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Moving in to your first dorm room or apartment is such an exciting adventure that can easily turn into a hot mess, if you don’t prepare for it.. When I was moving in for the first time in 2014, there wasn’t a lot of guides or checklists on the internet to help freshmen prepare for the big day. I created this guide to hopefully fill the void and help future students make move-in day go as smoothly as possible. While move in day can be an extremely stressful day, as long as you prepared for it early in the summer then you’ll have no issues to worry about!
Nothing’s worst than trying to move your whole life into a small apartment in the hot sun and with a ton of other people doing the exact same thing. Trust me when I tell you that it’s not fun at all, unless you want to meet friends as you sweat your butt off. On the big day, go ahead and start early. Wake up early and hit the road before everyone else does and before the sun starts shining. By starting early, you’ll be able to beat the heat and the traffic that comes along with every college move-in day. Plus the good thing is that if you’re the first roommate in the apartment, you’ll get your first choice of the kitchen and bathroom cabinets. When I first moved, I was the last one to move into the apartment and I didn’t get my desired choice of cabinet space. Not that it was totally bad, but I would’ve preferred to have kitchen shelves that were closer to the floor. (aka I’m really short and I hate having to use a step stool to reach everything.)Move-in as early as you can to avoid the summer heat and the long lines. Click To Tweet
Bring a Cart
Some dorm apartments will have carts for you to use, but they are usually first-come, first serve and there are only a few for a couple hundred of students. I would highly recommend getting to your dorm complex early enough to get a cart or rent a cart from a place like U-Haul or something similar. The first time that I moved into my first apartment, I had a cart and it was so useful carrying my big or awkward pieces to my room. Plus you won’t have to break your back by doing all of the heavy lifting yourself!There's never enough carts to go around so bring your own or be there 1st. Click To Tweet
Rearrange the existing furniture first
I won’t even lie that the first time that I moved, my family and I totally didn’t move the pre-existing furniture before moving all of my stuff into the room. We ended up having to shove of the items back into the hallway and stepping over the other items to rearrange the furniture to my liking. I love having my bed near a window for sunlight as well as to have a place to put my décor pieces that I wake up too. Also before moving all of your stuff into your new bedroom, you’ll want to complete the inspection checklist and mark any damage that you visibly see. This is the only contract of proof of what the room looked like before you move in so you’ll want to be very thoroughly in completing the paperwork. It’ll save your behind from any hidden charges at the end of the semester.Rearrange the pre-existing furniture before you start carrying up your stuff. Click To Tweet
Wait to go grocery shopping
The task of grocery shopping truly depends on what dorm style that you have. I had an apartment style dorm so we had a fully functioning kitchen and roomy living room to share with four girls. But that is not the typical case for a freshmen dorm room. The typical dorm room style is sharing a room with two people and having a community bathroom that you share with the whole floor. If you do have this style, then you’ll want to think of quick snacks or things you can easily make in a small space. But if you have the apartment style that I had, then you have the option to truly go grocery shopping. I would wait to do this until after everyone has moved in that way you can split up the fridge evenly and possibly share the bigger items, such as milk or eggs.
Shop for dorm room supplies early
Early bird gets the worm, or at least that’s what the saying goes and it’s totally true for dorm room shopping. If you want to get the best items, then start shopping at the beginning to middle of summer. As the summer comes to an end, you’ll end up getting the last scraps of what the stores have and you don’t want that.
I created this dorm room shopping checklist as well as a post that includes the items that most people forget to bring on move-in day. Just click here to read it!Early bird gets the worm...the saying is totally true for dorm room shopping. Click To Tweet
Start packing as early as possible
Avoid the stress of move-in day by packing as much stuff as you can before the big day. Packing up all of your stuff and loading it into the car early on will save you a ton of stress and the frenzy of possibly forgetting any important items. When you start packing, make sure to make a checklist that you can cross off as you pack up each item. I would always recommend putting your items into large totes so that they are easy to carry up to your new living situation. It’ll make your life so much easier in the long run!
Double-check any paperwork & any bills before the official move-in day
You don’t want to be the student that shows up on move-in day and can’t move-in because you didn’t complete all of the paperwork or pay any outstanding bills. This doesn’t usually happen, but I would just double check everything before the big day.
Connect with your roommates before the big day
Being able to chat with your future roommates will allow you to meet them and learn as much as you can about them before moving in. You can also discuss any questions that you might have, such as if they will have overnight guests, and coordinate the room décor if you want. Another big question you’ll want to ask if you both want to split the bigger items, such as a large trash can or mini fridge. Talking to your future roommate over the summer will ease your anxiety of living with a new person as well as being able to make your first college friend.Hit up your future roommates b4 move-in day to avoid the awkward meeting phase. Click To Tweet
Welcome to the end of this guide! Hopefully this guide helped you see the light at the end of tunnel called Move-In Day. If you enjoyed it, please leave a comment and share to all of your social media outlets. Sharing is caring and it would truly help me grow my little internet space that I call home.
Moving into your first place outside of your parent’s home is such a great feeling. It’s finally a place where you can make your own rules, decorate how you like, and eat whatever you want at any time of the night. While you gain freedom, you also gain a different kind of responsibility that I’m sure you are totally ready for!
Do you have any funny move-in day stories or any tips to give students moving away from home for the first time?