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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All College Topic Podcast Episodes:

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

Episode 40: The problem with HUGE goals

Hello, my ah-mazing empty nest friend!
 
Do you have huge goals in your life but don’t know where to start? The huge goals are just the beginning. Today, I talk about how to view your big goals in a way that will allow you to take action in your life. I can’t wait to see what you do! 
 
Take a listen or read the full transcript below. 
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What You Will Learn in this Episode: 

    • Why a big goal may cause inaction in your life
    • How to notice your go-to big thought that causes inaction
    • What to do when you notice your too-big thoughts and goals

Episode Questions for You To Consider

  1. Do you have a BIG goal that is causing inaction in your life?
  2. Are you ready to notice where you need to challenge yourself more?

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

Episode 39: Courage Addiction

Hello, my ah-mazing empty nest friend!
 
I have a quick message for you today about being courageous. 
 
Enjoy! 
 
Take a listen or read the full transcript below. 
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What You Will Learn in this Episode: 

    • To consider doing things while being afraid
    • To gain confidence by stepping into situations that require courage
    • That you are stronger than any emotion that will arise when you are afraid

Episode Questions for You To Consider

  1. What have you done that required courage? 
  2. Are you ready to notice where you need to challenge yourself more?

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

Episode 38: Michele’s Story, Loving Through the Empty Nest, Raped as a Teenager and How it Changed Her Life

Hello, my ah-mazing empty nest friend!
 
In this episode, Michele shares a portion of her life story with us and opens up to show us what helped her get through the remaining emotions and trauma she had from a teenage rape – or should I say, “who helped her.” The gift she received is one we all can learn from for our life. 
 
Your complete presence in any moment will allow you to comfort others in a way that they may not even know they need.
 
I invite you to listen to Michele’s story and share it with anyone who needs to hear it. 
 
Take a listen or read the full transcript below. 
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What You Will Learn in this Episode: 

    • An introduction to Michele
    • Michele’s story of overcoming a teenage rape
    • How Michele tells her story
    • What helped Michele to move on and own her story
    • Michele’s advice to parents
    • What Michele can’t live without
    • And more!

Episode Questions for You To Consider

  1. What have you had to overcome to become who you are today?
  2. How are you telling your story?

Announcements

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

Episode 37: Laughing Through the Empty Nest Transition with Jenn Musselman

Hello, my ah-mazing empty nest friend!
 
My guest, today, Jenn Musselman, is so much fun. She’s a closet coach, a certified professional life coach with a niche in closet coaching (more about that in the episode), and also manages one of my favorite places to hang out – and get my hair done – Reveal Salon, located in Chester Springs, PA. One visit there and you’ll know why I think of it so fondly.
 
Jenn chose to be open and honest with us in sharing some of the thoughts she’s had as her youngest heads off to college. She surprised herself with a couple of them and one she even had herself questioning, “where did this thought come from?” Now, if you have listened to a few of my episodes or more, you know I view observing and questioning your thoughts as healthy.
 
A special thanks to Jenn for joining me and for opening up to us in this way. May you find some comfort in what she shares. Take a moment to follow her on Instagram or Facebook while you are here. Links are below!
 
Take a listen or read the full transcript below. 
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What You Will Learn in this Episode: 

    • An introduction to Jenn Musselman
    • The freedom in laughing at your thoughts
    • How your thoughts may be a bit more unusual than what you are used to
    • To consider talking about your emotions and thoughts
    • What Jenn offers as a closet coach
    • What Jenn is addicted to
    • And more!

Episode Questions for You To Consider

  1. What is the wildest thought you have had leading up to or going through the empty nest transition?
  2. Do you think Jenn should do stand-up because I think she’d be great! 

Where to Find Jenn

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

Episode 36: Walking Through the Empty Nest Transition with Jo Davies

Hello, my ah-mazing empty nest friend!
 
I am thrilled to bring this episode to you.
 
I enjoy scrolling through Instagram and making new connections on that platform. One account that always makes me smile is Midlife Highway, which is run by the ever so funny, Jo Davies. 
 
Jo has supremely fresh and funny posts and is highly engaged on the platform. She shared a few photos and Insta stories about her walk on the Camino de Santiago this year. The stories piqued my interest, and a few thoughts arrived in my head: I would like to know more about this walk, and I would like to know more about Jo. I bet some of her other followers would like to know more, too. I’m going to invite her to be a guest on my podcast.
 
I did.
 
And she said, “Yes!”
 
Not only that, she took the interview call while she was on holiday/vacation, and stayed up late! She’s got the amazing thing figured out! 
 
This conversation, along with my recent camping trip, simmered together to inspire me to create my GPS Reset Weekend: Unplugged and Charged Up retreats. A shout out to Jo for being a vital part of that recipe!
 
I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I enjoyed speaking with her.
 
Take a listen or read the full transcript below. 
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What You Will Learn in this Episode: 

    • An introduction to Jo Davies
    • What inspired Jo to walk the Camino de Santiago
    • The impact of the walk in her life and why she has made it an annual walk
    • Jo’s advice to future empty nesters
    • And more!

Episode Questions for You To Consider

  1. Have you ever done a long walk such as the ones Jo has completed? 
  2. Would you ever consider doing a walk like this?

Where to Find Jo

Announcements

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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.