If there’s anything more unnerving than a senior year final exam in physics, it’s moving off to college a couple of months later.
To help with that big transition, here are eight totally casual, nothing-to-worry-about* college moving tips to help make the move even less of a big deal.
Tip 1: Understand Your Space Limitations …
Is your college student moving to a dorm room? Odds are good that there will have less space there than at home. Even if they’re living off campus, space will likely be tight. Packing should be done accordingly. The school will likely have material to help, like these apartment layout graphics for San Jose State University.
Tip 2: … and Dorm Rules
In addition to understanding your space limitations, read up on the dorm’s residency rules. Here’s the one for Harvard University, as an example. And, yes, even an off-campus apartment will come with plenty of rules.
Tip 3: Pack It In Its Native Habitat
Anyone who’s ever moved is familiar with this process: item goes into the box, the box goes to the new place, the item comes out of the box. While that will remain the case for much of what your college student moves, try to move items in the containers in which they’ll remain if at all possible. That means clothing in plastic under-bed storage bins, footwear in door or closet shoe organizers, etc.
Tip 4: Bring Some Home To Your New Home
Even though it’s exciting, moving into a dorm room can also elicit pangs of homesickness. Combat those pangs by personalizing the room with a couple of pieces of wall art. Anything other than a poster will require tools; make sure you bring a few different types of hanging hardware. (And check the rules for hanging items on walls first!).
Tip 5: Use a Checklist
Having a checklist will prove an invaluable tool when it’s time to pack. But it’s also a great tool for unpacking (what got left behind, what needs to be purchased) and for that first visit back home (what to return, what to grab). A checklist will even prove handy for trips to a local store to grab whatever essentials evaded the other lists! Here’s a broad, but good, checklist of items. The University of California at Berkeley compiled their own list which is good for moving students.
Tip 6: Save the Moving Supplies
Moving a child into a dorm room or college apartment guarantees that you’ll be moving a child out of a dorm room or college apartment eventually. Keeping the moving supplies around means a cost savings for when that time comes … unless there’s another college-bound child in your near future.
Tip 7: Protect All Devices
Incidents of dorm theft vary by school but need to be something you think about regardless. A dorm insurance policy is a good idea; your homeowner’s insurance will cover some loss for a child living on campus, but not all. Investing in a discreet safe is similarly recommended. Finally, a computer anti-theft lock may prove well worth its price when your student is working at a local coffee shop or library.
Tip 8: Pack “Preparation”
In the event of an emergency, your child knows who to call if both or either parent are unreachable. But who gets that emergency call if the backup is unavailable? If your family has stepped through the federal government’s “Make a Plan” readiness checklist, how does this move affect those plans? The school also has an emergency plan, like this one from the University of Virginia. Review it with your child.
Moving On Up
Moving off to college is a big step in life. Make sure that step is a sure-footed one with careful planning … and plenty of checklists! For larger moves, Michigan’s premier moving company, EZ Moving and Storage, is here for you. Get started with an easy online moving quote. It’s also free, which will help you save for those tuition bills.
*Moving away from home and into a college dorm room or off-campus apartment for the first time can be terrifying. We’re just trying to help you calm any jittery nerves.