College Move-In Day: Tips & Helpful Items

Hello, my ah-mazing empty nest friend!
 
Here we go. Move-in day:  it looms ahead in the distance and then suddenly – WHACK – here it is. We are hit with the balance of being excited for our child as they begin their next adventure and the heavy emotions that arise when you realize they won’t be in your home to check up on anymore.
 
With my daughter heading into her junior year of college, bittersweet sums up my feelings this time of year. I’m unbelievably thrilled for where she is in life and feel her independence acutely. This makes me proud, happy, and excited for her. I can’t wait to see what she does. 
 
Will I miss her? Oh my goodness, you betcha! But this journey isn’t mine, it is hers, and it opens up my life to be sure I am on the right path moving forward. Sure, it can feel like part of me is breaking off but this experience allows both her and I to grow in ways that we couldn’t if she were to not be who she is meant to be. 
 
Whew, though, those emotions that come up – when you least expect them, they can be brutal.
 
My recommendation is to observe them and don’t run from them. Ignoring the emotions will create a resistance that has them always wanting to bubble up – but by noticing them, claiming them and processing through them, you become powerful! I know that you are strong enough to get through those emotions– no matter what they are. 
 
Anyway, below, I share with you five things that, being in year three of this journey, I have found helpful, or that I wish we had thought of earlier for move-in.
 
Our situation is that our daughter’s college is five hours from home, and we have a minivan to move things – so things that I find useful, may not apply to you. As always, take what I offer and consider if it will benefit your life. 
 
The following information is about the “stuff.” Life skills are a pretty big deal, and I talk about that in episode 32 of my podcast: What Life Skills Does My Child Need For College? My podcast is all about helping mothers through this transition, so if you are having a difficult time, I invite you to take a listen!
 
As always, Google will provide you with an overabundance  of information on what you should pack for college. I can’t possibly cover all of that, but I’d like to share with you my top five items. Also, two recent posts that I have found helpful are: 
 
My list below does contain affiliate links. By using my links, you support my podcast. Thank you!
 
Below are my top five college move-in essential items:
 

IKEA BAGS

These are the fantastic Ikea bags that we’ve had for years (before college). They are excellent to throw things in (bedding/pillows in particular), and they easily store in a dorm room. I had no idea you could get them with zippers, too!

COMMAND HOOKS

Command hooks and poster strips are unbelievably helpful. A place for keys? Got it! Need to put up an important piece of paper you got at move-in that you are afraid you’ll lose? Use a poster strip (there is a variety of sizes, too)!

WAGON

I love, love, love this wagon. This is one of the items that I purchased in year two of my daughter’s college years, and I wish I would have had it earlier. It was life-changing. There were days where I’d make the trip to her school and back in one day. Without the wagon, I was EXHAUSTED. With the wagon, it was a breeze because I didn’t even have to pull the thing – someone else always offered!

SMALL TOOLKIT

A toolkit is one of the things you think you won’t need, but in life’s rogue moments, a screwdriver would be incredibly helpful. It won’t only help your child (if you leave it with them), but if others find out they have a toolkit, there is a natural way to meet new people. We don’t have this specific kit, but it is an example of one.

TIME

No link here. This is a reminder to pad your time on move-in and move-out days to allow yourself and your child the flexibility to stop and chat with others; take advantage of something you may not have foreseen, should the moment arise; or, run to a local store if you see they need something. It gives all of you the freedom to be flexible. Also, other than taking a few photos, this is a lovely opportunity to stay off your phone and be fully present.

What are your top items for move-in? I invite you to share below.

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You are preparing for the empty nest ahead as your child(ren) prepares, heads off to, and experiences college.

College Moms Conversation on The Scholarship Shark Podcast

Recently, I was a guest on the Scholarship Shark podcast!

The lovely Pam Andrews hosts this podcast and invited a couple of amazing ladies and me to share our thoughts and experiences as college moms. I had a tremendous amount of fun chatting with Pam, Monica, and Debbie!

Take a listen to The Scholarship Shark, episode #92 wherever you listen to podcasts or click here to listen now, via her website.

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Your Empty Nest Coach Podcast, Episode 19: Let’s Talk about Extracurriculars

Hello, my Empty Nest Friend!
 
I am unbelievably excited to have Carolyn Allison Caplan AKA Admissions Mom as a guest on my episode, today. Honestly, I could have spoken with Carolyn for hours, but, alas, I had to return to work from my lunch break.  But, no worries, we already discussed having her back on the podcast. Yay! 
 
In this episode, we chat about those extracurricular activities that are so necessary for a college application. Carolyn’s viewpoint is one that I adore, and her heart for the students she assists is evident and infectious. Seriously, take a look at the karma this amazing lady has on Reddit! Good stuff!
 
Whether you have a kiddo heading off to college in the next few years or not, there are tremendous nuggets of wisdom in this conversation with Carolyn. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed chatting with her (look at that screenshot)! As always, thanks for listening!
 
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What You Will Learn in this Episode: 

  • How important extracurricular activities are in the college admission process.
  • Is there a magic number of extracurricular activities?
  • Is there such a thing as too many extracurricular activities? 
  • Should I, as a mother, be concerned about my child’s lack of participation in school activities?
  • The importance of leadership in your own life.
  • Carolyn’s Star Shaped Philosophy
  • Great Community extracurricular activity suggestions.
  • How awesome Houston’s weather is most of the year
  • And more!

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Episode Resources

Episode Questions for You To Consider

  1. Did AdmissonsMom give you a new perspective on extracurriculars? 
  2. How do you feel about extracurriculars? 

Where to find this episode’s guest, AdmissionsMom:

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Full Transcript

You are preparing for the empty nest ahead as your child(ren) prepares, heads off to, and experiences college.