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Tips for a smooth dorm move-in day

As summer draws to an end, college move-in day approaches and anxiety starts to build up. It’s a big day – one that is eagerly anticipated and quite dreaded.

College move-in tends to be a whirlwind of emotions – it brings a lot of excitement and pride, but also more than a little stress and sadness. On top of it, it’s quite hectic – there are many things to be done and little time to do them. And there are a lot of students going in and out of the dorm and getting in each other’s way.

It is, therefore, normal to feel nervous and stressed on this momentous day – and maybe a bit at a loss. Yet, it’s quite possible to bring order to the chaos and ensure a smooth and efficient dorm move-in day – as long as you’re well prepared and know what to do.

Here are some dorm move-in day tips that will help you successfully overcome the first challenge of the academic year and get settled into your dorm room quickly and easily.

Get ready for dorm move-in day

The better prepared you’re, the less stressful your college move will be – and there are many steps you can take to prepare for dorm move-in and ensure a successful start of your college year:

1) Get familiar with the college rules and guidelines – Your college will have sent you the schedule for move-in day and you will be able to find their specific move-in policies on the college website. Make sure you read all the information thoroughly and pay special attention to:

  • check-in times and procedures – you may need to go through registration, sign the required forms, and have your photo ID taken before you can move into the dorm;
  • parking rules – some colleges allow families to pull cars right up to the dorm door while others require vehicles to be parked at a distance;
  • the amount of time you have in the unloading zone and the number of people that can accompany you.

Find out where you will get your keys (or dorm access card) and don’t forget to check your college website for lists of items banned in the dorms (so you know what not to pack for college).

2) Plan the logistics of your college move:

  • Decide how you’re going to move to college and organize the transportation of your items – your parents may be able to take you to the dorm, you may ship your items to a local UPS or Fed Ex location, or you may hire an affordable college moving company to take care of your belongings;
  • If your campus gives specific time slots for students to move into the dorm, make sure you sign up early to get a convenient time – consider the distance from your home to your college (you may need to arrive in town the day before dorm move-in day if you live a long distance away), the weather (you will want to avoid the afternoon hours if your campus is located at a place that gets over 90 degrees in August) and the traffic (you’ll be competing with work traffic if you’re moving in the morning or late afternoon);
  • Look at a campus map and figure out where cars can pull in for unloading and where they can stay parked.

See also: How to move into a dorm

3) Coordinate with your roommate – If possible, learn who your roommate will be and get in touch with them in advance. Talk about what your dorm room will need and decide what larger items (like a mini-fridge, microwave, or TV) each of you will bring, so you don’t end up with duplicate items. Make sure you coordinate move-in times as well, so you can move in one at a time and don’t get in each other’s way.

4) Pack wisely – There won’t be much space in your dorm room, so be careful to take only your most needed items – and a few cherished possessions that will help you feel at home in the college dorm.

  • Be sure to organize your items by purpose when packing them and label all boxes in detail, so you know at a glance what is where;
  • Use boxes with built-in handles and don’t make them too heavy (keep in mind that you may need to carry the boxes up many flights of stairs);
  • Pack any plastic bins or drawers you intend to use in your dorm room as storage containers with the items that will be kept in them – bulky winter clothing, extra toiletries, sheets and towels, etc.;
  • Tape all moving containers securely shut, so your items don’t spill out during the move or while you’re taking the boxes to your dorm room.

See also: What to pack for college; Packing tips for moving

5) Pack an essentials bag – Time will be limited and things will be chaotic on dorm room move-in day. It’s a good idea to have all your essentials – your phone, most important documents, basic toiletries, a first-aid kit, a fresh shirt, etc. – packed in a separate bag, so you have what you need at hand.

See also: What to pack in an essentials box

6) Bring a toolkit – Be sure to bring a hammer, screwdrivers and pliers, and some other basic tools with you when moving into college dorm – you may need to raise the bed, secure shelves to the wall, or deal with minor repairs. Scissors, duct tape, zip ties, and cable ties will come in handy as well. Needless to say, the toolkit should remain in the dorm room as you may need it again during the college year.

