It’s time to be moving out of your dorm. After a year of living in that little hole, it was almost starting to feel like home – maybe a little too much like home. You may be standing there with a stack of empty boxes, dumbfounded, thinking “where do I even start?” You can’t give up and just decide to live there on your dorm room floor weeping like a child and spooning a half-full box of knick-knacks. You need tips for moving out of your dorm – masterful tips that will get you out of that one-room hell you created for yourself, and onto the road towards bigger and better (and hopefully more organized than this time) things that await. Fear not, people; I’ve got you covered.
1. Plan in advance
I know the last two weeks of school can tend to be just a tad bit…traumatic, but it’ll be okay. You ought to have a little bit of free time between studying for three tests writing two papers and a group project though (maybe), so why not consider utilizing that time to clean up a bit? Perhaps start packing away some things that you don’t need for finals. In doing so, not only will you facilitate moving out of your dorm, but you’re also increasing potential space for working on finals. Otherwise, you could certainly consider doing it more substantially early, say three or four weeks ahead of time, giving you more than enough time for even shipping back larger items. Regardless of which of these options you choose, you had best believe that either is better than doing it at the last second after finals. It will be utter chaos and your family will probably yell at you for making them have to drive up three cars and a Uhaul.
2. Keep it clean
As basic as it sounds, keep your room clean regularly. What’s more, keep everything especially clean around finals before you start moving out of your dorm. You need a clean environment to promote clear thought, something which is invaluable during exams. Furthermore, once you move out it makes things so much more smooth. Having to sort through what’s trash and what’s going home with you can make things last significantly longer, and most places will charge a cleanup fee if you think you can leave the mess and scoot-a-loot.
3. Know what you need
I suppose you could tack this onto “keep it clean,” but this is very important for doing so, and thus moving out of your dorm: know what you need. If you’re taking any clutter home with you, you need to prioritize. Don’t see yourself using one or two of your textbooks from this semester? Sell them. Got a pile of loose, half-crumpled paper that used to be your notebook? Maybe just throw it away. Picked up a little treasure trove of knick-knacks over the year? Figure out what you value and what you don’t and dump the junk. Just make sure that you aren’t wasting precious cargo space on crap that you will more than likely just end up dumping at one point or another anyway. And for god’s sake don’t wait till the last minute!
4. Don’t do laundry
I’m not saying wear the same t-shirt and pair of sweatpants for all of finals week. Gross. At least wear two. Anyways, plan it out so that you wear your last set of clean laundry on the day you move out. That way, you don’t have to organize and transport your freshly washed and folded clothes just to get a range of wrinkles on them. You can just haphazardly throw them all into a few garbage bags and zipadeedooda your happy ass through moving out of your dorm so you can do laundry at home!
5. Trash bags
When you’re moving out of your dorm, there is no easier or more accessible way to prepare knick-knacks, junk, loose clothes, and such for transportation than some big ass black trash bags. If you double-bag you can even use them for larger items like textbooks. I’ve even gone as far as to use it as a screen cover for my television (along with a bunch of blankets I should add). Although they may not be the classiest, black trash bags are certainly versatile in their uses and easy to get one’s hands on. Moreover, you can use white trash bags for packing and consolidating your coats, suits, other professional attire, and anything else that needs to stay on a hanger.
6. Ask for help, don’t be a cheapskate
The only thing worse than having to move out of your dorm is having someone else ask you to help when you’re walking out the door. From this, it’s understandable that you may not want to ask for help out of some fear of making everyone hate you. And you’d be right, though perhaps you can find one or two friends who are nice enough to suck it up and help anyways. If you want to do more than inconvenience people though, here’s some advice: offer enticement! Bring coffee and doughnuts or breakfast sandwiches or something. Offer to buy dinner once the move is done. Give a homie 20 bucks. Whatever you have to do. I’m telling you now though, doing this by yourself is going to take FOREVER. Also, the same goes for asking for help with transport. So don’t be afraid to ask for help, but don’t be a cheapskate.
7. Plan what you need before the semester begins
Granted, this isn’t going to help much if you’re already moving out of your dorm. If you do however read this before-hand, you need to know: bring only the bare minimum when you start moving into a dorm! The amount of new items you will accumulate over the course of one year is truly astonishing, and you’ll be glad you left all that other stuff at home when it’s time to scoot. Furthermore, make sure that as much of what you do bring is easy to pack, unpack, and store. Collapsable and stackable furniture is one example of what you should bring. If you have to choose between a small TV or a larger one, definitely go for the smaller, perhaps even replacing a TV entirely with a monitor, which you can connect to a cable box or gaming console or whatever else you have for entertainment.
8. Multi-position hand truck
There is one tool that is unparalleled in its usefulness in helping you with moving out of your dorm: a foldable multi-position hand truck. Seriously, it doesn’t matter if you have an entire crew of friends helping you or if you’re doing it alone, this is THE tool for moving. It’s foldable, so it isn’t a pain to store even in your space-restricted dorm room. More importantly, it can switch between a dolly and a hand-truck. You can use dolly mode for transporting stacks of stuff – boxes, chairs, etc. Meanwhile, you can use the hand-truck mode for hand-truck stuff; namely large furniture. If your hand-truck is of good quality, there shouldn’t be any reason why you can’t move out yourself. It’ll take longer, but with a multi-position hand truck, it won’t be impossible.
9. Check for damage
Take it from someone who done goofed on this before: check your dorm for damages, well before move-out time if possible. Otherwise, you can say bye-bye to that security deposit. Make sure you do it well ahead of time too. There might be more severe damage than you anticipated, which may very well require a day or two for repairs. Believe me when I say you don’t want to be dealing with drywall minutes before you have to leave and turn your key in. Which leads me to my next and final point (though it should really be the first)…
10. Document everything
When you first get into your dorm, take a good look around. Take pictures of any damages or anything that could potentially be pinned on you after you move out. Save the pictures, document dates and times, and let dorm management know of the damages. Then when it’s time for moving out of your dorm, you’ll be able to do so in confidence that if any trouble concerning your room arises, you will be able to make a case in defense of yourself, rather than having to just suck up the loss of your security deposit. If you don’t have any proof otherwise, for all anyone knows you did leave the damage, and you can’t blame the dorm management for arriving at said conclusion.