Going Home for the Summer

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  • It’s the universal truth of every freshman. You don’t know exactly what you’re going to need or want to have on hand at school so you pack light figuring you can ask your parents to mail you the things you’re missing or you can simply buy new or substitute items at the stores near campus. It’s almost a rite of passage for the freshman ASU student (well, every college student, really) to stand in his or her room in May (or June), look around and go “whoa…..where did all of this come from?”

    It truly is amazing just how much stuff you and your roommate managed to stuff into your tiny ASU dorm room, isn’t it?

    As much as you’d love to take everything home with you, you probably won’t be able to fit all of it into the car (or truck). This is where things get tricky: what do you save, what do you toss and what do you do with the things you want to save but can’t take home?

    Here are a few tips that you can use to make the packing process easier (on everyone):

    Start Sorting

    As you sort through everything in that tiny ASU dorm room, you’re going to want to make three basic piles:

    • Toss it out, that’s trash!
    • Pack up and take home
    • Store for next year

    Yes, every scrap of paper feels like a precious memory that needs to be preserved for your biographer. But here’s a good rule to follow: if you can’t read what you’ve scrawled, out it goes. If you can’t remember why you scrawled it, out it goes. Why? Because if you can’t remember now, even a few weeks or months later there is no way you’re going to remember ten years from now.

    Truthfully, the hardest decisions you’re going to have to make aren’t going to be about scrawled scraps of paper. They are going to be about things that you know you should keep for next year but that aren’t going to be able to make the move home with you for the summer.

    Before you freak out, remember: storage units were created for a reason. Even better, Phoenix storage units (well, most storage units located near college campuses if we’re being honest) are very affordable—especially if you join up with a few friends and split the cost. If you aren’t sure where these mythical storage spaces are located check online to find the most affordable units closest to you.
    So once you’ve locked down your summer Phoenix storage (or Buffalo, Chicago, Kansas City, wherever storage), what do you put in there?

    Bedding: your house is probably already stocked up on bedding. Why pack up something you’ll have when you get there?

    Winter clothes: This is especially true for you students who go to school in harsh winter climates. You probably won’t need to take those parkas and heavy sweaters home with you.

    Books and school supplies: You can store the textbooks you’ve decided to keep and/or sell next semester as well as any notebooks, pens, pencils, etc.

    Basically, the idea is that—depending upon how much space you’ve got, you want to store anything that you aren’t actually going to use over the summer and that you know you’re going to want next fall.

    Things you shouldn’t store?

    • Bath and body products
    • Food
    • Living things—obviously you know that pets can’t be put in a storage unit for months and be expected to survive, but the same rule applies to plants too. If you can’t take the plant home for the summer with you, ask a friend who is staying on campus to keep it for you.

    The basic rule of thumb when it comes to packing up your dorm room to go home for the summer is that the only things you should take home with you are things you know that you are going to need (summer clothes, grooming supplies, etc) or things that you know you want to keep safe but don’t necessarily want to let take up space in next year’s cube.


    If you’re lucky enough to have meal plan dollars left at the end of the term you’re likely going to have to “use ‘em or lose ‘em."  Unless you live locally, you probably won’t be able to transport cases of sodas and chips home. But you can buy those things on your meal card to zero it out and then sell them at cost to friends staying on campus. You won’t waste your meal dollars and you’ll get cash in your pocket for summer spending!

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