Moving into the college dorm for the first time can be daunting. College students are often not sure of procedures on the college campus, what to bring, what you can leave at home and what you can buy as you need it (or forget about completely if you realize you’ll never need it).
Here are some college tips for moving day.
1. First, know where you’re going
Get your paperwork in order. Learn ahead of time what dorm and room you’re assigned to, what the rules and policies are, the name of your roommate, the name of your resident assistant (RA) and where to park your car if you will keep it on campus. Make sure to grab a map of campus. Before moving in, you also need things like health status, student ID and mail box.
2. Pack only what you really need
A friend of mine and I roomed together freshman year. We brought a van and a station wagon full of stuff. The RA exclaimed: “All this for two people!!” To avoid my mistake, pack only the essentials: clothes, school supplies, electronics, medication, towels and bed sheets and tools (hammer and screwdriver). Optional items: mini-fridge and a treasured item that means a lot to you so you don’t feel so alone away from home. Also, “A mattress pad is a staple item, especially for a dorm room bed. …[and] Blackout curtains are great for light sleepers who nap in the afternoon and people who can’t get to bed with the lights on” advised to Emily Rolen in “Dos and don’ts: Moving into your first dorm room or apartment” posted on USA Today College, August 6, 2015.
3. Label moving boxes
Even though you’re not taking a whole bunch of stuff, it’s still helpful to label boxes so unpacking will be a breeze. Even better is to pack your stuff in transparent plastic storage bins, which you may not even have to unpack. You can stack these right in your closet.
4. Move in during midweek
Weekends are extremely crowded for moving in. If you and your family are free midweek, that’s the best time. There will be fewer people moving in then so you may be able to park closer to the dorm and you won’t be so stressed. Move in as early in the day as you can so you have the rest of the day to unpack and relax. If time permits, try to pick a cool day to move. Students usually move in August, which can be very hot.
5. Set up utilities and services
In “A Crash Course in College Moving: 12 Tips to Get You On Your Way the Right Way,” posted in LehighValleyStyle.com, Danielle Bennicoff recommended: “Whether you’re living in a dormitory or an apartment, make sure you set up cable, phone, Internet and electric before move-in day. You don’t want to be stranded in your new space without these essentials!”
6. Clean first, then carry in boxes
“In addition to a small tool set, duct tape and sticky-hooks, bring a roll of paper towels and 409 or Lysol Wipes to give the room a good once-over before unpacking and making the bed. There’s a good chance this might be the only time that room is actually cleaned the entire year,” said Linda Wolff in “Dropping Your Child Off at College” on Huffington Post, October 20, 2013.
7. Lastly, decorate your room
Wait until after the essentials are all put away and you can see what kind of living space you have. Then you can decorate and make the room your own with your personal touches.