College Move-In Day

I am in the midst of helping my recent college graduate move into her first apartment halfway across the country from our home. Deciding what to bring, what to ship, and what to buy on arrival has been a bit of an ordeal, not to mention a bit of an expense. I never had to be quite this careful when moving either of my children into their college dorms because each happened to find their fit at colleges within driving distance. Of course, moving into an apartment is different from moving into a dorm room, which comes supplied with a bed, dresser, desk, and chair, but getting ready to move your student into their first dorm room is still a project, so here are a few tips:

Check the college’s rules!
Colleges can be quite specific about what is allowed/not allowed in dorm rooms. Remind your student to check with Residential Life to know if they can bring a microwave, for example, or if there are restrictions on the size of a refrigerator.

Pack light!
Even the most spacious dorms rooms are small, and the less your student brings, the easier the move-in will be. Remember, you will be carrying everything into the room! Here’s a pro tip: if you student will return home for Thanksgiving, they can swap out summer/fall clothing for winter clothing – so pack clothes for the season.

Coordinate with roommates!
A dorm room does not need two of everything – in fact, there is likely not enough space for it. Students can discuss what they can share (microwave, refrigerator, trashcan) and divvy up who will bring each item.

Think in categories!
Take stock of what you already have and what you need to buy in these areas:
Bath and Bedding
Personal Hygiene
Clothes and Laundry
Décor
School Supplies
Electronics and Equipment

Bed Bath and Beyond and The Container Store are good places to start shopping for dorm room essentials – they offer discounts to college students and have helpful tips on what to bring (although they are stores, and they are geared toward selling their items!). Dormify is also great for inspiration and this year will have a few pop-up locations. And just when your student thought they were done with The College Board, they can check out their Off-to-College Checklist.

Move-In day can be stressful, so dress comfortably, have some snacks and water on hand and remember it won’t be that long until your student comes home with a bagful of dirty laundry!