5 Tips for Moving Into Your New Dorm

When you're moving into a college dorm for the first time, feeling anxious about the college experience and who you'll be living with can only magnify the stress typically associated with relocating. Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take to make sure that your move goes as easily and as quickly as possible.

1. Do Your Homework.

Even though classes haven't started yet...but you'd be doing yourself a huge disservice by not gathering all these critical pieces of information as soon as possible:

  • Your move-in date
  • Your dorm's address
  • Locations where you can park your vehicle(s) and/or rental truck on move-in day
  • Dimensions and layout of your dorm room (schedule a visit, if need be)
  • A list of items already included in the room (e.g., table, bed frame, microwave)
  • A list of items not permitted in the dorm (e.g., candles and other potential fire hazards)
  • Your future roommate's contact info (email address and phone number)

2. Create a Master List.

Taking the time to create a master list of everything you'll need will reduce your likelihood of starting college with missing items. You can start by finding an online dorm room checklist to subtract from or build upon. Make sure to be mindful of commonly forgotten items, including things such as formal outfits, hangers, a first aid kit, important personal documents (e.g., social security card) and condoms. You should also think about the amount of clothing and underwear you may need if you become really busy and can't do your laundry one week. With all other items, you should aim to only bring the minimal amount. It's very easy to over-pack!

3. Coordinate with roommate.

You'll be living with your roommate for at least one semester or maybe more, so it's important to get off on the right foot by involving them in your preparations. Before contacting them, make note of items that either of you might want and can share with each other. Potential items may include: a television, ironing board/iron, furniture (e.g., a couch), microwave, stereo and a mini-refrigerator. Get confirmation of the items they agreed to bring before you finish packing.

4. Pack early and often.

You can make your moving experience so much easier by packing efficiently. For example, you can save space and reduce your moving costs by using your blankets, towels, wash rags and socks to securely pack fragile items. Furthermore, packing smaller boxes into larger ones may reduce the number of trips you make between your dorm room and the moving truck.

You can also make strategic moves now to prevent feeling overwhelmed later. If you're able to visit your family during the holidays, you can reduce your clothing load by leaving some clothes behind for you to exchange during your visit. Furthermore, you should include your moving boxes, containers and other supplies in your moving plans so that you have a place to keep them at college and can use them again when you move out.

5. Manage your move.

On move-in day, make sure you have all the information you need and bring a copy of your final list of items (this will come in handy when you move out!). Don't forget items commonly left behind, such as your cell phone and cell phone charger. Finally, make sure to bring plenty of bottled water and toilet paper, arrive early, and thank everyone who helped you move.


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