4 Easy Ways to Make Move-In Day a Snap

Follow our tips for moving into a dorm room and your college move-in day will be easier and less stressful.
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Follow our tips for moving into a dorm room and your college move-in day will be easier and less stressful.

Possibly the only thing worse than packing to go home from school is packing to go back to college. Honestly, it seems like every important item you need to bring has conspired with the others to spread themselves out all over your house, making you hunt down that desk lamp or jewelry holder or whatever.

Plus, if you're like me, who stored most of my things at school for the summer in haphazardly "organized" reusable bags and/or assorted boxes, my dorm room is completely unnavigable right now and I just realized I left my desk lamp at home.

No matter if you're a seasoned move-in veteran or a newly minted freshman just dying to take a U-Haul to campus (Don't do it. Please.), here are 4 ways to make your college move-in day easier. With the help of your parents or a handful of friends, getting settled should be no trouble at all -- right?

Pack strategically.

This should be a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised at how much time a cleverly packed suitcase or box will save you.

Here are my tips for simple packing:

  • Keep clothes on their hangers, put them in a large box, and pop them right into your closet when you get to school.
  • Alternatively, invest inSpace Bags, and use them to pack everything from bedding to jeans. I promise you that they are amazing, and really do work!
  • Maximize every little bit of space in your suitcase -- stuff socks into tall boots and roll up t-shirts (click here for a tutorial) for easy transport. As a bonus, rolled t-shirts are excellent for saving space in a dresser drawer.
  • Try to pack everything into a few large boxes, as opposed to many smaller bags. Smaller bags are much easier to misplace, and having bigger boxes encourages you to sort your packing. For example, put all your bathroom things in one box.

Get a move-in tool kit.

Trust me, it sucks when you're struggling to open one of those heinously plastic-wrapped razors or lamps and you haven't got a pair of scissors handy.

My suggestions for a move-in day tool kit:

  • Scissors
  • Duct tape and/or clear packing tape
  • A measuring tape (I can't stress this one enough!)
  • Trash bags
  • Sharpie
  • A door stop

Also, pro tip: make sure to un-package everything you can at home before packing it -- packaging takes up so much unnecessary space!

Save the socializing for later.

It can be incredibly tempting to hang out with your friends when you see them and decide to procrastinate on the unpacking. Resist the urge! At the very least, get your bed made and your essentials set up before you catch up on the summer's happenings.

In that same vein, check with Residence Life to find out when is the earliest time you can move in -- that way, if you really want to go find your friends the instant they set foot on campus, you'll already be basically moved in and can go socialize freely.

Wear closed-toe shoes.

Take it from me (and my bruised, cut-up foot) -- wear closed-toe shoes on move-in day. I got into a scrape with a hand cart and the hand cart won.

Yes, you can still look cute while moving in. Check out CF's post on What to Wear On Move-In Day for chic and practical outfits to wear that day! It's also probably a good idea to keep your ID in your pocket, instead of your wallet, and keep the jewelry to a minimum.

What do you think?

Are our tips helpful? What advice would you give to first-time students moving in? Any funny move-in day stories to share? Let us know with a comment!