7) Bring cleaning supplies – It is highly recommended to give your dorm room a good cleaning before moving in, so make sure you bring cleaning supplies too – cleaning wipes, disinfectant sprays, trash bags, a dustpan and a brush, a small vacuum, etc. Pack these supplies last in the car, so they can be unloaded first when you arrive at the dorm.

8) Bring a collapsible hand truck – A hand cart won’t take much space in the car but will make dorm move-in much faster and easier, as you will be able to stack several boxes on it at once (thus making fewer trips between the dorm and the car) and won’t need to carry heavy items by hand.

9) Bring refreshments – Moving is exhausting and temperatures tend to be high in late August, so make sure you bring enough water for you and your family. A few cold drinks and some healthy snacks won’t go amiss either.

10) Dress practically – Dress for the weather and make sure you wear comfortable clothes made of flexible, breathable fabrics and comfortable shoes with ankle support and anti-slip soles.

11) Don’t bring more than two people with you – The rooms are cramped and the halls are piled high with stuff on dorm move-in day, so bringing your extended family along is not a good idea. It will be hard to fit more than three people in your room, there will be no time to tour the college and show your family around, and you’ll be too anxious to enjoy their company. Besides, the more people come along, the less space there will be in the car for your items.

The above dorm move-in checklist will help you plan the details and smooth the way for a successful move-in day. To ensure a stress-free experience though, you need to know how to handle the momentous day itself.

Organize a smooth and efficient dorm move-in day

So, the big day has arrived and you’re on the threshold of the new academic year – and on the threshold of your dorm. It’s time to move in and settle into your new room.

To make dorm room move-in as smooth as possible, you’re advised to:

  • Arrive early – You need to respect the move-in window specified for you by the college, of course, but be sure to arrive at your dorm as early as you’re allowed to – the earlier you get there, the more time you’ll have to move in and the sooner you’ll be done with it all. Besides, if you need to run out to the store because you forgot something important, there will be enough time to do so as well;
  • Go to the building’s RA office first – You need to check in at your building’s RA office to receive the key to your room, so plan to go there first. Be sure to bring your student ID number and any necessary forms with you;
  • Inspect your room – Your first task when moving into college dorm is to inspect the room for damage. It’s critical that you perform a thorough examination and mark off any problems – from stains and rips on the carpet to chipped furniture and dented walls – so you don’t get charged for pre-existing damage when it’s time to move out of the dorm. Fill in the forms very carefully, check the correct boxes, and take pictures of any problematic areas so you have evidence in case you need it;
  • Clean your room before bringing anything in it – It will be easier to clean your room while it is empty, so make sure you give it a thorough cleaning before you bring your items inside – wipe down the desk and the dresser, disinfect the mattress, etc.;
  • Re-arrange the furniture in advance – Before you start unpacking, move the furniture around, so it best suits your needs and your taste. Make sure you loft your bed to create some extra storage space (See also: How to deal with moving into a small space);
  • Keep the door to your room open – Prop open the door (you can use a doorstop or a small heavy item) while you’re taking your items inside to speed up the process, get the air in the room circulating, and give your neighbors a chance to say hello;
  • Make the bed last – The bed is the most convenient place to set items on as they’re moved into the room, so it’s a good idea to make it after you’re done with everything else – so it doesn’t get filthy during unpacking (See also: What to unpack first after moving);
  • Make a trip to the store – Find out the locations of the nearest drugstore, grocery store, supermarket, home improvement store, etc. You may need to go to some of these stores after you unpack to get some missing key items, stock your mini fridge, etc., so plan your time accordingly and ask your parents to help you, as you probably won’t have access to a car;
  • Relish the moment – College move-in day is a big moment in your life, so make sure you enjoy it despite all the stress and chaos around you. Take plenty of pictures, say a proper good-bye to your parents, and share your thoughts and feelings with your family and your friends. You’ve just taken the first step to an exciting and successful academic year. Congratulations on a job well done!


Published at Wed, 14 Aug 2019 12:14:11 +0000