Do you really need that? Student tips on packing light

Students around the globe are packing their bags in preparation for their first year of college. To help new Tulane students get ready for Move-in Day on Wednesday, Aug. 22, the Office of Sustainability has compiled some packing tips to help them eliminate the ever-common issue of overpacking.

“The Office of Sustainability collaborates with students, staff, faculty and community partners to reduce the university’s environmental impact and promote a culture of sustainability,” said Liz Hoekstra, assistant director for the Office of Sustainability.

Hoekstra noted that students moving into and out of residence halls can generate excess unwanted items and waste on campus.

“It's a great way to be sustainable while supporting local causes.”

— Liz Hoekstra, assistant director for the Office of Sustainability

“During move-out at the end of every school year, we have a huge amount of waste on campus. A lot of it is perfectly usable stuff, but there is just so much of it,” said Hoekstra.

As a first step toward packing lighter and cutting down on waste, Hoekstra suggests that students coordinate with roommates before moving into their new space.

That way, they won't end up with multiple hair dryers or other appliances,” she said.

Hoekstra also pointed out that many students buy mattress toppers before testing out their new dorm bedding.

“We end up with many mattress toppers at the end of the school year that get tossed out. I would definitely recommend getting here and checking how your bedding feels first,” she added.

“Another good tip is to just bring the clothing that you'll need for the season,” said Hoekstra, noting that students can swap out their seasonal clothing during holidays at home.

To avoid using plastic bags to haul belongings, Hoekstra also suggested that students consider packing items in cardboard boxes.

“Then you can break them down and store them under the bed. When it’s time to move out, you can repack your stuff in the same boxes,” she said.

Students can also save space in their suitcases by buying gently used dorm essentials from resources like the student-led nonprofit organization Trash to Treasure.

Selling discounted items collected from residence halls at the end of the spring semester, the Trash to Treasure sale will take place in Dixon Hall on Wednesday, Aug. 22, Thursday, Aug. 23, and Saturday, Aug. 25.

Profits from the annual sale are donated to local charities.

“It's a great way to be sustainable while supporting local causes,” said Hoekstra.