Tips for Parents
Stuff Sorting & Preparing to Pack
For instance, consider furniture. Your student will be provided with the necessities within his residence hall room. To augment this, maybe a large couch isn't such a good idea! Instead, he can bring along two large floor pillows (that can be stashed on the bed when not in use), a video game chair that sits on the floor, a beanbag or one of those inflatable chairs. They all provide comfort while not eating up valuable room space.
Also help your student think about her wardrobe. Those bulky sweaters that provide such a reprieve in December will only serve to take up closet and dresser space during the warmer months. So, can she pick up winter clothing during a break period instead? Or can it be mailed to her? Another option is making sure she has space to stash a suitcase full of winter clothes below her bed, out of the way until needed.
When it comes to books and papers, help your student remember that he'll be acquiring a lot of them when purchasing class materials at the campus bookstore. The shelves and files will fill up quickly! It's okay to bring along some favorite books and papers from home — just not too many. And maybe that huge dictionary isn't the most practical ... it could be time to opt for the medium-size version instead.
An area where many students get hung up is "personal stuff," from framed photos to graduation gifts to knick-knacks with meaning. There is no way that all of this can fit in one residence hall room, plus, when there's too much, it can make things seem less special. Encourage your student to pick and choose carefully — and to leave things that are really valuable at home.
The great stuff sort-through is part of the packing process. Encourage your student to start simple, without excessive stuff, until he is familiar with his roommate and his space. He can always add things in. This way, he won't get frustrated and you won't be left with a car full of items to truck back home once moving day is over!
Take Stock of Belongings
And when your student gets to school, he can ask about an "Operation ID"-type program, often run by the campus public safety department in conjunction with residence life. They provide an engraver so students can engrave an ID number (NOT their Social Security number!) on the back of major items and then keep a list on file with public safety as a precaution, in case anything is stolen.
Thinking ahead to those "what if" scenarios where students' belongings can be compromised may not feel great, yet it can help you and your student be proactive while adding to your peace of mind. And that can be priceless!
Source: Missouri Department of Insurance, http://insurance.mo.gov
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