College Drop Off, the Tale of Two Moves

Rick Ropelewski |

By Rick Ropelewski

It was the best of moves, it was the worst of …  actually both moves went remarkably well, they were just VERY different (and my apologies to Charles Dickens). Last month we officially became empty nesters after dropping off our daughter Molly in Washington D.C., and our son Pete in Florida.

Because we drove Molly to D.C. we had the luxury of packing all of life’s necessities for a college junior in the family car.  We arrived at her dorm by 10:00 AM, and at 4:00 she was “unpacked”.  In her mind “unpacked” meant that everything was in its assigned drawer/shelf/cabinet.  Posters were on the wall, pictures of friends and family were in a collage, decorative lights were hung etc.. 

Fast forward a few days when we flew to Florida to drop off Pete.  I always wondered how we would get one of our kids settled in school if we couldn’t load up the family minivan to within an inch of full capacity.  But a huge thank you to Bed, Bath & Beyond, and their brilliant marketers and website design team.  A couple weeks before the move, Pete, with big sister’s help, went online and ordered storage containers, lights, and etc..   Everything one would need for a college room except the sheets and towels.  Those items had been thoughtfully packed in extra luggage and brought with us on the flight so we could wash them beforehand (thanks to mom’s planning ahead!).  After Molly and Pete filled the online shopping cart they were able to specify the store location near the school to pick up the purchases.  For the few items that had to be purchased from other retailers the school had storage pods for each dorm where you could have packages sent prior to move-in day.  So an hour before move in we picked up the Bed Bath & Beyond order two miles down the road and got the rest of the items from the school storage pod.

So getting back to my comment about the moves being so different.  At 10:30 we arrived at Pete’s dorm, and by 12:00 he was completely unpacked; versus the six hour process for Molly.  Our query of whether Pete wanted to hang posters or organize a particular item were met with the same general reply of “nah, I’ll take care of that later.”  Two different paths, but a month later both kids are settled into the college routine

If you have any questions about moving a loved one into college I have many theories and suggestions; but we’re still figuring out how this empty nest concept works.

The author of this article is Rick Ropelewski, Wealth Manager at U.S. Wealth Management.