After all the planning, shopping, and packing, the anticipated day finally arrives. You’ll pack up your family van and shove off to the new, exciting chapter of your life story. This is an awfully big step with many possible obstacles, though. That’s why we have prepared a list of 10 tips to make your life easier when moving into your dorm room.
1. Read the emails and mailings.
It’s incredibly tempting to skim through the many messages your university will send you with details about moving into your dorm. Sometimes these emails will have important information dealing with parking, closed roads, and so on; so read each email to save yourself from an inconvenient situation. Also, pass along the mailings and forward the emails to your parents. More likely than not, they’ll be helping you move in, and your day will go much more smoothly if you keep them in the know!
2. Look up the floor plan for your room.
Most universities provide dimensions for your room, along with graphics on where windows, closets, and doors are. Others will even provide panoramic photos. Having an idea of how much space you have to work with before moving into your dorm will help you in the planning process. For instance, it may not be a good idea to bring your 40 inch flat screen and hammock. It will also be helpful for those aiding you in your move-in process to know the setup of your building (stairs, hallways, and luckily some elevators!).
3. Know what will already be there.
Many universities provide beds, desks, closets, and a chair for their residents. Some schools will also provide air conditioning systems, and fewer will provide microwaves and mini fridges. It’s crucial for you to know what the school provides so you don’t haul useless items on move-in day. Besides, who wants to carry a mini fridge up several flights of stairs if he or she doesn’t have to?
4. Don’t pack your entire closet.
Many incoming freshmen make the mistake of bringing nearly every article of clothing they own with them. Your closets are not that big, and in many cases, drawer space is limited. Depending on your location, you need to keep weather in mind. Will you need a thick jacket or your winter coat before you visit home for the first time? How long will it be warm outside? Consider these things as you pack your clothes; it’ll save you both time and space.
5. Communicate with your roommate(s).
Although it is a rule of thumb that the first person on campus gets to choose his or her half of the room, it’s important to communicate other bits of information with your roommate. To make unpacking easier for the both of you, it’s important to know when he or she will be moving in. You will soon find your rooms are rather small, and having you both attempt to unpack at the same time will just be a hassle.
6. Cover closet items with trash bags.
Do you really want to pack all your shirts, jackets, dresses, and such in boxes, only to have to re-hang them? Didn’t think so. Save yourself time and energy by taking a section of your closet and putting it in a trash bag. You’ll simply have to remove the bag when you move into your dorm.
7. Label every box.
This sounds like a no-brainer, but many fail to think about it. Labeling what’s in your boxes (shoes, desk supplies, canned goods, etc.) will help you know what needs to be put where and what can be stored under your bed or in a cupboard. Also, make sure to label boxes that contain breakable items.
8. Snap a pic of your plugged-in electronics.
Re-connecting electronics can be incredibly confusing, especially if you have multiple devices; make it easier on yourself by taking a photo of what they look like plugged in.
9. Bring snacks and drinks.
Going up four sets of stairs, carrying boxes crammed with items, dragging along duffle bags… moving into your dorm is exhausting. You and your helpers are going to work up an appetite. Make sure to bring a small cooler with water bottles and snacks to eat while making trips to and from your car or moving van.
10. Accept your room won’t be perfect (at least not right away).
Let’s face it: packing and rearranging takes time, effort, and brain power. You’ll have the rest of first semester to set up your room the way you like it. On your first day on campus, it’s more important to meet your neighbors and get to know your roommate than spend hours locked in your dorm sorting though clothes and arranging your desk: honestly, those things can wait.