Just when you thought the trickiest parts of making the transition from high school to college were over (testing, applications, interviews) the reality of packing up your life and moving to college is quickly sinking in. While moving might seem fun and exciting at first, you’ll soon realize that the preparation for college dorm life can be a challenge. With these helpful tips, moving to college might be the easiest thing you’ll do all year.
1. Sort it out
Before you start packing, organize all your belongings and separate the items you want to leave home. Remember that college dorm rooms are usually cramped, so only pack essentials. If you find a bunch of items you want to get rid of, relegate them to donation boxes or have a yard sale.
2. Scope your space
Unless you hit the jackpot and scored a dorm in a new building, most college dorms are far from new construction. That means air conditioning is unlikely, so pack a personal desk fan. If you’re moving into a house or apartment, check for damage from previous tenants and alert your landlord. That way, you won’t get charged for someone else’s carelessness.
3. Get services in order
Whether you’re living in a dormitory or an apartment, make sure you set up cable, phone, Internet and electric before move-in day. You don’t want to be stranded in your new space without these essentials!
4. Avoid moving rush hour
If you’re able to, try to move into your new space during midweek instead of the weekend when everyone else will be moving in. This will make hauling boxes and furniture much easier.
The goal is to make the least amount of trips as possible, so pack smaller items into larger ones if you can, just like Russian nesting dolls. Get a hold of handbags, beach bags, or backpacks to stuff with small stuff, then place in larger containers like boxes.
6. Be resourceful
The last thing you want is to pack away your fragile belongings only to find them broken or damaged on move-in day. Save yourself the cost of packing materials and use old newspapers, plastic grocery bags, dish towels, and old t-shirts to protect items like dishes, glassware, and your computer.
7. Resist shopping right away
Of course, the first thing you’ll want to do is to hit the stores and stock up on necessities before you move into your dorm or apartment, but it’s best to wait. Often, you’ll end up buying things you won’t need. Hold off and make the shopping trip with roommates so you can split costs and get a better grasp of which items are actually needed.
8. Make it a family affair
This applies to friends, too. Moving in by yourself is dreadful, so enlist the help of family and pals to help you move furniture, heavy boxes, and other bulky items. It will make the day go by quicker and much, much easier. Since no one likes moving, bribe helpers with a free pizza dinner afterwards to sweeten the deal.
9. Watch the thermometer
Even though it’s the start of a new school year, midday temperatures in late summer are still brutal, so pack items that won’t hold up in the heat in boxes that will be unloaded first. Things like candles, aerosol sprays, and certain electronics can melt, explode or suffer damage if left in high temperatures for too long.
10. Ask for discounts
You’re already paying an arm and a leg for tuition, so don’t be bashful about asking for student discounts. Places like grocery stores, restaurants, and moving companies commonly offer student discounts, so get your student I.D. ready and save money where you can.
11. Decorate last
While hanging posters, pictures and other decorations might the first thing you want to do once you’re moved in, start bigger and work your way down to the small items. Things like beds, couches, and television stands should all be in place before the fun stuff goes on shelves or walls. Having the big items correctly placed allows for a proper flow and will help make your new small space feel like home in no time.
12. Develop a plan
Since having an effective layout in a small space is so important, it would be smart to draw up a floor plan of your dorm or apartment to figure out the best way that furniture should be arranged.