Celebrating the Class of 2024 {12 Gifts on the 24th: Packing & Moving}

A sweet blog reader and client told me about this precious idea. I knew by the end of the first sentence of her email that I wanted to do this!

When my oldest son was a senior I printed out gift tags with the number ’22 on them (his graduation year).  On the 22nd day of each month of his senior year I gave him a gift for college with the tag and wrote a little note on the back.  It was a fun way to get him ready for college (while spreading out the expense) and celebrating the year.  Some of the things that I gave him included a stocked first aid kit (minus medicine, due to expiration date) with a gift card for door dash for food delivery when he gets sick, a small tool kit, a nice toiletry travel bag, school supplies, IKEA packing bags (SO great for moving into the dorm room), a college sweatshirt (after he made his decision), a carry on suitcase, LED lights for his dorm room…you get the idea. I expected to feel sad during M’s senior year, but it was really full of so much joy and I was surprised by the sense of accomplishment after years of being focused on raising children, it was amazing to suddenly see this young man that I was so proud to offer as a gift to our world.  (Though I miss him terribly)!  I hope you enjoy every minute of John’s senior year and find many unexpected blessings along the way!  

And so, with today being August 24th, John is receiving his first gift! I decided to go with moving supplies, including a flat bed, foldable dolly and moving bags.

Class of 2024 – Gifts on the 24th
August: Packing & Moving
September: Laundry
October: First Aid & Medicine Cabinet
November: AirTags
December: Dorm Things Part 1
January: Backpacks and Bags
February: Tools
March: He’s Committed
April: Dorm Bedding
May: Graduation Day Keepsake

I started with this so that we’ll have the bags to start storing things away in as college gets closer. I picked these particular bags after reading a considerable number of reviews – I liked the two ways to carry them, and the fact that they zip all the way down the side to easily transport clothes on hangers.

Foldable Dolly | Packing Bags

Since I am not in town today to start this little countdown myself, I got everything ready to go and left it with my parents to give to him today.

I know many of you have come before me in launching your kids to college. I’d love to hear what things you might include over the next 12 months!

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12 thoughts on “Celebrating the Class of 2024 {12 Gifts on the 24th: Packing & Moving}

  1. Let me say that this is one of the BEST ideas you have shared and I have followed for many many years….sadly, my girls are way past the college launch…BUT my youngest is pregnant with their first…so guess what? Each month on her expected due date, I am going to give a special gift to celebrate this upcoming rainbow blessing. I can’t wait until the 30th for my first gift! So many things and events could be celebrated this way. And a great first choice for the year of 2024!

  2. We used those same packing bags to move my son in/out of the dorm and loved them! Bonus- we stored the dorm-specific desk supplies, decor, washed linens, etc. in those bags in our attic over the summer.

    Love the idea of a gift each month! I’ll do this for my daughter next year!

  3. Cooking Classes
    Each month, let John select a meal to learn to cook
    Perhaps his favourite chili. Easy to prepare, share with friends or impress someone special.
    While he may be in a dorm the first year with limited access to kitchen use or permitted to have a crock or insta pot in his room, he may have friends that share an apartment. it is never too early to have a few meals under your belt!

    Doing his own laundry
    We all have stories to tell of the white t-shirt that came out pink or the wool sweater that shrank to the size for a Barbie Doll. Taking on this responsibility at home with guidance will certainly have better results than that first all in one load in the laundry mat. It may also mean less laundry coming home with his visits too!

  4. We have launched two sons like you will do! Son 1 once told me that one of the most useful gifts I gave him was his Brita waterpitcher – my guys drink a lot of water and the dorm water wasn’t the freshest. I thought that was a sweet thank you for him to tell me! Another theme might be cleaning (though our eldest was a freshman the year of Covid and we discovered many unopened containers and bottles of cleaning supplies that we had stocked up on at Sam’s and Costco so maybe just one of each to start?) – cleaning wipes, a small vacuum (or big if he is going into a suite-style dorm like mine both did), a BIG box of trash bags, trash can(s), microfiber cloths, etc (mine both had kitchenettes so would include a dish rack, sponges, etc if it applies). I could go on and on with ideas but that is a start – don’t blink, Amanda, this year will SPEED by and then it will be John’s turn to FLY! You are an amazing mom and I know he appreciates ALL the many things you do and will do for him as he gets ready to launch.

  5. My father sent me off to UGA with a few tools and they were very useful for my entire floor. Amazon has assorted small tools in a case that would be convenient.

    If he’s taking a car, he’ll need a tire gauge and know how to use. Plus, the knowledge of how to use an air compressor at the gas station An ice scraper if there’s any chance of freezing temps. Add a small WD40 in case his door starts to make noise when it opens. A gas card of a national gasstation.

