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Moving to College

July 31st, 2015 - 8:44 AM

Making the Move to College

Whether you’re moving to college for the first time as a freshman or returning for another semester, you may have some questions. How do I get my stuff to campus? What do I need to pack? What should I leave at home? We’ve gathered answers to help you through this transition. We know it can feel crazy to try and fit your life into a dorm room or tiny apartment – but we’re here to help! Our tips and college packing checklist will help you make sure you don’t forget anything. It's time to get organized! Moving to college is a big life change, so do your homework before moving day (no pun intended).

how to move to college

Moving to College for the First Time

If you’re preparing for your first semester away from home, there are a few steps to take before you leave.

1. Call the Housing Office. Give them a call to confirm your dorm assignment and make sure you actually have a place to live. This is also a great time to ask when your move-in date will be, find out dimensions of your new room, and learn who your roommate will be. 

2. Get to know your roommate. If you went potluck and don't know your future roommate, add them as a friend on Facebook or send them an email. Now is a great time to learn more about the person you'll be living with. Talk about when they’ll arrive on moving day, which bed they prefer and what they’re bringing with them. Discuss splitting the big purchases – if they can bring the microwave, maybe you can supply the mini-fridge.

3. Go shopping!  Even if you’ll be bringing your bedding and decor from home, there are likely a few items you’ll need to buy to make dorm life easier. But before you go shopping, make sure you check with your college for any restrictions so you don’t purchase any  any prohibited items – for example, some dorms don’t allow hot plates or coffee pots.

Tips for Moving to College

  • Eat a good breakfast! Get the energy you need to make it through the morning.
  • Get there early. Yes, this means that you might not get to sleep in, but it will be worth it to be able to take your time getting settled.
  • Keep up with your key. If you can, make a spare key for your dorm room. If the dorm doesn’t allow spare keys to be made, put a note on the inside of your door reminding yourself to get your key each time before you leave. The last thing you want is to be locked out on move-in day!
  • Bring a fan. Remember, since you’ll likely be moving in during the last part of the summer, it will be hot. And dorm rooms can get stuffy. So, be sure to bring a fan to keep cool.
  • Pack a power strip. You’ll have lots of things to plug in (your computer, fridge, microwave, chargers, etc.) and most dorm rooms aren’t equipped with tons of wall plugins.
  • Stick to the schedule. Colleges go to great lengths to make sure moving in day is organized. So make moving to college easy for yourself by following the schedule they give you. Talk to your admissions counselor or resident life director to figure out the day’s plans.
  • Put function first. Before you start unloading your personal items, make sure that you and your roommate have the furniture just the way you want it. Get the big items in place before you unpack the smaller stuff.
  • Stay hydrated. Be sure to take plenty of breaks so you don’t get burned out on unpacking.
  • Keep it clean. Bring paper towels and cleaning supplies with you. As soon as you walk into your new dorm room, give it a good clean. Make sure you get the bathroom, too. Pack cleaning supplies last so you can unload them first.
  • Plan your path. If your dorm has an elevator, using it may make carrying big items to your floor easier. However, sometimes the elevator can get busy, so using the stairs might be your best bet anyway. Bring a family member or friend to help you carry items upstairs.
  • Grab the toolbox. Bring some tools with you like a hammer, utility knife, pliers, wrench, screw drivers, nails, a tape measure, power drill, level, and duct tape. You never know if something might need a little fixing before you can use it. Keep the tools with you, not in the moving container, so you don’t have to dig them out to put your bed together.
  • Hook it up. If your dorm requires you to call to hook-up your computer or air conditioner, be sure to call early so you’re the first on the list.
  • Watch your stuff. A lot of times, dorm managers will ask students to unload near the dorm, park the car somewhere else, then come back to carry your stuff in the dorm. If this happens with you, make sure you ask someone you trust to watch your stuff while you park the car. Remember also to watch your things while you’re in your dorm room, too, especially if you door is open while you move.
  • When it rains, it pours. If it’s raining on your move in day, bring a tarp to cover your items that are waiting to be taken into the dorm. Also, bring plastic bags to cover items as you carry them inside. If it has just recently rained, you may want to bring a tarp to set your things on as you unload them.
  • Get a student moving service to help you. If you’re worried about driving a rental truck and finding parking near campus, let U-Pack handle your move. With U-Pack, you do the loading/unloading, and then U-Pack does the driving. You can get to campus in your own car or fly, and your belongings are delivered right to your door. Rates are comparable to truck rental – plus prices include fuel and transportation. U-Pack has the perfect student moving solution – the ReloCube® moving container. It fits in a single parking space and can hold the contents of a one bedroom apartment (plenty of room for a dorm or off-campus apartment). Get a free moving quote to see how U-Pack makes moving to college easy and affordable!

Checklist for Moving to College

As you may know, most dorm rooms come equipped with basic furniture: bed, desk, dresser (or storage of some sort), and a closet or wardrobe. The rest is up to you. And that’s where a good checklist comes in VERY handy. While it’s not advisable to pack everything but the kitchen sink, there are some things that you definitely don’t want to be without.

To make sure nothing is overlooked, U-Pack has created an awesome printable college packing list . Just print it off, and keep it with you throughout the process. The list outlines everything you’ll need for the bedroom, bathroom, laundry, and even your medicine cabinet.

college packing list

Have any questions about college moving?

If you have questions about what to pack for college, how to move to college, or moving with U-Pack, let us know by leaving a comment. We know that this time in your life is a big transition, and you probably have lots of questions. We’re happy to help in any way.

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