There’s nothing quite as exciting, thrilling, or stressful as moving into your residence hall for the new school year! With so much to plan and coordinate — not to mention all the different thoughts and emotions running through your head — you can probably use a little help. Here’s how you can make moving in day a breeze without breaking a sweat.
Step One: Think Basics
Here’s a simple question for you to answer: when is move-in day? Make sure you double- and triple-check. Many schools have different move in days and times based on your grade level, the dorm you live in, and if you’re attending any summer or orientation events. Make sure you check with the college so you definitively know when your assigned day and time is.
Step Two: Review Your Dorm Room
Some residence halls are palaces with upgraded features like in-suite televisions and memory foam beds. Others have dorm rooms that are basically cinder block cells the size of a large (or even not-so-large) walk-in closet. Before you do anything, head to your school’s residence life web page to review the layout of your dorm room. Note the closet size, the amenities, and the recommended furniture layout(s). These will all come in handy during the packing phase.
Step Three: Do a Pre-Pack
Nearly all schools provide shopping lists for incoming residents. These usually include things like extra-long bedding, pillows, towels, and office items. Once you’ve picked out all your essentials, lay them out on your bedroom floor and see how much space they take up. Add season’s worth of clothing, shoes, and accessories, along with your electronics. This will give you a rough idea of how much remaining room you have to work with. We recommend placing all of this in a trunk that can double as storage and seating in your dorm room..
Step Four: Plan Your Transportation
Once you know the footprint of everything you’re bringing, decide how you’re going to get it there. Most students can get away with using their parents’ SUV or truck to get by. If you have a lot, though, you may want to consider renting a U-Haul or other larger moving truck, especially if you’re moving cross-country.
Step Five: Pick Your Moving Crew
Most colleges have students who volunteer to help those living in the dorm move in. But you should also bring a few extra hands, if possible. Give these people tons of advance notice, especially if it’s on a weekday. And be sure they understand how far away your campus is and that moving in will probably be an all-day process.
Step Six: Review the Logistics
You’ve got your transportation decided and your crew confirmed, and all your basics are packed. Now, do it all over again. We’re not joking! This is when you can check and re-check everything from the move-in times and maps to what you’ve put in your trunk. Make sure everyone’s on the same page, and you’re ready to go.
Step Seven: Plan for a Shop
Whether you’re limited because you’re flying or you are forgetful, plan for a shopping day or night. You can grab the little things like kitchen gear, cleaning supplies, storage units, etc. at local stores. Or, you can have fun ordering everything online and having it all delivered to your dorm once you’ve moved in. Planning to buy later will help you keep moving day stress to a minimum.
Step Eight: Say Thanks
Move-in day is an emotional one — and not just for students. Make sure you express your thanks to those who help you, as well as those who got you where you are. Send thank you cards, give them a call, and take a picture and send them a postcard. A little love can go a long way.