15 Must-Know Tips for College Move-In Day
This post is all about tips for college move-in day.
College move-in day will be here before you know it! If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably feel SO many emotions when moving into your college dorm as a freshman. Excited, nervous, happy, sad, overwhelmed… All totally normal!
Moving into college can be overwhelming and move-in day itself is often chaotic. But with these tips, you can make move-in day go perfectly!
1. Sign up for an early move-in slot.
Most dorms allow you to begin moving in up to a week before classes actually start. You may be required to sign up for a specific move-in day or time slot.
I recommend choosing the earliest possible day and time slot! Getting there early will allow you to unpack and settle in before things get too crazy.
2. Coordinate with your roommate.
Coordinating with your roommate before move-in day is super important.
If possible, try to arrange it so that you’re moving in at different times. For example, one in the morning and the other later that afternoon.
Having two people trying to move in to a tiny dorm room at the same time (especially if both of you have your families there to help) is super chaotic and stressful. It gets extremely cramped and crowded.
3. Have everything packed the night before.
To avoid stress on the day you’re moving in to college, have EVERYTHING you need packed and ready the night before.
Double-check that you have everything you need (but don’t stress too much, because you can always buy random essentials you forgot once you arrive.)
Make sure to check my ultimate college packing list for a list of college dorm essentials.
4. Review move-in procedures.
To ensure that your college move-in day goes smoothly, review all the procedures before you arrive. This includes things like…
- The exact address of your dorm building.
- Confirming your room number and which floor you’re on.
- Does the building have an elevator or stairs?
- What moving equipment (ex. a dolly) will be available to you.
- What the rules are for parking/unloading outside your dorm building.
- The process for checking in and getting your dorm key.
- Contact info for your residence advisor (RA) or housing office.
Knowing all of this info beforehand will help you be prepared and avoid any stressful surprises on move-in day.
5. Bring cleaning supplies.
My mom is a clean freak (and so am I, to a lesser extent) so she had the foresight to bring cleaning supplies on college move-in day to clean my dorm room before I started unpacking (BLESS HER.)
You can see my list of essential dorm cleaning supplies to know what to bring.
You’ll definitely want to clean your dorm room from top to bottom before you start moving in, because trust me, they don’t do a very thorough job of cleaning it after the last residents moved out.
6. Bring a door stopper.
This is something you MAY be able to find in your dorm room or dorm building somewhere, but it’s not always a guarantee.
But trust me, you will want to have a doorstopper!
These doorstoppers work great.
A lot of doors will swing closed and lock automatically, which is SUPER frustrating when you’re trying to move in.
It’s also helpful to have a doorstopper so you can keep your door propped open during the first week when everyone is settling in. Everyone does this and it’s the best way to make friends on your hall!
7. Bring a small toolbox.
Not joking, a small toolbox is something that you will probably need on college move-in day but that you would probably NEVER think to bring! I know I didn’t.
However, it can come in handy if you want to change the height of your lofted bed, assemble any furniture, opening packaging, etc.
This is also something that’s super helpful to keep in your dorm room throughout the year just in case you ever need it.
8. Decide on a layout with your roommate.
Along with coordinating with your roommate on move-in times, it’s also a good idea to figure out your dorm room layout beforehand.
For example, who gets which side of the room? Do you want to have your beds lofted? Do you want to put a futon under someone’s lofted bed?
Things like this are SO helpful to have figured out in advance, even a rough idea, so you aren’t spending hours on move-in day rearranging your furniture and trying to decide on a layout for your room.
9. Coordinate on purchases for your room.
One other thing to talk to your roommate about before college move-in day is who’s bringing what when it comes to shared items.
Do you want to split the cost of a TV, futon, or microwave? What if one person brings a microwave and the other brings a mini fridge?
Figure out who’s bringing what before you arrive t
10. Bring lots of command hooks and strips.
Ahhhh, command hooks and command strips.
These will be your best friend when living in a dorm. You aren’t allowed to use nails to hang things, so these are your next best bet.
11. Pack essentials in a separate bag.
Sometimes fully unpacking can take a couple days. Make sure essentials you’ll need starting on night one are packed in a separate bag (like a backpack or overnight bag) where they’re easy to reach.
This includes things like toiletries, pajamas, another set of clothes, phone charger, etc. You’ll be glad you don’t have to dig around for these things on your first night in your dorm when you’re exhausted and just ready to sleep.
12. Keep hanging clothes on hangers.
One really simple moving hack is to keep hanging clothes on hangers when you’re moving. This will prevent them from getting too wrinkled and you can just hang them right up in your dorm closet.
The best way to do this is to get a magic hanger organizer which is extremely space-efficient. I mean, just look at this thing!
Then you can put it all in a garment bag to protect your clothes, and all you have to do when you move into your dorm in open the garment bag and hang the magic hanger in your closet. So simple!
13. Bring a fan or two.
College move-in day always seems to fall on the HOTTEST day of August.
Between the heat, the lack of AC in many dorm buildings, and the physical strain of moving, it’s safe to say you will work up a sweat.
It’s a good idea to bring a portable fan or two to keep cool.
14. Bring lots of water and snacks.
Along the same lines as above, you’ll most likely be hot and tired on college move-in day. The last thing you want to add to the mix is being hungry too.
To avoid hangry meltdowns, bring some snacks like energy bars or fruit (and plenty of bottled water to stay hydrated.)
You’ll probably want to go out to eat after you finish moving in, but trust me, having a few snacks on hand for the move-in process itself will be worth it.
15. Keep your cool.
The last of the college move-in day tips I can offer is to keep your cool!
This goes for both students and parents. Move-in day can be stressful and overwhelming, but it’s also fun and exciting!
Try to keep your cool, go with the flow, and don’t stress too much if any unexpected issues occur. In the end it’s all worth it, and it’s an exciting and memorable day that marks the official start of college!
More College Tips
This post showed you the best tips for college move-in day.
For more college and dorm tips, you may be interested in these posts…
- 23 Dorm Room Essentials That Will Save Your Life
- The Ultimate College Packing List
- 7 Things I Wish I Brought to College Freshman Year
- 30 Questions to Ask Your Future Freshman Roommate