Move-in Series: 1 Week Away from College Move-in Day


College Move in Day Advice

Welcome back to the move-in series! We’re a week away from move-in day so there’s no time to waste. For those of you, who haven’t been keeping up with the series, allow me to explain: this is part four of a five part series that gives step by step instructions for high school grads preparing for move-in day at college. With only one week left to go, it’s time to tie up any loose ends and take care of those last minute tasks.

Step 1: Clean up

Before you leave, make sure your room is clean. Do yourself a favor here and don’t leave behind a messy room. You may not be coming home for a while, but when you do, a clean room is everything.  Not only is it rewarding, but making sure your room is spotless is the responsible thing to do. You may not be living at home anymore, but your family members do. So set aside some time to clean, and don’t cut any corners. You won’t regret it.

Step 2: Going away party

Don’t forget about those last goodbyes! Throw a going away party and invite your friends and family. Even if your school is nearby, it may be that you won’t get to see everyone again until winter break. If the weather’s nice, have a cook out with games and music. If not, you could invite everyone inside and have a potluck. Feel like going out on a budget? Take every one out to Dave & Buster’s with a group deal. Or keep things small and under budget with a family dinner.

Step 3: Medicine

Are you prescribed medication? Do you have an emergency inhaler? Whatever the case may be, make sure you have all of your prescriptions filled and secure. When packing, store the medicine in your carry-on bag or someplace where you’ll have immediate access to it. After you move in, store the medication in a safe place. And if you feel the need, let your roommate know about your medical condition and what to do in case of an emergency.

Step 4: Last minute packing

Do you see that overflowing basket of laundry in the corner? How about that closet full of shoes? It’s time to take care of all of your last minute packing! Pack those lack minute items such as clothes, electronics, and keepsakes. Next, pull out that checklist for another look. Go through the entire list and make sure that everything is accounted for. Also, get rid of any items that you deem unnecessary. This will help to lighten the load and save space in your dorm. Stay organized by keeping all of your bags and boxes in one area of the house. Be sure to label everything so that you know what’s fragile and what’s not. Consider shipping some things if you need to lighten the load. Always update the checklist and stay on top of your belongings.

Step 6: Say hello

Reach out to any contacts you made at student orientation; start texting your other friends and make plans for your first few nights on campus. There’s bound to be plenty of events going on so ask around. And where there are events, there is free food, and everyone loves free food. If you can’t find anything to do on campus (which is unlikely) spend a night out on the town, and explore all of the shops and restaurants. If you want to stay in, plan a movie night and make sure there are plenty of snacks to go around. Whatever you plan on doing, be inclusive and make new friends.

Step 7: Back it up

Backup computer contents to a hard drive, in case something happens during the move. Also, backup phone contents in order to make lots of room for new memories! Now, it’s easier than ever with the iCloud feature and others like it. If you’re not a fan of the cloud, stop by the store to pick up an external hard drive. However, once you get to college, you may find that manually backing up everything is just a pain. Check out OCM’s Campus Backup software that will automatically back up your e-mails, term papers, lecture notes, presentations, and as an added benefit, all your photos and music.

Step 8: Paperwork & textbooks

Take care of any last minute paperwork for school. Don’t forget to take any important forms with you! How about textbooks? Print out your textbook list and start searching! Check online vendors before settling for the bookstores retail price.

Step 9: Thank You Cards

Write thank you cards for your family and friends. There are plenty of reasons to be thankful for: moral support, financial help, grad gifts, etc. It’s a nice touch and a thank you card never goes unnoticed.

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


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!

Tips to Make Dorm Move-in Day a Breeze!



Move-in day for college students can be one of the most stressful times of the year. With so much to coordinate and plenty of help needed, navigating the moving process requires patience and organization. Here are essential tips to ensure you have a seamless move-in day.

