Learn how to master college move in day with these genius tips! Trust me when I say you are going to be glad you had this information in advance.
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The day is finally here. After the brutal application process and days on end spent preparing, it’s time for college move in day!!!
This day is going to be crazy and exciting and so many more emotions. Things are going to be messy before they get organized. You are going to need a plan.
The best way to go into college move in day is by being as prepared as possible. In a way, everything you do before even stepping on campus can sometimes be more important than actually moving in.
I am breaking down the college move in day process, including my best tips for before the day, packing for the day, and the actual moving day. PLUS, get the answers to some extremely important FAQs about college move in!
This post is all about college move in day!
Before college move in day
1. coordinate with roommate
Well before the day you are moving in, you should definitely talk to your roommate(s) and discuss things like decorations, colors, and other specifics. You want to have as much information as possible before move in day to make the day go as smooth as possible!
2. figure out your college move in day and time
In most cases, your college is going to send you an email with your move in date and time. Make sure you have this information well in advance so you can plan accordingly. For some reason, if you don’t get this info, try to email or call someone from the school to figure it out.
If you live a driving distance away from your school, plan what time you want to leave on moving day and when you want to pack up the car.
If you live a plane ride away from your school, use this information to plan flights, hotels, meals, and other details before the week of.
3. Look at photos of your dorm room
Whether it be photos, blueprints, floor plans, or whatever you can get a hold of. Try to find as much as you can online or from other students. These photos are going to be key in planning how you want to organize your dorm room.
Make sure to pay close attention to measurements and features in your room so you can plan. For example, try to figure out with your roommate how you want to configure the furniture in your room.
College move in day is stressful and busy enough. So, try to plan this stuff beforehand so you don’t have to worry about it the day of.
If you haven’t gotten the hint, the most important thing you can do to make move in day go as best as it can is plan as much as you can BEFORE arriving to campus.
Packing for college move in day
4. use a packing list
I cannot stress this enough. Of all the college move in day tips, this might be the single most important thing you do to ensure your move in day goes well.
USE A PACKING LIST.
Let me say it one more time for good measure. USE. A. PACKING. LIST
I can almost guarantee that if you go to Target and Walmart and just wonder the aisles, you are not only going to forgot SO MANY THINGS, but you are going to spend a lot of extra money too.
You need a packing list to make sure you are bringing all the essentials, plus all those random items you didn’t know you needed.
And lucky for you, I created an ALL-IN-ONE Dorm Room Packing List that you can get sent straight to your inbox RIGHT NOW!
5. pack in bins, not boxes
A good rule of thumb when packing up your stuff for college is to pack in bins instead of boxes (this is assuming you are driving to your school). Just the fact that you can see what’s in each bin makes unpacking so much easier.
6. LABEL EVERYTHING
Going off that last tip, make sure you also label all of your bins and bags. Even if it’s a clear bin, you still want to throw a label on there for good measure.
It might seem like an extra, unnecessary step to take when packing, but it is going to make unpacking a lot more organized.
You can either label all of your bins and bags as you pack them up or label everything all at the end. And remember, these labels are just to help you and are most likely temporary, so you don’t need to use anything fancy. Just some masking tape and a sharpie works great!
7. only pack clothes for the current season
Depending on where you are going to school, you might need clothes for different seasons. If it makes sense for you, only pack the clothes of the season you are currently in (or going into).
A dorm room is small enough, so you definitely don’t want a bunch of bulky sweaters taking up space when it is summer.
Remember, you can always switch things out with whatever you keep at home, so you are better off taking as little as possible.
8. make a list of items that need to be bought at the school
There are usually two reasons you want to buy something near school: either you forgot something or it was too big to bring.
Let’s talk about the latter first. In some cases, it may make more sense to schedule pickup for certain items at a store near your college instead of bringing it from home. Especially if you have to fly to your school, it is a lot easier to pick up the bigger items directly at school.
To make sure you don’t forget anything, make a separate list of items that you need to buy/pick up on move in day. Try to include the item and the store, as well as if you pre-ordered it or not.
Now for the other reason: you forgot something. If this happens, don’t freak out! You are most likely going to forget something, so just remember that there are stores everywhere!
As you move in, if you realize you are missing something, just write it down on your phone or a list so you remember what you need to buy when you go to the store.
9. use ikea storage bags
I am assuming that most people reading this have heard of these insanely popular bags from Ikea. If not, they are just these large plastic bags that are perfect for college move in day.
If you haven’t gotten yourself a few of these yet, check them out! I can guarantee they are going to make move in a breeze!
These bags are PERFECT for linens and bedding. They are super big so they can fit your blanket, sheets, and usually pillows all in one. You might need to use two for bedding, depending on how many decorative pillows you are bringing.
10. keep clothes on hangers
To save time when you move in, bring anything you plan to hang already on hangers.
The best way to transport clothes on hangers is to put a trash bag around all of the clothes and tie it at the top. The top of the hanger should stick out of the opening in the trash bag so you can easily hold everything.
I usually like to group the clothes in each bag by category. For example, maybe you have one trash bag with dresses and one with jackets.
When you get to school, all you have to do is hang each bunch in your closet and then rip the trash bag off!
11. tape drawers and bins shut
You would way rather have to take a minute or two to take off the tape at school than have to reorganize everything if a bin opened on the ride.
12. get rid of packaging
Before packing things up, try to get rid of as much packaging as possible.
For some items, the packaging just takes up more space and isn’t necessary at all. But, others you may want to leave in the original package so it stays safe on the ride to school. For example, if you are bringing a printer to school, leave that in the package so it doesn’t get damaged.
