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Moving to College

June 2nd, 2017 - 2:01 PM

College moving tips

You studied hard, took placement exams and spent hours filling out applications, and your hard work has finally paid off: you’ve been accepted to college. You breathe a sigh of relief, celebrate with friends and family and start dreaming about your first year on campus. You have so many plans, but there’s a lot to do before you move — how will you get everything done?

things I need for college

Preparing for college

If you’re preparing for your first semester away from home (or even returning to campus for another year), there are a few steps to take before you leave. Get the year off to a good start by making sure you:

  • Complete all paperwork. Be sure last-minute details like choosing a meal plan are done, and check that you’ve filled out all the forms the university needs. If you’re interested in joining any student organizations, look online or call to see if there are any applications to fill out before you get to campus.
  • 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 about your move-in date, find out the dimensions of the room and learn who your roommate will be.
  • Talk to your roommate. If you don't know your future roommate, add them on social media or send them an email. Now is a great time to learn more about the person you'll be living with.

Getting these things done as soon as possible will make the transition to college much easier. This way, you won’t have to worry about where to go on move-in day and you can get started on other things like shopping for your dorm room.

The best way to pack for college

Most college living spaces are pretty small, so deciding what to take with you can be a bit of a challenge. You want to make sure you have the comforts of home, but you don’t want to pack things you won’t have room for. These tips will help you decide what to take and help you get everything to college safely:

Dorm shopping

Wondering what you need to bring with you? Use a college packing list to make sure nothing is overlooked. Just print it off and keep it with you throughout the process. This college checklist outlines everything you’ll need for the bedroom, bathroom and even your medicine cabinet.

Packing tips

Once you have your dorm room supplies, it’s time to start packing. Take the time to make sure your items are handled properly — spending a few extra minutes will help everything stay safe during transit. Always be sure to:

  • Use quality moving boxes and supplies
  • Pack heavy items in small boxes
  • Wrap breakable items
  • Label boxes well

For additional tips, check out this helpful packing guide.   

Cheapest way to move to college

Now that you’ve figured out everything you need to take to college, you need to decide how you’re going to get it there (preferably without spending a fortune). One affordable option is to load up a car with all your stuff and take it to campus — a fairly easy process if you’re not moving far from home. But if your college is in another state, you may need to move your belongings another way. Choosing the right student moving service is easier once you understand the options.

Service options

There are a few different opinions about the cheapest way to move to college. Some people recommend using a rental truck, while others suggest shipping a couple of boxes and buying the rest of the items once you arrive. While either could work, many students find that rental trucks are too large for the amount they need to move (and are difficult to maneuver around campus), and shipping some items and buying others winds up costing more than they thought. That leaves you with a third option: U-Pack®.

U-Pack is great for students moving to college in another state. The prices are comparable to truck rental, but we do the driving! Our moving containers (called ReloCubes) are ideal for students — one ReloCubeTM typically holds the contents of a studio apartment or dorm, and it fits in a standard parking spot. There is no truck to drive, no equipment to return across town and nothing to buy upon arrival. U-Pack has fast transit times, averaging 2-5 business days, and there is no deposit or down payment required, which is great for a student on a budget.

Get a quote from each company you’re considering so you can compare prices.

Choosing reliable college movers

Although finding a cheap mover is always ideal, it’s also important to find a reliable service so you don’t fall for a moving scam. There are two easy ways to do this: read the moving quote carefully, and research the company.

It’s important to fully understand all estimated charges on the quote and know what circumstances may cause the price to change so you aren’t surprised by the final cost.  You should also take a look at what other customers have to say before making a final decision.  Websites such as Yelp and Kudzu are great places to find consumer reviews. If you find any red flags on the quote or online, consider using a different company.

Move-in day advice

The day you move in to your dorm is very busy. Not only will you be unpacking and arranging the room, you’ll also be meeting your roommate, getting to know other people in the dorm and saying goodbye to your family. To help make the day a success, be sure to:

  • Eat a good breakfast. Get the energy you need to make it through the morning by eating a healthy meal.
  • Leave early. Give yourself plenty of time to get to campus for your move-in appointment. Traffic will most likely be heavier than normal, and some roads may be closed around the campus.
  • Stay hydrated. Be sure to take plenty of breaks to drink water. The last thing you need is a headache!

Follow these other college move-in day tips to help make the process go as smoothly as possible:

Unloading tips

  • Stick to the schedule. Universities go to great lengths to make sure moving in is organized. Make it easy by following the schedule they give you. Talk to your admissions counselor or resident life director if you’re unsure of the plans.
  • Plan your path. If your dorm has an elevator, it may be the best way to carry big items to your floor. However, because the elevator will often be busy, it’s a good idea to use the stairs when possible.
  • Watch your stuff. Dorm managers will sometimes ask you to unload near the dorm, park the car somewhere else, then come back to carry everything inside. If this happens, make sure to ask someone you trust to watch everything while you park the car. Keep track of your things while you’re in the room, too, especially if the door is being left open.

Dorm room tips

  • Put function first. Before you start unpacking personal items, make sure you and your roommate have the furniture just the way you want it. Getting the big items in place before unpacking the smaller stuff will make the process easier.
  • Keep it clean. Bring paper towels and cleaning supplies so you can wipe everything down and sweep the floor before unpacking.
  • Bring a fan. 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.

Questions about college moving

If you have questions about what to pack for college, how to move to college or how to move with U-Pack, let us know by leaving a comment. We’re happy to help!