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Dormitory Move: 15 Tips You Need to Know For Your First Trip to University

posted: 30/09/2022

Whether it is your first time or you are returning for another year, we are aware that moving to college can be a thrilling and stressful experience. Fortunately, our professionals can ease this experience for you. Before moving into a college dorm room, there is typically a long list of items to pack. Not to add, the moving-in and out process is governed by specific rules and requirements at each university. To speed up the process while considering your college relocation policies, you can do a few things with a substantial impact on the entire relocating experience. These 15 tips will ensure that your move to university is a success from the get-go.

1. Check the Dormitory Rules

Your college should give you a lot of information about the moving process and expectations. Important instructions may include things like how to register, where to park, when and where to check in on move-in day, who to ask for help, etc. You may also receive a list of documents to bring and/or sign once you visit your college administration.

Check your dormitory moving policies in advance to avoid any surprises. There will usually be a set of guidelines you must abide by to prevent problems for other students moving in on the same day. Since there might not be enough room for a big truck to park and unload, there might also be limitations on the kinds of cars you can park close to the dorm.

dorm moving checklist - small image

Print a copy of the rules and keep it with you so you may refer to them when necessary and follow the guidelines without breaking them.

2. Ask the College for a List of Necessities

In order to avoid overpacking, the university should also give you a list of the items already in your dorm. For example, dormitory rooms often include a bed, mattress, dresser, desk, and chair. A mini-fridge and bookshelf are frequently included. However, the checklists provided by the college include only basic necessities like sheets and pillows. There is a lot of other stuff you have to bring with you. Thankfully we got you. Download our Dormitory Move Checklist for free, and follow it when preparing your luggage.

3. Coordinate with Your Roommate to See Who Brings What

The college should give you your roommate’s contact information if you have one. Before the relocation, you might wish to get in touch to find out who is bringing what. This will not only lessen your load but also simplify the whole moving process. For instance, neither of you has to carry cooking gear or supplies. If you want to coordinate décor and furniture, getting in touch with your roommate before the move is also a clever idea.

4. Pack Smart

Cardboard boxes require time and effort to assemble and pack, not to mention that you will probably only need to purchase them once. Before using boxes, we suggest using the storage options you currently have, such as vacuum bags, plastic containers, and laundry baskets. You generally won’t need to keep these containers and bags in your room for the duration of the academic year, even though you can use them as storage if necessary.
Another option is to rent a couple of crates and use them to transport your belongings. Once you are ready, the moving company will take them back, so you don’t have to worry about your precious free space.

5. Bring a Toolbox

group of friends

In order to hang draperies, assemble furniture, tighten loose screws, and hang paintings in your college dorm room, you will need the right equipment. This toolkit is essential to have not only on move-in day but also during the entire year. Be careful to choose a small toolbox that will fit beneath your bed. The toolkit should contain all the basic tools, as well as picture hanging gear.

6. Make Sure You Have Helpers

Don’t move away by yourself to attend university. We suggest bringing a friend or a member of your family. In the college dorm, you will undoubtedly require assistance moving heavy items and boxes up and down those stairs. Having additional helping hands will also be beneficial while assembling furniture, unpacking your boxes, and setting everything up. If a family member is unable to come with you to college, ask a friend well in advance so they can make plans to pick you up.

7. Use a Dormitory Moving Service

It is important to remember that you don’t have to move everything on the first day. Reading, watching TV, and adding more cushions can wait. If you can’t fit your stuff in the car, we suggest shipping everything to the college before your relocation. The things need to be delivered in the first couple of weeks. Additionally, you might want to hold off on sending some items until you actually need them, such as seasonal clothing. A professional dormitory moving service can help you organise and transport everything you need in a timely manner. It is especially useful for soon-to-be students that live in another city or country.

8. Consider Using a Storage Facility for Seasonal Items

If you don’t have a free place to store your possessions, renting a self-storage unit close to the college might be a great solution. It will provide just enough space for the belongings that can’t fit into your dorm room. You can also keep the items temporarily – over the summer or while on a study abroad trip. If you have sporting equipment like bikes, snowboards or ski equipment, you can safely place them in your storage unit, as you won’t need them daily.

