Move-in Series: 2 Weeks Away from College Move-in Day

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Move into College

Welcome back to the move-in series! We’re now just two weeks away from move-in day and the finish line is in sight. For those of you who haven’t been keeping up with the series, allow me to explain: this is part three of a four part series that gives step by step instructions for high school grads preparing for move-in day at college. We share plenty of helpful tips and tricks to help high school grads transition from their bedroom to their dorm room. Here’s seven helpful steps to follow when you’re two weeks away from move-in day.

Step 1: The Checklist

Whether you printed out one of our college ready lists, or made one of your own, it’s time to pull it out and look it over. Once again, go through your checklist and make sure you have everything you need. Order those last minute items with expedited shipping or make a run to the store. Don’t forget about food! Be sure to add food to your list. If you plan on making a run to the grocery store before move-in day, avoid buying perishable foods. Hold off on buying food like fresh fruit until you find a place to store it in your dorm.

Step 2: Pack, Pack, Pack

By now you should have most of your belongings packed and ready to go. Anything that you are not currently using should be packed, with the exception of items such as clothing, toiletries, and the like. Be careful of fragile items like picture frames and electronics. If you don’t have any bubble wrap lying around (and most of us don’t), use a few spare towels to wrap up fragile items. Stay organized while you pack by labeling your boxes and bags.  Keep all of your packed belongings in a designated spot at home as to avoid misplacing anything.

Step 3: Move-in day plan

How will you get to college? Are you moving in alone? How will you fit everything into the car? These are the kinds of questions that you should consider. If you’re taking a car, plan on loading it up the night before. Perhaps it would just be easier to ship everything or rent a truck. Once there, you need to figure out how you will move everything in. Ask your family members, friends, and roommate for help. If you’re moving in alone, consider hiring movers. Don’t hurt yourself trying to lug everything up to your dorm! Stay on track by creating a schedule for move-in day. It doesn’t have to be super detailed, but have general sense of when you want to leave, how long you want to spend unpacking, etc. Consider setting aside some time to go out to eat with your family. Think of it as a last meal and a final goodbye. Also, you want to leave plenty of time for yourself to explore the campus and attend events.

Step 4: Freshen up

New school, new home, why not a new hairdo? Get a haircut to look fresh for your first week as an undergrad; consider a whole new ‘do as you redefine your persona away from home. While you’re at it, spice up your wardrobe with a trip to the mall. Pick out a new outfit or two and arrive in style on move-in day!

Step 5: College Prep

Print out your schedule and book list. Start browsing around for textbooks and see if you can find a fair price. Buying used is a great way to save money and you can always sell the books back! Be advised that not all professors teach by the book…literally. If the book is only “recommended” or “suggested” you may not need it. Before you buy that $300 textbook, send your professor an email and ask if the book is required.  On the flip side, do not walk into class empty handed if the book is required for the course. Getting ahold of an in-demand textbook during the semester is a struggle. For a full guide to textbook shopping, check out the post Textbooks 101 for College Classes on our blog.

Step 6: Create a college bucket list

Make a list of all the things you want to accomplish and achieve at college. Perhaps you want to go on an overnight hike. Maybe you want to get straight A’s your first semester. Once you’ve come up with about ten goals, pin the list up on the wall. At the end of each semester, cross out what you’ve accomplished and add new goals. Hold yourself responsible for completing what you set out to do. Want to have even more fun? Share the list with your friends and ask them to go along with you on your adventures.

Step 7: Research student services

Check out all the student services offered at your school. Need help building your résumé? Not sure what career you want to pursue? Luckily for you, student services are available to help you with these things and more! Looking for an internship? Check with student services to see what contacts they have. You may be far from home, but help is right around the corner!

What to Buy Ahead of Time for Freshman Year of College

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Once you have your school acceptance letter, you probably are thinking, “Where do I go from here?” With your freshman year right around the corner, it’s time to go shopping! Your post-high school summer vacation is the perfect excuse to stock up on dorm room wants and school needs that will make your transition from high school to college a breeze.

1.   Large Furniture

If you have the space to keep it until you’re ready to transport it to your new dorm, large furniture is great to buy early. In fact, you can get great deals on these pieces from university students in the process of moving out. Every May, tons of students look to unload their dorm furniture and supplies using Facebook sales groups, Craigslist postings, and fliers around campus. Willing freshman and their families can save huge bucks by investing in dorm-tested pieces now rather than later.

2.   Storage Options

Most dorm rooms do not offer much in the way of storage. You’ll probably face the common challenge of figuring out just where to keep your stuff—everything from winter clothing to used textbooks. That’s where options such as trunks, under the bed storage, closet organizers, and storage tubs come in handy. You can use these bins and containers to cut down on boxes when you move. Later, you can save even more by using them as functional, necessary pieces like tables or seating.
Underbed Storage

3.   School Supplies

Come August, you will be bombarded with those familiar commercials for school supplies. Don’t fall prey to the them. The best time to buy notebooks, backpacks, pens, and paper is actually right after most schools let out. When schools dismiss in the late spring and early summer, every item for your desk goes on mega-clearance as suppliers look to get rid of last year’s styles and bring in new products.

4.   Linens and Bedding

There is a common myth that you should wait until getting the keys to your dorm room to purchase linens and bedding. But you most likely will run into the same issue as you would school supplies: too many people buying at one time. Just like the clearance on school supplies, you can find great deals on extra-long bedding, durable towels, and matching throws without having to push through a crowd or settle on whatever happens to be left over. You will instead get first pick at what is available. Alternatively you can avoid all the hassle of waiting on a line to buy bedding, and just purchase a dorm twin XL bedding set to get all your essentials at once!
Value Pak

5.   Décor Accessories

Are you big on thrift and vintage finds? Is your summer full of DIY project ideas for your freshman year dorm? Start shopping around now to find the best in decor accessories and project necessities. Garage sales are an excellent opportunity to spend less on pieces such as lamps and shades or picture frames to adorn your new digs. If you plan on turning these into projects with touches like a fresh coat of spray paint or adding a DIY inspirational phrase poster, get this done now so you’re not stuck when you are in the limited confines of a tiny dorm.

6.   School Spirit Wear

Show off that school pride! Sporting a t-shirt with the mascot of your university or the name of your school will certainly get you amped up for your freshman year, and it will be a great talking point to all those wanting to know just which school you chose. When it is time to start your first day of classes, you’ll have already broken in your favorite shirt or hoodie.

Knowing what to buy for your freshman year of college can be confusing. With so many options and so little time, you may be overwhelmed by your shopping list if you wait too long. However, by knowing what to buy ahead of time for freshman year, you can be prepared for your first day on campus by buying what you need well in advance of your first class. Have you started purchasing anything for your first year of college? Let us know!

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