Brought to you by sweat, tears and a whole lot of stress, college move in day is no walk in the park. I’ve had my fair share of mishaps and move in day breakdowns, so hopefully these 20 college move in day hacks and tips will help others to avoid making the same mistakes as they unpack this semester.
1. Find or bring a moving cart.
Most residence halls will provide students with big rolling bins for move-in, but they are not abundant. If you aren’t fortunate enough to snag one, be sure to have a backup plan. Bring a dolly or collapsible cart to make the move easier.
2. Arrive early.
Figure out when your residence hall opens, and plan on arriving close to that time. If your school assigns you a time slot, obviously stick to that, but the earlier you get there, the more time you’ll have to get settled.
3. Pack your bedding last to unload it first.
Pack your car so that your bedding is what you can grab first. Bring your mattress pad, bed bug protector, blankets, sheets and comforter in so that you can make the bed first. That way, you won’t have to worry about having all of your bedding on the floor, and you can use the bed as extra space for your things.
4. Put a cotton round in your makeup.
To avoid breaking your makeup, use cotton rounds to protect it during the move. A cotton round fits nicely inside of powder compacts, and smaller cotton balls will fit inside of eye shadow palettes.
5. Bring an overnight bag that’s packed with your essentials.
College move in day is stressful. Everyone is hot, tense and full of emotions. Bring a bag with all of your essentials—a fresh shirt, deodorant, etc.—so that you have what you need on hand.
6. Pack your clothes on hangers.
To make the most of your time, pack your clothes on hangers so you don’t waste your day hanging them all up. Plus, it makes it so much easier to move from one spot to the next.
7. Pack your bins beforehand.
Before leaving home, decide where your towels, snacks and laundry supplies will go. Pack them up in their bins for easier move-in.
8. Label all boxes and bins.
Label all of the bins you are bringing with you with exactly what is inside, and make sure to label on the side of the bin for visibility when they are stacked. Also, it is helpful to number them so you know if you are missing anything.
9. Bring a cooler.
Moving into your dorm is going to take a lot of time and energy, so pack a cooler with water and snacks for the inevitable strike of hanger.
10. Tape storage drawers shut.
I have seen way too many families making this mistake during college move-in. If you are bringing storage drawers, make sure they are taped shut so that they don’t fall out, spilling your things all over your new campus.
11. Pack in categorized sections
To make unpacking a breeze, go at it by category. It makes it much easier to organize your space if everything you need is in the same place. For example, set up your desk in one clean sweep rather than unpacking everything only to find a bunch of desk supplies in a totally different box later on.
12. Leave everything in the hall at first.
Before moving everything into your space, leave it all in the hall. Go in, peg the door, and get a feel for what you’re working with. If necessary, move the furniture around. It is much easier to do so when there is nothing in there, so make sure it is exactly how you want it before unloading.
13. Bring a toolkit.
Be sure to bring a hammer, screwdriver with you when moving in. You never know if you’re going to have to raise the bed or change the hinge on your fridge, so be sure to have a toolkit on hand.
14. Keep your wall decor separate.
The least of your worries on move in day should be what is going on the walls. Keep your decor in a separate box so that you can save that for after your parents leave and you are settling in in your new room.
15. Use Press’n Seal Wrap to keep jewelry from tangling.
Biggest pain ever? When you so tediously pack your necklaces and they STILL tangle. To avoid this, wrap them in Press’n Seal so they don’t budge.
16. Pack cleaning supplies on top
Along with your bedding, be sure to pack cleaning supplies where you can grab them. You’ll want to wipe down the desk, vents and closet before moving all of your stuff in.
17. After your bed, bring in your rug, fridge and fan first.
While you are setting up your bed, have a parent bring in your rug, fridge and fan to get the ball rolling. The fridge will need time to defrost before you put any groceries in, and the fan will help to cool the stale space off.
18. Take advantage of in-store pick up.
Many stores offer a service for picking up on college move in day, which is helpful if you are going far away for school. Check out which stores are close to campus and order your dorm items ahead of time for easy pick-up.
19. Bring a handheld vacuum.
Before and after you move everything in, there is bound to be a mess. Bring a small vacuum for easy clean-up.
20. Keep fragile items easily accessible.
Especially if you are a freshman being helped by a move-in crew, keep a box or bin of your fragile items with you instead of letting someone else carry it in.
Do you know of any college move in day hacks? Let us know in the comments!
*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
Featured image source: simplytaralynn.com
Christina is a member of the class of 2018 at Fordham University. Her favorite things include french toast, concerts and "Sex And The City" re-runs.