    Good wishes as your family experiences the next big step in his life. Exciting times!

  6. I have a son that just left for his freshman year of college. It’s tough, for sure – but such an exciting time for your kiddo!

    I love this idea… some things I’d add…

    The WooZoo fan from Costco is a must. I’m surprised there isn’t a Saturday Nigh Live skit about it.

    Monogrammed towels. If a shared laundry takes place, I’d imagine towels can accidentally get taken.

    Medicine bag with everything included – bandaids, Neosporin, thermometer, cold/flu meds, cough drops, Airborne, Advil, Pepto…..
    When we went for New Student Orientation tour, one student mentioned this and said it was a lifesaver when she was ill during the night.

    Over the door shoe hangers – maximizes space and can be used for whatever “theme” you want: shoes, snacks, cleaning supplies, etc.

    “Open When” envelopes –
    – you need a laugh ( filled with college jokes )
    – you’re short on cash ($)
    – you need a pick-me-up (Starbucks gift card)
    – you’ve finished your first week of class
    – you’ve Aced your first test (card from us with confetti enclosed)
    – you need some encouragement (his grandmother wrote a sweet note with scripture and encouraging words…)
    – you need a sweet treat (Hershey bar)
    – you’re missing your family (family pic with card from all of us)
    ….. these are just a few ideas.I tied a ribbon around these and laid them on his desk before we left.

    Reminders of home – Braves flag, Pic of Atlanta skyline, maybe a pillow made of your doodles, digital picture frame, etc.

    Call your Mom sign

  7. I have followed you for years and this is maybe my favorite share ever! Love this idea, please share the rest of your 24th gifts, I have a junior and will for sure be doing this for his senior year.

  8. Omg Amanda ! That is so cute!! i would have loved this when i was his age!
    Goodness. Ive been reading your blog ever since your boys were so little :*( tears!
    Well I graduated college a few years ago.. i feel like things have changed so much since i went to college, but if anything I have to say my favorite thing was when my mom sent me care packages and something for valentines day or during finals week with candy and snacks and a note. It was soo much appreciated it esp when youre feeling stressed or feeling lonely and homesick since i lived so far away from home. Sometimes my apartment building had a special thing for parents they could send. But downside- my apartment building actually THREW OUT mine bc I “didnt claim it” which was crazy. so just watch out for crazy apartment /dorm management people lol.
    But after being in some pretty bad boyfriend relationships during college, my moms valentines day care packages always made me feel soo special. The getting ready for college stuff is such a great idea. I just remember having no idea what I was doing senior year and being so stressed and not being prepared for college and not even knowing where I was going to go. I know I would have loved this as a senior and its soo nice you are preparing him and getting him excited like this! I think another thing I appreciated as a college student was gift cards to eat. Even tho we had the cafeteria it was far away from my dorm and also it gets tiring eating the same food options. I went to school in the city so it was so nice when I could just have a gift card to order food or get some food from a restaurant in the city or even Starbucks since we had Starbucks on campus. I would have such expensive school projects so it felt really nice to have gift cards and extra money for food.
    -mattress pad! Comfy blankets and pillows. The mattresses are terrible and so uncomfy. dorm bedding from the store is thin. i would definitely get some comfy blankets!
    -medicine bag with cold stuff and first aid stuff. I made my own and it was soo nice to have instead of running to CVS when youre already feeling sick
    – Looking back I would have used lysol wipes more and hand sanitizers and making sure to wipe everything down everyday. In college I cleaned up, but I didnt use lysol wipes and hand sanitizer so much. now I am so adamant about cleaning and wiping everything bc of covid lol. And also looking back being in dorms and class I would get sick at college all the time bc youre surrounded by people all the time! So I definitely think I would have been more diligent in using lysol wipes and hand sanitizers and that would have helped me not get so sick all the time.
    – locks for closet (if he is able to use a lock). ive had some crazy people in my dorms so looking back i would have been more adamant about using locks – even tho they were so annoying to use and open and close all the time lol.
    -laundry basket, laundry stuff and showing him how to do laundry before college.. i had a guy friend who didnt know how to do laundry and literally would drive home every week so his mom could do his laundry and fold it for him and people would make fun of him for not knowing this basic skill lol.
    -a nice dress up outfit – im sure he will have some for social events but he definitely needs some for class for presentations. for me when i was in college our teachers told us we had to dress up and look nice for presentations and they would include that in our grade. im sure if he had a button up or blazer , polo and nice dress pants and shoes he will be fine. i definitely had kids that did not dress up for presentations in class and the teachers made it known that they did not appreciate it
    i will add more when i think of it! but youre such an amazing mom! i know his dorm will be so nice and he is going to be so prepared going to college!

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