DeClutter Coach: Strategies to help get organized for college – News – Times Telegram

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Getting ready to go away to college can be a very stressful time. Emotions are high for students and parents. Planning ahead will make the transition easier for everyone. Here are some strategies that can help.


Purchase everything early

The longer you wait, the fewer choices you’ll have. Create a packing list or check the college’s website as many offer incoming freshman a printable list. Be sure to learn what items are not permitted in the dorm. Bed Bath & Beyond always has terrific options for college dorms and also accepts expired coupons.


Connect early with roommate(s)

One of the hardest things for some students about going away to college is meeting new people and making new friends. They are leaving friends they’ve known for most of their lives and venturing into unchartered territory. Connecting early with a roommate gives students an instant friend on campus. They can also talk about who will be bringing what items to the dorm room.


Create a budget

It’s important for students to know their financial situation before they head off to college. Create a budget so you’ll know how much you can afford to spend. Parents may need to help students with this if they have not had to budget before. Will the student have an on-campus job or are they planning to stretch the college graduation gift money? Planning in advance will avoid problems down the line.


Be involved at orientation

You’ll get out of the orientation experience what you put into it. Keep in mind everyone is on the same boat — trying to be independent from their parents, finding their own way and making new friends all at the same time. Keep reminding yourself, everyone feels the same as you do, excited but a little nervous, too!


Know how you will manage time

This is the part of college life where many student struggle. You can be a good student and have fun, but it requires planning. Will you use a paper or digital planner? Will you block out time to study? You’ll be more successful if you have a plan in place before you get to college.


Decide how you’ll communicate

This is a tough one, but best planned in advance. While parents need to give their young adults space, we also want to know they’re safe. Talk about how you’ll communicate before they leave, while everyone’s emotions are still in check.

Good luck to all of the high school seniors leaving the Mohawk Valley to attend college later this month! Work hard, have fun and remember … there’s no place like home!

Look for more tips from Deb in the Observer Dispatch every Sunday and on her websites and You can follow her on social media and watch her TV show Organization Motivation! at



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