Moving to college soon? Be sure to read these tips for college move-in day first!
College move-in day is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful. Emotions may be running high for students and parents alike.
Before moving into your college dorm as a freshman student, you may feel excited but also nervous. The college move-in day experience can be overwhelming, so it’s smart to come prepared.
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Here are the best tips for college move-in day to help your move-in experience go off without a hitch:
1. Start packing early
One of the best things you can do to have a stress-free college move-in day is to start packing early. Avoid leaving it to the last minute and try to start packing at least a week before you plan to move.
This will ensure you have plenty of time to get everything organized and to shop for anything that you’re still missing.
When you’re packing, it’s also helpful to group things together by type (bedding, clothing, decor and supplies, etc.) so that unpacking is a breeze.
2. Make a list of things to buy at school
Some things are better to buy once you get to college. Especially if you are going to college a long distance from home and will be flying there, you don’t need to bring every single thing with you on move-in day.
For example, you may want to buy some appliances for your dorm room (like a mini-fridge or a microwave) once you arrive on campus.
Go ahead and make a list of these items before move-in day so that you’ll be prepared and can go shopping for them once you get to college.
3. Sign up for an early move-in slot
If you have the option to choose a time slot for moving in, always go for the earliest one!
You can get started earlier in the day and finish earlier in the day, and avoid the worst of the crowds. Many people will start arriving in the late morning and afternoon, so choosing the earliest morning time slot will give you a head start.
4. Coordinate with your roommate
One important thing to do before move-in day is to coordinate in advance with your roommate about who is bringing what, how you want to decorate your dorm room, and what kind of layout you want for your room.
It’s not necessary to move in at the same time as your roommate (and honestly, it’s kind of nice to move in first if you can!) but you should definitely connect with them before move-in day to make sure you’re on the same page about everything.
5. Review move-in guidelines
Before you move in, take the time to review your college’s move-in procedures and confirm all the details about your dorm.
You will want to know what to expect when you arrive, so it’s important to figure out what floor your dorm is on, whether or not the building has an elevator, what the parking and unloading situation is like, and what the check-in process is like.
6. Bring a doorstop
A doorstop is a great thing to bring with you on college move-in day, and in general, it’s something you’ll want to have when living in a dorm!
Many students keep their doors propped open, especially during the first few weeks of college because it’s a great way to meet people living on your hall.
For move-in day, a doorstop is crucial because you’ll be in and out of the room so many times that you don’t want to have to worry about opening the door each time (especially considering that many doors lock automatically!)
7. Figure out what equipment is available
Some dorms will have moving equipment on hand on move-in day. You’ll want to confirm in advance if moving equipment like carts or dollies will be available.
You should also see if there’s a reservation system to use the moving equipment, or if it’s available on a first-come, first-served basis.
8. Bring a dolly
Even if your dorm has moving equipment available to use, I still recommend bringing your own dolly because what the dorm offers may be limited.
I highly recommend this portable folding dolly because it doesn’t take up much space and can easily be packed away in the trunk of a car.
9. Deep clean before unpacking
Before you start unpacking and setting up your dorm room, it’s a good idea to do a deep clean of the space first. Your room will never be as empty as it is right when you move in, so it’s the best time to clean those hard-to-reach spaces.
You’ll want to vacuum or Swiffer the floors, wipe down all surfaces and furniture with Clorox wipes (don’t forget to get the insides of drawers!), and dust surfaces like windowsills and blinds.
10. Coordinate on dorm room purchases
A super important thing to do before move-in day is coordinating on dorm room purchases with your roommate.
There are many items that you may be sharing, like a rug, a futon, a TV, a mini-fridge, a coffee maker, and so on. You’ll want to coordinate in advance on who’s bringing what and how you’ll split the cost.
11. Research the room layout
Every dorm layout is slightly different. You can find the exact dimensions and measurements on your college’s website or orientation guide.
It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the layout beforehand to make sure you are bringing furniture that will fit. Also double-check the size of the bed! Most college dorm beds require Twin XL size sheets, but you’ll want to confirm if this is true for your bed.
12. Bring snacks and drinks
Something a lot of people forget on move-in day is snacks and drinks! Moving is hard work, and you’ll probably get very hungry and thirsty.
Bringing plenty of snacks to eat throughout the morning and afternoon ensures that you don’t have to waste time looking for food until after you’re done moving in.
13. Pack for the current season
One of the best tips for college move-in day is to pack for the current season only! The exception to this is if you’re going to college far from home and won’t be back at all until Christmas break, for example.
But for many college students, you don’t need to bring all your heavy winter coats and winter clothing with you when you’re moving into college in August/September.
Instead, just pack what you need for the current season and you can bring your winter stuff at a later date.
14. Bring command hooks and strips
Command hooks and command strips are a must-have on college move-in day. These are items you can’t always find at the store last-minute, so I highly recommend ordering them in advance because they are SO helpful.
You can use command hooks and command strips to hang almost anything in a dorm room, and they don’t leave any permanent marks or damage on the walls.
15. Bring a portable fan
A portable fan is another useful item to have on college move-in day. Even a small fan like this is good to have, and it’s perfect for attaching to the side of a dorm bed!
It can be hot on college move-in day, and you’ll get even hotter going back and forth moving items, unpacking, and setting up. While your dorm room probably has air conditioning, it’s not always the most powerful AC so an extra little fan can help.
16. Dress comfortably
It should go without saying to dress comfortably for move-in day. There are other occasions at college where you’ll want to dress up, but this day is not one of them.
Wear something light and breathable so that you stay cool and comfortable while moving.
17. Say goodbyes beforehand
Finally, a great tip for college move-in day is to say your goodbyes beforehand. This can avoid an emotional scene for students and parents alike once you’ve finished moving in and it’s time for the parents to leave.
Remember, it’s not a real goodbye — just a “see you later!” You may want to have your farewells in private the day before, so that once move-in is finished, students and parents can move on feeling excited and happy for the future.
Do I Need to Hire a Moving Company?
Lastly, are you wondering whether you need to a hire a moving company to move to college?
When considering whether to hire a moving company for college move-in day, there are several factors to take into account. While it may not be necessary for everyone, there are certain situations where hiring professionals can greatly simplify the process.
If you are relocating to a college out of state or a considerable distance away from your current residence, enlisting the services of a moving company can prove to be a convenient option. Their expertise and experience in handling long-distance relocations can provide much-needed peace of mind.
While hiring a moving company does come with a financial investment, it can save you from the stress and potential disorganization that may arise during this transitional period.
Moving to college can already be a hectic time, and having professionals take care of transporting your belongings can alleviate some of the burdens associated with the move-in process. By delegating the physical labor and logistics to experts, you can focus on settling into your new academic environment smoothly.
Ultimately, the decision to hire a moving company for college move-in day depends on your specific circumstances and personal preferences. Evaluating the distance of your move, the amount of belongings you have, and your ability to handle the move independently are all factors to consider.
While it may not be necessary for everyone, if it can make your move less stressful and more organized.
Best Tips for College Move-In Day
This guide showed you the best tips for college move-in day.
Moving to college is a very exciting experience, but it can also be overwhelming. These tips will help you prepare so that you have a seamless and stress-free move-in day!