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Move-in day is marked as the long awaited beginning of your college career, and in truth, it takes a bit of planning to make sure things run smoothly. Check out these tips to help you prep for the big day!

Before Move-In Day

Consider your location

Moving involves a lot more logistical planning than most would think. No matter where you are in relation to your college, you’re going to have to think about how you are going to get yourself and all your stuff to this new location.

If you are driving distance, is everything going to fit in the car? Would it be easier to ship bulkier items? (bedding, bikes, etc). If you are flying to a different state, how much is it for a checked bag? Explore your options with places like Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, and The Container Store because they may ship items for free. Often, college residence life offices have coupons or relationships with stores that sell the typically needed dorm items – so be sure to ask!

Check prices

Many colleges offer rentals for large items such as microwaves and mini fridges. Be sure to compare prices before purchasing anything outright. You can also check social media groups of older students for anyone selling dorm essentials at a cheaper price!

Make sure you are bringing items that are allowed

Check the list of forbidden items before you go dorm shopping. Some things that are universally prohibited include candles, extension cords, and pets. (Unless it’s a fish or a registered support animal that has been approved!) If you aren’t sure exactly what you should bring vs. what you should leave at home, here’s a list of reasonable dorm room investments that you won’t regret!

Connect with future roommates

Once you know who your roommate is, reach out to them to discuss what you will be bringing. This way, you avoid showing up with duplicates of large items such as mini fridges, televisions, rugs, or microwaves. Alleviating any and all awkwardness, speaking to your roommate before move-in day will also help you get to know the person you will be living with!

The Day Of

Arrive early

Show up as early as you can, but respect the window of time provided by the college. Before you start unpacking the car, make sure you know where to pick up your key or FOB. This way, you won’t end up unloading everything only to be locked out of your room and realize the key pick-up was across campus.

Come prepared

Bring the proper unpacking tools such as scissors, duct tape, basic tools for setting up furniture or hanging items, and wipes to clean down surfaces as needed. Move-in day usually falls in late August, a sweltering time in all parts of the country, so be sure to bring lots of water to rehydrate!

Wear the proper clothes

We know, you want to make a good impression on everyone, so you’re contemplating showing up in your favorite fit. Keep in mind that moving in can be hard work and you will be thankful to have worn something comfortable and that you can move easily in.

Keep the moving team small

Leave your extended fam at home; you can see them for family weekend! The dorm will be cramped, sweaty, and strewn with boxes and suitcases. Limiting the number of people that come to help you move is also respectful to your roommate who may be moving all of their stuff in at the same time. Also, college campuses typically have teams of people to support your move, so don’t worry – there are likely to be extra hands if you’d like the help!

Rearrange the furniture

Before you do anything, feel free to move around the furniture and experiment with creating more space or privacy. In doing this, it may make it easier to move around the dorm and continue setting up everything. There are plenty of ways to make your dorm more comfortable; check out these ways to make it feel like home! If you have a roommate, be sure to talk about these decisions together.

Pack your clothes on the hangers

Rather than packing your clothes and hangers separately, skip a step and keep your clothes on the hanger. Avoid wrinkles and dirt by covering them in plastic (the same way a drycleaner would). When you show up, all you have to do is hang your clothes in the closet and tear away the plastic bags!

Set ground rules with your roommate

Once you are all setted, discuss expectations about staying up, waking up, having guests, cleaning, and borrowing each other’s things. These are basic areas that could cause potential conflict if not addressed. It may feel weird trying to compromise with someone you hardly know, but it will pay off when you both understand each other’s boundaries. If you aren’t sure how to address these issues with your roommate, here are some ways to ensure peaceful cohabitation.

You may experience a lot of mixed emotions on move-in day: enthusiasm for the journey to come, anxiety with all the chaos that comes with moving, and heartache from saying goodbye to your family. Don’t worry, these feelings are 100% normal. Remember, with every ending, there is a new beginning to look forward to.