9. Dress Appropriately

It is not suitable to wear tight clothes or high heels on the day of move-in. Believe us when we say that you will want to feel at ease when lifting heavy boxes, gouging up and down multiple flights of stairs, and assembling dorm room necessities. We advise wearing light clothing, loose-fitting shoes (sneakers are preferred), and socks to avoid overheating. If you dress for an active motion, your efficiency will increase, and you will feel more comfortable all day.

checking your dorm room

10. Examine Your Room Before Moving In

On the day you move in, you will receive a list of items to evaluate in the room – from furniture to walls and ceilings. Students must conduct a comprehensive inspection and note any problem areas like stained carpets, holes in the walls, etc. Otherwise, you risk being charged for pre-existing damage on the move-out day for the dorm. Use your smartphone to properly document everything, and most importantly – have proof. Before you bring in any equipment, make sure to inspect the bedding for tears, stains, and indications of bedbugs.

11. What to Set up First and What – Last

If this is your first time living on your own, you will be all over the palace unpacking boxes and scattering items everywhere. Don’t panic, but that is not how things are done. Follow our instructions.:

  1. Put the boxes in corner of the room, or if possible, leave them in your car for now. The only thing you need now is your cleaning supplies.
  2. Pour toilet cleaner into the toilet bowl and leave it for now.
  3. Dust and wipe all surfaces, including your desk, wardrobe, door handles and drawers.
  4. Vacuum the floor and mattress.
  5. Flush the toilet and use the toilet brush to clean it.
  6. Get a bucket and a mop and wipe the floors.
  7. Place the mattress topper and make your bed.
  8. If you have a kitchen, wipe the workboard and cupboards.
  9. Bring in the boxes containing your kitchen utensils and electronics and unpack them.
  10. If the college provided you with a microwave and fridge, make sure to wipe them clean.
  11. Now you are ready to arrange your clothes and desk supplies.
  12. Collect the garbage and throw it out.
  13. Finally, take a shower and while you are there, clean the bathroom really quick.

Remember, first organise the space where you sleep, then where you eat and the clothes and papers come last. You can deal with the toilet in between, as most dorm rooms have tiny bathrooms.

12. Customise Your Space

say hi

Now that your furniture and other items have been placed in your dorm, it is time to decorate. To do this, you can rearrange your furniture to the desired spot and potentially move any existing pieces as well. Buy new decorative pillows and bed covers. Hang pictures or posters. The sky is the limit. However, don’t forget to thoroughly unload before you start decorating the space to avoid unnecessary chaos.

13. Say “Hi” to Your Dormmates

It may be easy to ignore new roommates and hallmates on the busy move-in day, especially if you are focused on bidding your parents farewell. Even though this might not be the ideal time for icebreaker activities and in-depth conversations, it is still a good idea to introduce yourself to your roommates, suitemates, and hallmates. Remember that a kind greeting and a big smile go a long way in making a positive first impression.

14. Make Time for Shopping

Visit a neighbouring shop to pick up any supplies you might have overlooked. If you are flying in to move in, take advantage of in-store pickup options provided by many home retailers. Some colleges even offer services where you may order in advance and pick up your stuff on campus, albeit the quality of these products isn’t necessarily the highest.

15. Don’t Stress Out Needlessly

This is the start of an amazing journey. It is easy to feel emotionally exhausted on your moving day. There is a lot happening, and an ongoing sense of dread is starting to creep in. But it is important to stop and think about things for a bit. Actually, this is valid for the duration of your time at college. Here, time seems to flow more slowly. So stop, breathe and calm yourself. You got this, and everything will be fine. Set aside some time to fully enjoy all that the university has to offer before enrolling. It will help with calming your nerves and making new friends.

good luck 

We hope these tips will help you feel better prepared for relocating into your college dorm, even if the days leading up to your move-in day might occasionally feel intimidating. You have worked very hard to get this far, and we wish you luck in all of your future academic endeavours.

Stephanie Cooper

Stephanie is a content marketing specialist for Top Removals for the past several years. She has extensive experience working with moving companies and knows her audience. Stephanie creates engaging and useful content helping the customers of Top Removals with their struggles and providing them with the most accurate insight.

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