Are you curious about how to ace college move in? You’re in the right place! Check out part one here, and part two here so you can be a true move in superstar! So, you know how to get ready for move in, what to pack, and what to leave at home. Now all you need is to learn how to be a star on move in day! Not only have I moved multiple times in my life (including into a dorm twice), I also work as a welcome week leader, which means I help move in freshman every year and welcome them to the University! Here is a step-by-step process to make your move in day smooth and relatively stress free!
Step 0: Get your move in information
- Your college will likely send you a packet of move in information including your assigned day (and usually even time). STICK TO THE SCHEDULE. They make those schedules for a reason, and when several people don’t follow their assigned time, there is a huge back up, and you end up sitting around waiting for someone to give you your keys and bring a cart.
- This information will also include where to unload. Make sure you unload at the right place. I have seen families unload the entire car and then realize they were at the wrong place.
Step 1: Use boxes
- The easiest way to transport your items is boxes. Don’t try to randomly fit all your items into bags and things you have laying around. First of all it’s really hard to pack a car if you have items of different shapes and sizes. Secondly, it makes it hard to find everything and to ensure you have everything you need while packing. Finally, it is hard to pack your items well enough to ensure they won’t break in transport.
- I have to say that welcome week leaders and move in helpers appreciate people who use boxes – it is way easier to move their items than a thousand small bags and boxes.
Step 2: Pack
- Organize your items into similar areas before packing. Put clothing together, kitchen items together, desk items together, etc. That way if you are too burned out to unpack you can at least find what you need.
- Label your boxes so you know where everything is when you arrive – and you know what boxes hold fragile items. I recommend putting your name on boxes as well. When people start unloading, things can easily get mixed up between one pile and another.
- Make a game plan for unpacking – figure out in what order you want to unpack. For example, you need to unpack hangers before you unpack clothes!
Step 3: Get helpers
- On move in day, you should only bring people with you that can help you move. Sure, your little brother is cute, but will he be helpful or will he get in the way when you’re trying to unpack? He can come visit some other time, you’re going to be there for 4 years.
- Don’t bring more than 3 people with you – any more than that will fill up your tiny space and stress you out. You want helpers, but definitely not more than 3. Plus, your car will already be packed – you don’t want more people taking up space.
- Please, don’t be the person that brings an entire moving truck and their family of 11. It’s too much on move in day.
- If you are feeling extra prepared, bring snacks and water. Prepare for the weather as well – move in happens rain or shine.
Step 4: TALK TO YOUR ROOMMATE
- Wait, have I said this before? Yes, yes I have. I have moved in so many people who never talked to their roommate ahead of move in. Figure out when they are moving in so you don’t have both of you trying to move in at the same time. Too many people in a tiny space can be brutal. Discuss your room set up before hand, because once one of you is all settled in, it’s unlikely you guys will be able to rearrange the room.
- In case you haven’t read the other posts in the series, I’ll repeat this one last thing. Make sure you guys only have one of everything. There is barely enough room for one microwave and fridge, you don’t want or need two. You think it doesn’t happen? Trust me – it does.
Step 5: Relax
- It’s stressful – I get it. Two of the most stressful things to me are traveling (the actual act of getting from one place to another) and moving. I was super stressed moving in freshman year, and I was rude to my mom and to the people working to help me move in. That’s not the impression you want to set, and you will regret being rude to your parents approximately 5 minutes after they leave.
- Everything will work out. If something goes wrong, try not to panic – I feel hypocritical writing this, because I am the queen of doing this – but it’s still good advice. The people working to move you in are doing their best, and yelling at them won’t help the situation. Ask your family to do the same, I have gotten many rude parents in my face on move in day. People who were friendly, laughing, and relaxed are what made my job worth it.
Step 6: Say goodbye to your parents
- They have to leave eventually, and I believe you should unpack on your own – it really helps if you personally build your room. Let them take you out to ice cream or dinner if they want – you won’t miss anything in your new dorm, but you are going to miss them. I was so focused on meeting my roommate I shuttled my parents out and then instantly regretted it. My roommate took off and I was alone. I called my mom 20 minute after she left in tears.
- Tell them how much you appreciate them. Let your mom cry – don’t be rude – she probably hasn’t been away from you for more than a few weeks in over 18 years.
- It’s ok for you to cry too. Maybe you won’t cry right then, but just know that it is totally ok if you do.
Step 7: Leave your door open
- This is my number one piece of advice for becoming friends with the other people in your hall. As they move in, they will peek in and say hello and introduce themselves. let it happen. Keep it open while you unpack. Play your favorite music – I guarantee someone will stop by and say they love it too. (Hello Hamilton!)
- Keep it open every time you are in there for the first week. I did not do this (because my roomie didn’t like it) and it is one of my biggest regrets because I never became a part of the friend group in my hall. People will call out when they’re going to eat or go do something else, and you’ll want to go with them!
- Even if your roommate is your best friend from high school, do this anyway. You don’t want to become too dependent on one person!
Step 8: Unpack
- Give everything a place and put it back when you are done using it. A dorm is such a small space that you have to stay on top of or it will get disorganized really quickly.
- Make it your own – this place is yours, so do what you want with it (to a degree. Obviously don’t offend your roommate or take over her space).
- I would recommend unfolding the boxes you used and tucking them away under your bed to use during move out, but if you don’t want to hold onto them then you can get new boxes in the spring.
Step 9: Get ready for an awesome welcome week!
- Your university puts a lot of effort into providing a lot of activities for new freshmen to help them get acclimated to their new home. Go to them! Even if you think they’re lame, you should still go, because you might meet one of your new best friends! I have a lot more to say about welcome week, and you can check out that post here!
Do you feel ready for move in now? If you do, why not share the love and tell your friends so they too can feel prepared!