13. pack with unpacking in mind
This college move in day packing tip is really important if you want to have a smooth unpacking experience. Don’t just pack everything up as you buy things. Instead, wait until you buy everything and then pack things in an organized fashion.
Try to pack as much as you can in what it is going to be stored in in your dorm room. For example, if you have big under the bed storage bins, pack you clothes in there as you would want them in your room.
This is why looking at pictures of your room is so important. If you have a good sense of the space you have in your room, you are able to better pack things in what they will stay in.
You also want to pack in categories. If you have a bunch of random items that aren’t being stored in bins when you get to your room, pack them with other like items. For example, maybe have an entire bin or bag dedicated to school items.
The most important thing you can do is just pack everything as organized as possible. You are going to be stressed enough on move in day, so take the time beforehand to prepare.
On college move in day
14. look at room before bringing stuff in
If you have the time, take a look at the room before you start bring stuff into it. If nothing else, it will just give you a minute of calm before the storm.
15. arrive before your roommate (if possible)
If you can arrange it, try to get to your room before your roommate.
That way, if there is a better side of the room or something like that, you can make sure you are there first. Also, it gives you some time to start unpacking with more space.
When both roommates are there are the same time, it is extremely hectic and chaotic because there are so many people and so much stuff.
Getting there even an hour before your roommate can give you a chance to get a head start on the move in process.
16. have certain items easily accessible
You want to keep these items in a separate and easily accessible place in the car:
- tool kit (including a rubber mallet to raise the bed)
These are the essentials that you need to help you unpack everything else. For example, you need the scissors to cut the tape off all the bins and boxes.
Make a separate bag with just these items and put it in the car last. Then, it’ll be the first thing out when you start unpacking.
17. clean your room before you start
Another thing to have handy when you start unpacking are some basic cleaning supplies. Before you bring anything into the room, take a minute to clean the surfaces.
18. bring snacks and drinks
College move in day is a long and exhausting process (speaking from experience here). Especially when there are a lot of people, you don’t want anyone getting hangry.
Bring lots of snacks and drinks so you can keep yourself energized throughout the day. Depending on what time you are moving in, also remember to plan for meals.
19. Start with the bed
After cleaning the room, everything is going to be brought in and it can start to get very stressful. There are so many bags and bins and boxes and it’s hard to figure out what to do first when there is so much.
The best thing you can do is start with the bed. Your bedding and linens are going to take up the most space, so get them out of the way by making your bed first.
Not only is it going to feel like a lot less stuff when you do, it’ll give you a nice open surface to work with when you are unpacking everything else.
If you are confused about the different layers of dorm room bedding, I broke everything down in this article!
20. delegate as much as possible
If you are moving in with parents, siblings, or anyone else, delegate as many tasks as possible to make sure everything gets done in time. If everyone is working on the same thing, move in day is going to feel like a never-ending process.
Instead, try giving each person a different task to keep things moving. Maybe one person works on the bed, one organizes the desk supplies, and someone else builds something.
College move in day FAQs
Just in case you have any more questions…
1. what should I wear to college move in day?
College move in day is long… and tiring… and hot (especially if your dorm doesn’t have air conditioning). That being said, dress accordingly. This is not the event to wear fancy clothes, uncomfortable outfits, or annoying shoes. Wear sneakers and something comfortable.
For the student, keep a separate bag with a cuter outfit to change into. Depending on what your college does, you might have an event after move in day that you want a change of clothes for. While all of your clothes are in your room, things might still be disorganized.
To be sure you have something nicer to change into, plan ahead and keep it in a separate bag so it’s easily accessible.
For the family and anyone else helping with the move in day process, bring a change of clothes as well. But, it obviously doesn’t have to be something nice.
After the whole day of carrying boxes and organizing, you are probably got to be hot and gross. Bring something comfortable and clean to change into for the car or plane ride home.
2. What is college move in day like?
College move in day is a hectic, crazy, and sometimes rushed process. That being said, it is also a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you want to make sure you remember to enjoy.
Things can get stressful, but just remember to stay calm. Everything will get done eventually.
3. Do I need to hire a moving company?
In some cases, it may make sense for you to hire movers for college move in day. There are hundreds of companies such as Bluebell Relocation Services that can help with college move ins! Especially if you are going to college out of state, they are a super easy option for NJ Interstate Movers.
While it is definitely an investment, if it makes the day less stressful and more organized, it might be worth it.
4. what should I do the day before college move in day?
The day before college move in day is almost just as important as the real day. That’s the time to really make sure you are well prepared and have everything you need.
Go through all of your items once more and make sure everything is organized and accounted for. If you are missing anything, do those last minute errands.
The day before you should also pack up the car. This is sometimes a frustrating game of Tetris, but keep trying until everything fits into the car!
Also remember to stop working and prepping and packing and just spend time with your family and friends.
5. How do I organize everything?
This is a very loaded question and this article is already getting pretty long so I won’t go into too much detail here. If you want all the best dorm room organizing tips, check out this article!
You’ve gone through years of high school and SAT/ACT testing and college research and info sessions and college visits and essays and applications and so much more. And that process was not fun. But NOW is. This is the fun part and this is the part you’ve been waiting for.
So remember to enjoy it. Things are going to get crazy and hectic but that’s bound to happen so just keep going. Stay calm and above all, remember to be excited for what’s about to come!
If you want more dorm tips, tricks, and advice, click here for all my dorm related content!
Wishing you the best of luck with your college move in! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need any help!
This post was all about college move in day!