Move-in day as a college freshman can be stressful for both you and your parents, but it doesn’t have to be! Check out these tips and tricks for making the best out of your move-in day experience. You’re at the very beginning of a very exciting time in your life—plan accordingly.
1. LEARN HOW TO MAKE COFFEE
You’ll need it for moving day and every day after.
2. WEAR COMFY SHOES
This is not the time to get fancy. You will be on your feet a lot, walking long distances from move-in day to graduation day so keep the shoes practical. And pack extras.
3. HIRE A PROFESSIONAL
Don’t try to tackle such a big move by yourself and don’t force your parents to do it for you. Hire a professional and leave yourself time to worry about what really matters; like registering for classes, getting to know your new surroundings, and preparing for your first day of school.
4. FEEL OUT YOUR NEW ROOMIE
Universities will usually let you know who your roommate will be before you move in. Find them on Facebook, if you live in the same town meet them for coffee, or ask to video chat. No one wants to live with a stranger, and it’s likely they are just as curious about you, so introduce yourself and ask them a ton of questions!
5. PACK PHOTOS OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Pack your favorite blanket or bean bag. When you get homesick or stressed out you’ll be glad to have something that makes you feel close to home and comfortable. It really is the little things.
6. PACK THE ESSENTIALS
Don’t forget things like a shower caddie and robe, sheets, or a desk lamp. There are plenty of resources for dorm room essentials on Pinterest or Bed Bath & Beyond, so check them out. There’s even a site, Dorm It Up, that will let you customize what your dorm room is lacking and have it delivered directly to your door! Ah, 2016, we heart you.
Fill it with things you know you will need on day one. You may not think you have as much stuff as you do, but after a long day of lugging boxes up stairs (unless you were smart and hired someone—but we all make rookie mistakes) you’ll only want to shower, eat, and crawl into bed.
8. DON’T OVER-PACK YOUR BOXES
Over-packing is the number one reason boxes break and valuables end up strung along the concrete. If it’s too heavy to lift, it’s too heavy for the box! Split things up, pack light, and learn how to properly pack your breakables in our How to Pack Fragile Items guide.
9. BRING ALONG A TOOL BOX
You’ll want to decorate and hang pictures. To do this, you’ll need tools.
10. MAKE YOUR BED
When you arrive, make your bed first thing. At the end of a long day you’ll appreciate being able to crawl into a nicely made, comfortable bed. Plan ahead and future-you with thank you.
11. MOVE THE FURNITURE
You’re totally allowed to, so move it around. You will be living in that room for the next 9 to 10 months of your life, so make it you own!
12. TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY YOUR NEW ADDRESS
It’s not easy being away from home for that long. They’ll want to send you warm thoughts and you’ll love receiving them!
13. STAY ORGANIZED AND LISTEN TO YOUR PARENT’S ADVICE
You may not know it all, but most likely they’ve been through it all. Write down a Moving Checklist, fill your planner (and get one if you don’t have one already!) with important dates and deadlines, and fill out an Moving Inventory of your belongings. Hundreds of students who are also on their own for the first time will be living in your apartment or dorm building. This is why you have things like renter’s insurance and if the day comes that you actually have to file a claim, you’ll be glad you kept a record of your things.
14. KEEP THE IMPORTANT STUFF SAFE AND SECURE
If you’re not leaving important documents with your parents (which we advise doing), make sure you’re keeping them organized and in a safe place.
15. DOUBLE CHECK YOUR FINANCIAL AID STATUS
Hiccups happen. Don’t arrive to campus to find out your FASFA loans, grants, or scholarships haven’t gone through.
16. VERIFY YOUR HOUSING SITUATION
Whether you will be living on campus in the dorms or off campus in an apartment, verify and double check your move-in date, time, and location. If you’re moving into a dorm, then everything will be outlined for you and you will have a move-in schedule. Check with your campus housing department to get any questions answered before moving day.
If you’re moving into an apartment off campus ask them about their move-in schedule as well. Most incoming students don’t know this, but it is common for apartment complexes in college towns to streamline the move-in process. From key pick up to entering your new apartment, it’s all scheduled. Check with your apartment’s leasing off for specific dates and times
17. GO TO NEW STUDENT ORIENTATION
Just do it. Meet other students, learn how to register for classes, discover unknown campus resources, and get the low-down on the best off-campus activities from campus veterans.
18. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR UNIVERSITY’S WELCOME WEEK ACTIVITIES
This is a time when most universities introduce incoming freshmen to their surroundings through events and social gatherings. Welcome Week can be a lot of fun and it’s a great opportunity to meet new people.
19. DON’T BE LATE
Don’t kick off your college career by being late. Even the most studious student will run into some early morning hiccups, so save your tardiness for the morning after your first long night—that you spent studying.