1.   Read Up on the Rules

Before you plan or pack anything, read up on your school’s move-in day requirements. You may be told a specific time and date in which you can move. This helps keep the day organized and manageable. Showing up early or late can get you turned away and delay your plans. In addition, some colleges have rules about how many people can accompany you, how much time you have in a loading zone, and require specific check-in procedures. Knowing what you can and cannot do can save you loads of headaches as the day approaches.

2.   Assemble a Team

Move-in is only as good as the people doing the move. Your crew should consist of at least one strong person, someone organized, and a leader. That team must be able to work together well to get through such a stressful day. Let those you may not get along with stay at home (such as siblings!). Give each person a rundown of the day, assign a specific task, and be sure they understand how it is to be done. Become the leader and take the reins!

3.   Bring Along Moving Supplies

Having extra moving supplies may be a lifesaver at the end of the day. For example, many schools will provide you with carts or dollies, but those are taken fast. Rent, borrow, or purchase your own so you are not left waiting for the next available one. You should also bring empty boxes and packing tape in case you change your mind about items in the room. Other great move-in supplies to have on hand include bungee cords, first aid kits, and furniture casters.

4.   Label Your Boxes

Once you’re in your dorm, you’ll want to get unpacked as quickly as possible, especially if your team needs to leave. To speed up the process, prep your gear by organizing it in terms of its use or the area of the room. For example, pack all of your bath towels with the rest of your bath supplies or have a single box for your comforter and pillows. If you have a storage system such as a trunk or dresser, pack what will go in there (such as winter boots or coats) in advance. Labeling your boxes will help streamline where everything goes.

5.   Create Lists

A thorough to-do list is a must have, especially with the days leading up to the move. Make sure it includes necessary shopping trips, visits with your team, and day-of things to take care of. Have a separate list of everything you have packed so you can keep track of your items and nothing gets lost in the shuffle. Be sure to check out our college dorm checklist to ensure you have all your essentials packed! Finally, make an itinerary for your move-in day team. If there are family or welcome events that they will attend with you, let them know in advance so they are prepared.


How excited are you for move-in day? What do you plan on doing in advance to keep things organized and efficient? Good luck!

The Essential Freshman Move-in Checklist


No one wants to forget something on Move-in Day, especially with the current gas prices. You’ll end up wasting a lot of time and money tracking down a replacement. So don’t leave anything at home when you move into the residence halls. In order to stay organized and ensure you’ve got all of your dorm room supplies. Use the handy checklist below to keep track of everything you need.

For your Extra-long Twin Bed

Xl Twin sheets

Bedspread, comforter, or quilt

Extra Blanket



Extra Pillowcases

Throw Pillow(s)

Backrest pillow

XL Mattress Pad

XL Mattress cover

For the Dorm Room

Alarm Clock

Bedside light and/or clip lamp


Floor lamp

Book shelves

Trash can


Beside rug/carpet

Surge Protector (check school requirements)

For your Bathroom


Hand towels

Soap, razor, lotion etc

Shower tote


Shower shoes/sandals

Hair and makeup supplies

Storage and Organizational Supplies

Trunk w/ lock

Hangers (bring more than you need)

Under the bed storage containers

Laundry hamper

Desk drawer organizer

Hanging garment organizer

Shoe rack

Bedside hanging shelf

For Entertainment


DVD player

Ipod player

Video game consoles and controllers

Camera and charger


Cell phone

All chargers/connection cordss

Dorm Room Decor



Wall shelf

Dry erase board (hang it on the door to leave messages for your roommate(s)




Cleaning and Other Supplies

Trash bags

Window/mirror cleaner


Small vacuum


Bucket (use your trashcan as a double)


Bathroom cleaner (if private bathroom)

Paper towels


Light bulbs


Classroom Necessities

Computer and power cord

Laptop lock







Backpack or tote


Hole puncher



Printer and USB cord

Kitchen Supplies

Plates (just 2 or 3 will work)




Water filter

Refrigerator/freezer (if allowed)

Microwave (if allowed)

Plastic containers

Emergency snacks and quick meals

Reusable water bottle

Pot (preferably microwave and stove-top safe)

Coffee pot (if allowed)

Emergency Supplies

First aid kit

Sewing Kit


Tool kit

For Bad Weather


Rain jacket

Snow boots

Rain boots

Winter coat

The Freshmen Move-in Day Guide


Move-in Day can be a lot more complicated than it has to be. If you’re not prepared, you’ll probably waste a lot of time and energy searching for the things you forgot or trying to find out how to get to your residence hall. So here is our guide on the best way to approach Move-in Day.

