and your friends are stopping by to chat? Well, cut that off. Not completely, just temporarily. Limit the distractions around you while you’re trying to work. I often listen to classical music while I work [with headphones], and will sometimes turn my phone on airplane mode so I can’t be tempted. Do what you need to do to make sure you’re being productive.

5) Set up a routine. Habits die hard, so once you get into a routine, you’ll be pretty much set to make sure you’re getting things done. Make sure that your routine includes breaks, though, because we all need a little “me time” to ensure that we are, you know, remaining sane. Routines are great things to have to make sure you’re not falling behind, and that you’re staying on top of your game.

How do you manage your time? What could be better?

Truly,
Callie leigh