7 Pieces of Advice for College Move-In Day

Sure, summer is just beginning… but before you know it, it’ll be move-in day. If you’re anything like I was, you’ve already started picking out décor, consulting with your roomie about who is bringing what, and figuring out how to cram all of your belongings into a tiny dorm room – you know, the important stuff! What many people don’t think about is the actual process of moving all that stuff in.

I arrived to my school bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, so excited to unload my mom’s packed-to-the-brim car into my brand new dorm room. Then I started lugging heavy boxes up to my third floor dorm room in 90-degree weather, and I suddenly wasn’t so bright-eyed. It didn’t help that I’d worn the wrong clothes, the wrong shoes, and packed like an idiot. Take it from me: move-in day will go much more smoothly if you pack carefully, plan thoroughly, and heed my advice for college move-in day.


Pack smart.

I only lived five hours away from my school, and I felt lucky that I could throw my stuff into my mom’s car instead of attempting to fly with everything I needed. However, when I say I threw my stuff into her car… I mean it. There were clothes, books, pillows, shoes, and knickknacks strewn throughout the backseat and trunk, and unloading everything was a nightmare. Don’t be like me. Pack logically (i.e. summer clothes together, winter clothes together, kitchen stuff together, desk stuff together, and so on) and pack everything so that it’ll be easy to unload. Well, as easy as possible.


Come prepared to work… and dress accordingly!

It can be tempting to wear a nice outfit since you’re meeting so many new people, but comfort is key. Dress like you’re heading into a workout class! You’ll be working hard (and it’ll likely be pretty warm) so dress with that in mind. Skip the sandals for athletic shoes – your feet will thank you. Have a bottle of water handy!


Bring a tool kit.

I figured I wouldn’t need a toolkit because my dorm came furnished. Inevitably, I needed a tool kit. You don’t need anything too extensive, but I’d make sure to have a hammer and screwdriver handy. I had a few pieces of furniture, like a side table and futon, that required assembly. Some dorm beds can also be adjusted depending on whether you want them lofted or unlofted, and using a hammer is much easier than using your heaviest pair of heels (which, of course, is what I ended up doing).


Arrive as early as you’re allowed.

You probably won’t beat the rush, considering everyone is excited to move in, but hopefully you’ll beat the hottest weather of the day. Moving and unpacking is a lot less fun when you’re drenched in sweat.


Respect your roommate’s half!

This is important. If you’re the first one to arrive in your room, remember that half of the space belongs to your roommate. Make sure you don’t take over too much of the common area, and don’t make a huge mess so that her move-in process is even harder. If you’re not sure if you’re taking up too much of the room, play it safe and wait until your roomie arrives to discuss it. You don’t want to start your roommate relationship off on a bad foot.


Plan for one (or two or three) trips to the store.

No matter how carefully you pack and plan, there will certainly be things that you forget, or don’t realize you will need in the first place. Give yourself time for those last minute Target trips to pick up things like Command strips, extension cords, curtain rods, and anything else you’ll need to get your room set up and feeling like home sweet home.


Be patient and don’t let yourself get stressed out.

You only get to experience your first college move-in day once, so have fun! I am a Type A neat freak when it comes to my living space, and I almost declined a “last supper” with my mom that night so I could finish unpacking and organizing my dorm. Don’t waste such a special day by being too focused on making things perfect! Everything will come together, even if the process feels a little overwhelming at first.