Pack Early

About a week before Move-in Day you should start getting ready. Pack up all your stuff, triple check your drawers, and make sure that you’ve checked off every single thing on your checklist. Forgetting even one small thing can be a very costly and exhausting mistake. After unpacking your car, the last thing you’ll want to do is head out on a wild goose chase for extra-long twin sheets that will actually fit your bed.

Prepare the Night Before-

There are three things that you should do the day before you plan to move in to your college dorm.

1) Load the Car

If the care is loaded and ready to go, you’ll have a lot more free time to primp in the morning and make sure that you didn’t forget anything.

2) Print out the Directions

The directions on you GPS or cell phone are probably flawless most of the time, but move-in day is practically guaranteed to be the one day your device fails. So make sure you know exactly where your residence hall is located and how to get there ahead of time.

3) Check for University Instructions

Make sure you know how to get your room keys, where to park, and what time you need to arrive by. This information is usually available on your universities website, and can help you avoid a lot of stress.

Get Up Early

The sooner you get started the better. So get up early and get ready to hit the road ASAP.

Dress for Success

Yes, you probably want to wear your sneakers so that you’ll be comfortable climbing 5 flights of stairs and carrying 18 boxes of stuff up to your room. However, make sure you look good too. After all, this is your first time meeting everyone in your residence hall.

Enjoy your Ride

Don’t let traffic or a wrong turn stress you out. Travel with someone you love to hang out with and enjoy your journey to college. You want to be in a good mood when you get there.

Follow the Identical T-shirt wearing Upperclassmen

They’re there to help. If you’ve got a question or need a hand carrying up your stuff don’t hesitate to ask the university welcoming committee. They’ll quickly direct you to the sign-in area, help you unload your car, and tell you the best way to get to your dorm room.


This is the best time to ask any questions that you may have about residence hall security, your mailing address, or where to pick up your mail. Don’t hesitate.

Get a Good Look

Once you’ve signed in it’s time to head up to your dorm, and get your first look at your home for the next 9 months. If your roommate beat you to the room, you’ll probably get stuck with the squeaky bed and broken wardrobe, but if you’re there first make sure you choose carefully.

Do the Inspection

Before you carry in all your stuff and cram you room with boxes and suitcases, complete any required room inspections. Be sure to write down even the smallest scratches and scuff marks in the room, just in case.

Meet your Roommate-

When you meet your roommate and his/her parents for the first time don’t get nervous. Shake their hands and look them in the eyes as you introduce yourself. Make a good first impression and everything will run smoother.

Financial Aid, Student ID, and Other Important Things

After you finish unpacking, it’s time to care of any lingering questions or issues. If you need to pay a visit to the financial aid office now is the time to do it. Your parents will probably be more than willing to tag along.

Say Goodbye

You have to options. Kiss Mom and Dad on the check and wave them off or join them for a last meal. If you choose to grab lunch together consider inviting your roommate and his/her family to join you. It will be a great bonding experience, and what’s the worst that could happen.

Introduce Yourself

Once you’re emotional goodbyes are over and Mom and Dad have left it’s time to start getting to know your residence hall. If you’re an outgoing person hit the halls (with or without your roommate) and stop in each open doorway to introduce yourself. If you’re too shy to put yourself out there like that, just leave your door open as you unpack and talk to everyone who stops by.

Get Involved

Be sure to join the students in your hall if they head off to dinner together, and stop by any university events for freshman. That’s the best way to make some friends.

Image: USM