How to Prepare for College Move In

Move-in day for universities is one of the most exciting days of the year. A new town, new friends, and a fresh start are all enough to get your heart racing. And while all these new things can be exhilarating, they can also be extremely stressful if not prepared for properly. Moving in will take more preparation than just throwing your clothes in your car and calling it a day. 

If you get a head start on planning your college move-in day, you’ll have less stress going into the year, more confidence since you’ll feel prepared, and more time to spend with loved ones before you leave for the big day. It doesn’t matter if your new school is ten minutes away from home, or ten states away, using a checklist like the one below will make move-in day a breeze. 

  1. Make a move-in necessity list and print it out. Asking friends, siblings, or parents that have been to college is a great place to start. You can also find great resources on Pinterest.

  2. Make sure your housing is finalized. Before you can begin to pack, you’ll want to make sure your living arrangements are set in stone.
  3. Print out and read the Can’s and Can’ts of your living space. Many dorms and apartments will provide a list of rules upon finalization of your living arrangements. These will include rules on items that are and aren’t allowed, visitors, quiet hours, etc.

  4. Find out if your living space will be furnished. Most dorms have a bed, desk, dresser, and closet included. However, many apartments do not come furnished at all. By reading this information ahead of time, you won’t accidentally bring a couch to an already furnished dorm room.
  5. Ask if your college provides move-in assistance. Many schools will have older students and RA’s help bring items from your car to your room. Call your school ahead to see if this service is provided, or if you’ll have to find your assistance.
  6. Once you’ve completed these steps and can move on to collecting boxes and packing your personal items, just make sure you don’t overpack! Remember, it’s always easier to pack light and go back for more. You can always go home on a weekend or holiday and bring back more of your things. Overpacking may result in a cramped and stressful situation.

  7. Once clothes, shoes, bedding, toiletries, etc are packed, it’s time to go school shopping! Binders, folders, pens, pencils, a laptop, and a backpack should all be on your list to buy if you do not own them already. If you have a long trip to college, it may be smarter to hold off on purchasing these items until you get to campus.

  8. Find out your move-in schedule. Call your school to see when move-in begins and how to receive your key. Getting an early start on the day and being one of the first to move in will lessen your stress. Being one of the first to the dorms or apartment will mean less foot traffic in the halls and a quicker move-in.

  9. Coordinate with your roommate (if applicable). If you have a roommate, make sure you reach out to them in the days leading up to move-in day. You can agree on a time to meet at your living space and can help one another move your belongings in. This way, your move-in will be quick and you can spend the rest of your day settling in.

  10. Say your goodbyes to friends and family. Even if you’re not moving across the country, you are still starting a huge new chapter in your life. Make sure you make plans to stay in contact with your loved ones, you’ll need their support during this new and exciting time! 

College move-in can be a scary and stressful time. However, if you make a list of everything you need to do and plan well, you can make move-in a stress-free day. Start planning right away, that way, your final days at home are spent having quality time with your friends and family, instead of rushing around grabbing last-minute items.