This is the best advice you'll ever get on packing for college - trust me, after four years of this, I'm a pro. You wont get any advice here about how to not overpack, but I will tell you how to overpack well. Grab a pen and some Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons and let's get started.
Problem: First of all, when I see people pack in suitcases, I literally go insane. How many suitcases do you need while in college? I don't bring any for move-in, but most people only need one. Packing your stuff in suitcases only causes extra unnecessary bulk. Besides, they're heavy and not easy to load and unload AND when you get there you have to unpack... I'm trying to minimize the time you spend doing stuff, so here's what you do...
Solution: Buy Ziploc storage bags in XL and XXL (you can find them in Target and Walmart). Fold stuff that will be going in your drawers at college and place in Ziploc bag. Put stuff that's going in the same drawer together. The bags are super easy to put into the car, adjust to the shape of the car, and when you get to college, just take the stuff out (it's already folded!) and place in drawers! The XXL bags are also amazing for pillows, comforters and blankets/throws.
Problem: All of your freshly dry-cleaned stuff is wrinkled by move-in time.
Solution: Buy garment bags. Place things in garment bags. Once you've loaded the car with all your other stuff, place garment bags on top. Take garment bags out and hang in closet. Unzip at your convenience, or leave the stuff in the bags for year-round protection (and easy move-out packing.)
Problem: You don't know where to put all the little accessories and make-up you need so it doesn't get lost and is easy to unpack.
Solution: Here, there are multiple strategies. One, I use these storage carts with drawers at college and at home. I keep socks, etc. in one and accessories such as belts, sunglasses, and jewelry in the other. They roll, so just organize, roll into car, out of car and place in dorm! No unpacking, and everything is in place.
I also love these big bins. I use them to store towels and sheets at college, but for the trip over, I store the linens in a Ziploc, and put all my toiletries and makeup in the bin. All of the toiletries and makeup are already organized in smaller bins and bags, so it's really easy to just take them out and place them in the dorm.
Or, you can uses boxes... I pack everything from folders and notebooks in boxes to kitchen stuff (make sure to use bubble wrap for breakable things!)
And finally, for my bags and shoes, I pack them in boxes and totes. I keep all of my bags and some of my shoes in dust bags year round, so I pack the bags and shoes I wear least in these super cute cloth storage boxes from the Container Store. They zip up and fit under your bed for easy access, so no unpacking there! (You can also put a sticky note on them so you know what's in each box!)
Here's how it all turned out!
Good luck! Let me know if you have any tips and tricks for move-in as well!