Packing sucks, definitely. You won’t get an argument from me. You start off all gung-ho—“Now I’ll really get a chance to clean this place out! I’ll Marie Kondo the heck out of this trash heap, only joy-sparking items allowed!”—but after three boxes you run out of steam and wish you could Mary Poppins the heck out of the place instead. (You
Packing is also a fact of life, and if you’re a student moving into a new apartment or a residence, or if you’re moving out of your parents’ place for the first time, it’s definitely not how you want to spend your last few days of summer.
Of course, only you know what exactly your specific packing needs are. For example, are you moving into a bigger place? A smaller place? A bachelor apartment on your own? Lots of roommates? One very special roommate? Will there be a hot plate/shared bathroom scenario in your future?
Here’s a mixed bag of (hopefully) universal tips on how to do this ubiquitous adult life experience well. Consider this almost as good as someone helping you move. In fact, you can use these very pages to wrap your valuables, we don’t mind.
Monique Dupuy was featured on CBC News in 2014 purely due to her undeniable skill at packing a rolling suitcase. She’s travelled the world with said mini-suitcase and has moved from
If you’re moving from your childhood home, Dupuy suggests packing “a bin of shit you care about from your childhood and asking your mom to keep it warm and dry. In 20 years it’ll be good for a laugh and to remind you that you lived a life.
“Leave hobby shit at home and if you really can’t live without it, bring it when you come back after holidays.”
Chances are your parents will try to pawn off their bazillion old cookie sheets on you, accept these (and offers like them) with caution. Most students don’t need more than one old dented cookie sheet. You shouldn’t be baking anyway. You’re there to learn.
“If you have a roommate figure out who’s bringing the record player and who’s bringing the Nintendo Switch,” says Dupuy. See, the sharing starts already! “If you have more than one roommate, invest in a four slice toaster. If you have a big counter then consider a toaster oven. But if you’re living alone do you really even need a toaster? These are discussions I’ve had in real life in the past month. About toast.”
These are questions you must look within yourself to answer.
“Hang art by consensus: Ask yourself not, ‘Is this my preference?’ But, ‘Can I live with this?’” My sweet spot is somewhere between Klimt’s “The Kiss” and all those Pink Floyd albums on the naked women. But you do you.
In general, Dupuy highlights the annoyance of packing—keeping your stuff in boxes (or laundry hampers, suitcases or garbage bags) for any amount of time is not ideal, I don’t care what The Minimalists say. “Make a point list of stuff in each box and number the boxes, because you will not unpack everything before you need something,” she says. “Don't move anything that is replaceable for under, say, $20.”
A lot of moving actually means moving your shit to the curb in a free box (or to Bunz—think of all those ciders and Scentsy thingers). “Don’t pack anything you can stream,” says Dupuy. “Be realistic about how many pairs of shoes you need.”
And now a major lesson I’ve never learned: what to do with your goddamned plants. Dupuy says forget it, go scorched earth, but if you must, “mint is prolific and sharpens the mind. But plants are hard to move.” So is everything, sister!