Blog November 29, 2020

Moving to College Dorm: Checklist

Posted in Moving 101
Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

If you’re a freshman going to university, prepare for an exciting and exhausting experience. The process of moving into college dorm inevitably comes with a lengthy list of dos and don’ts since each institution has its own set of rules and requirements. Fortunately, we’re here to make things easier with these universal tips for moving into a dorm. Keep reading to learn more!

What to Know Before Moving into a College Dorm?

You’re probably moving out for the first time, and as fun as it is, let’s be honest, it’s also a little frightening. Before moving day arrives, here’s what you should do to ease the feelings of anxiety about moving out.

Read the Residence Life and Housing Guide

How do you move into a college dorm, you may ask? Well, the Housing and Residence Life Advice will provide you with all the necessary information regarding the process and what to expect on moving day (where and when to sign in, how to register, where to park, what documents to bring, and so on). If you read thoroughly and follow their guidelines, you’ll ensure a stress-free moving experience.

young woman browsing documents ring binder
Preparations may be tedious, but they will make things easier.

What Do You Bring from Home When Moving into College Dorm?

Bear in mind, dorm rooms are usually super tiny and, well, minimalistic. In many cases, they’re equipped with only a bed and a desk, so make sure to bring your mattress, pillows, and sheets. There’s usually just one bathroom per hallway, so apart from the standard toiletries, you should definitely bring a few additional bathroom accessories like flip flops and bathrobes. Overall, make a moving essentials checklist and concentrate on carrying small items that can be conveniently folded and placed under a bed or on a shelf.

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What Should You Not Bring?

One of the moving into dorm things to think about is overpacking, to discourage you from it, colleges supply you with a list of things that are already in the room. As previously mentioned, dorms are furnished with the bare essentials, like a bed, desk, and chair, and usually just one closet. Since there’s not that much space for excess stuff, one of the best tips for living in a dorm is – don’t pack too much clothing or too many shoes.

Also, there’s no need to bring any appliances, because chances are you won’t be using them. Finally, refrain from dragging along decorations and other impractical items because they’ll just get in the way. Instead of figuring out how to move a piano, maybe just bring an ironing board instead.

It’s Best to Ask Your Roommate What They’re Bringing from Home

In case you haven’t met your future roommate, the college will provide you with their contact information. You should get in touch beforehand to decide who will be carrying what. Not only will this help lighten the load, but overall, it will make the moving process smoother.

For example, one of you can bring the kitchen equipment, and the other won’t have to worry about how to pack dishes for moving and just pack a vacuum cleaner instead. Contacting your roommate is also a smart idea if you want your decor and furnishings to match. You and your friend can also check out the video below for some first-hand experience from a fellow student.

Make Sure to Pack a First Aid Kit and a Toolkit When Moving Interstate

You might not think it, but a toolkit with a simple hammer, screwdriver, and pliers can be a true lifesaver when moving into a dorm. You may need to bunk the beds, lift the mattresses or handle small repairs. Sometimes, duct tape, zip ties, and cable ties can also come in handy. When you graduate, leave the toolkit as a nod to future generations.

A standard first aid kit that includes disinfectant wipes or mist, bandages, athletic tape, and an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen is another must-have. Also, throw in a pair of tweezers and tiny scissors, just in case.

person handing out first aid kit
Even if you don’t know how to use them, bring a few tools from your dad’s shed.

Use Laundry Bins and Vacuum Bags instead of Boxes

It takes time and resources to assemble the right cardboard boxes and packing supplies. Custom-crating can sometimes come off as expensive, especially for one-time use. We propose you use laundry buckets, vacuum bags, and plastic containers from home, instead. Throughout the school year, you can use them as storage as well.

woman holding sweaters
Kill two birds with one stone with the right containers

Moving Day Survival

When moving state to state you’ll need some assistance carrying your bags up and down the stairs, so we suggest you take a supportive friend or family member with you. When installing furniture and unpacking your stuff, getting an extra pair of hands would be very helpful. However, if you come from a big family, don’t let all the aunts, uncles, and cousins tag along because it would be super inconvenient and, let’s face it, very embarrassing.

Arrive Well Before Your Time Slot

Typically, you get a time slot for when you should arrive at your dorm room. When you’re planning your trip, keep in mind you’re likely to wait in traffic for (at least) 45 minutes just to get to the college campus. There’s probably going to be a line at the register as well, which can prove to be time-consuming. Because of this, it’s best to head out as early as you can, especially if you’re moving to a new state.

Inspect the Room Before Unpacking

An important item on your moving-into-a-college-dorm checklist is inspecting your room before unpacking. You’ll get a list of all the things provided by the university beforehand. Make sure to conduct a thorough investigation to mark off any critical areas. Otherwise, you might end up being charged with damaging the place. Take pictures of anything that appears questionable, like chipped furniture or wallpaper stains before bringing in your belongings.

room with plenty of space
Say goodbye to your next of kin in the comfort of your own home, not at the threshold of your dorm.

Rent a Storage Unit for Seasonal Items

If you’re moving cross country and don’t have enough room to store all of your belongings, it might be a good idea to rent a storage space nearby. These units are convenient for keeping seasonal and recreational items (snowboards, ski equipment, skates), that you just couldn’t leave behind.

Save Money and Time With the Right Cross Country Moving Company

Not sure if your car will fit all of your belongings? You may need to rent a moving truck or sign up for packing services in order to transport everything to the dorm. Fortunately, you can also find a long-distance moving company to do it for you, without worrying about adding unnecessary charges to your student loan. Do some research, and find affordable state to state movers that specialize in a variety of cross country moving services, and are capable of loading the truck for you.

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