(ARA) - As summer winds down, college freshmen - and sophomores, juniors and seniors - are gearing up to move onto campus. Whether you're moving to college for the first time or the third, you'll find there are ways to make your move smarter and, believe it or not, more enjoyable.

You can find many resources designed to lessen the headaches of moving, and it's worth it to use them. One of the most practical things you can do for a college move is to rent a moving truck. Since college moves often mean traveling long distances, it can be hard to get a lot of people to help with the move. Rather than stuffing gear into multiple vehicles, a truck is a good simplifying solution.

Rather than relying on guesswork, take some tips from the experts at Penske Truck Rental, who have been helping people move for more than 40 years:

1. Condense. It's quite likely that your space at college is going to be smaller than what you've been accustomed to living in at home. Stuffing every last thing you own into your moving boxes is a bad idea - you'll only end up with a cluttered mess in your new home. Start paring things down by considering what you need most and what you use most now. For instance, if you have some clothes that you like for special occasions but wear rarely, it's best not to bring them. Take the clothes, shoes and personal items that you go to time and time again. As for what you'll need, see if your college has a checklist of essential items to act as a guide.

2. Tackle packing bit by bit. By starting early, you'll avoid the stress that comes with rushing. Because you want to take a minimum of items, it can be difficult to actually get packed ahead of time, but it's worth it to keep an open box to put items in as you think of them. In addition, keep a running list of items that you want to bring, but which you're still using leading up to the move. When the time finally comes, make sure you have sturdy boxes in a variety of sizes, along with foam "peanuts" and bubble pack to protect your fragile items, a good supply of packing tape and bold markers for labeling boxes. Moving blankets and hand trucks will make the experience easier - be sure you've got them on hand.

3. Mark and group. Label the outside of your boxes as you pack. Try making a generalized list of what's in the box. It's also a good idea to put your first name or symbol that'll help you recognize what's yours on the box, particularly if you have roommates or are moving into a dorm. In the hectic whirlwind of thousands of students moving in at once, it's important to cut down on confusion.

4. Plan ahead. If you're renting a moving truck, it's essential to reserve at least two weeks in advance. Because it's a busy moving season, delaying could leave you stuck without transportation. Most movers find the 12- or 16-foot truck perfect for moving a few large items or the contents of a small apartment. For guidance with truck selection, visit www.PenskeTruckRental.com.

5. Safety and security. Trucks are taller, wider, heavier and require more stopping distance than the vehicle you are used to driving. Take extra precautions, especially when the truck is loaded. Watch out for low-hanging tree branches and building overhangs and use extra caution when cornering. To protect your belongings, park in well-lit areas and padlock the rear door. This can be particularly important when moving to college, as thieves have a ripe opportunity to take advantage of the hectic moving days leading up to the start of the academic year.

To make sure you've got everything you need on moving day, create a travel bag for keeping important paperwork (like your registration information and dorm confirmations), credit cards, identification, change of clothes, drinks and snacks close at hand. For a complete list of moving tips, visit www.PenskeTruckRental.com.

Courtesy of ARAcontent