College students from L.A. to Philadelphia and all points in between will soon begin their annual moves back home. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates there are some 19 million students enrolled at more than 4,300 colleges and universities across the United States. Moving is never an easy task but there are some things you can do to make it a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
* Don't put it off until the last moment. Springtime and graduation weeks are peak moving times for both students and families living near or around campus. Renting a moving truck will allow you to move all of your things in one easy go, so reserve one before they're all rented out – at least two weeks in advance of your move. Once you've reserved, it's guaranteed that a truck will be there for you. For most students, a 12- or 16-foot truck is a perfect fit for all they can store in a college residence or small off-campus apartment. If you can, try to move on a weekday – weekends are always the busiest moving days.
* Pack smart. Bring home only what you need. Consider donating any remaining items to charities. Load your heaviest items on the truck first. Boxes, packing tape, bubble pack, moving blankets, and hand trucks are also essential to keeping your belongings safer and making your move easier.
* Think safety. To avoid injury, always bend your knees and lift with your legs. Also, don't text or talk on your cell phone while driving. While stopped for breaks, park in highly visible, well-lit areas and always lock all doors. If you're using a moving truck, remember that it is taller, wider and heavier than cars or SUVs. So, drive a bit slower and take extra care when making turns, driving under overhangs or near low tree branches. Penske offers 24/7/365 emergency roadside assistance in case you have a problem.
* Make it fun. Keep a positive attitude during the move – play music, plan a fun dinner for after all the work is done and don't let frustration get to you. Some moving trucks, like those from Penske have radios, air conditioning and cell-phone outlet chargers – make sure you've got all the things necessary for a comfortable, enjoyable ride.
* Go green. You might be able to save on costs and be kinder to the environment by moving together with someone from your area. Check with your residence life office on campus to help find someone to share the ride. Some truck rental companies participate in the Environmental Protection Agency's SmartWay program, which is devoted to saving fuel, money and the environment. Penske earned the program's highest possible rating.
* Keep the essentials with you. With most belongings packed tightly away, create a travel bag for moving day to keep important paperwork, credit cards, identification, change of clothes, drinks and snacks close at hand. More moving tips and even additional discounts through AAA can be found at www.PenskeTruckRental.com.
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