This fall will mark my third year moving into a dorm. At this point, I feel as though I’ve mastered the prep work needed to have a successful move in. Unfortunately for me, I had to learn some things the hard way—it’s definitely been trial and error for me during move in season.
My freshman year, I over-packed. While my closet looked nice, I never wore half the things that were in there. I’m such a pack rat, and that's one of the habits I had to kick so I could have a room full of things I actually needed and used. I’ll never forget the amount of space my set of luggage took in the car either (talk about tight quarters).
I’m so happy I found a new method of packing clothes that minimizes the surface area it takes up in the car. Since I’ve gone through this firsthand, I now have five tips for a successful college move in:
1. Get Rid Of Clothes You Never Wear
I guarantee you are not going to wear that shirt you bought but never wore back at home. If you don’t wear it now, you won’t need it at school. Getting rid of these items keeps you from over-packing and helps you declutter.
You really can’t pack your whole room into your dorm, so leaving anything behind will be really beneficial to you. Plus, if you can sell this stuff you don’t use, you’ll pick up some extra spending money for the upcoming semester. That’s a win-win.
2. Order Things To Your Dorm
If you’re ordering things like linens and room appliances at the last minute, send them to your school address instead of your home. Check your school’s policy on this, but mine allows you to receive items up to a week before you move in. By doing this, you’ll save space in the car and your items will be waiting for you once you are on campus.
3. Communicate With Roommates
The last thing you need is two refrigerators, microwaves, or TVs. Speak with your roommate(s) prior to move in to see who will bring what to avoid clutter and open the lines of communication before school starts. In my freshman and sophomore years, this proved to be really helpful for me because I have a mini-fridge and a TV, so I only asked my roomies to bring their microwaves and decor.
4. Ditch The Suitcases For Trash Bags
Trash bags are life savers when it comes to moving in. Instead of packing your things in a bulky suitcase, organize clothes in white trash bags and appliances in black trash bags. This keeps you from stuffing the car with bulky containers, saving you some surface area for more things. Also, it makes the unpacking process much easier! (A cool hack is to leave clothes on hangers and simply pull the trash bag over them for easy “unpacking.”)
5. Have Your Paperwork Ready
My school is very strict about having your ID and paperwork stating the time you were given to move in. If you don’t have them on hand, you are asked to drive into a separate lane to look for your paperwork, and it can take hours to get back into the main lane for the dorm. Have these things ready beforehand (like a week in advance) to make moving in simpler. Maybe even put them in the glove compartment a day or two before you travel, just to be extra sure!
What dorm move-in tips do you have? Sign up or log in with your Salt account to share them in the comments!