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Make Your Move-In Day Plan

Make Your Move-In Day Plan

To maximize the exciting factor and minimizing the less desirable aspects, it’s best to prepare as early as possible for any given scenario.

Elizabeth Hoyt

May 06, 2014

Moving is stressful. If you haven’t done it before, brace yourself. Quite frankly, it’s the pits. I’m not trying to scare you – I’m just trying to prepare you.

It’s crowded, hot and overwhelming.

Oh yea, it is exciting, too.

To maximize the exciting factor and minimizing the less desirable aspects, it’s best to prepare as early as possible for any given scenario. You’ll likely still be a sweaty mess but, hey, so will everyone else!

The most exciting part of move-in day will factor in when you get to scope out your neighbors, size up your RA’s level of strictness and start playing Tetris with your furniture, trying to make it fit (just kidding, that’s not so much exciting as it is maddening).

Here’s a guide to move-in day that you can use to create a plan of action for your big day:

Roommate Coordination

This point simply cannot be stressed enough! It’s vital to make a plan with your roommate to decide who will bring what in order to avoid duplicate items. Your room is going to be smaller than you think.

Here’s how to calculate the size of your room: picture what you think the size of the room is and divide it in half (that’s the actual size of the room) and then divide that in half (that’s your half of the space).

Also, coordinate what time each of you will be moving in on move-in day. It’s important to try to move in at different times. The room is far too small to attempt to move two people in at the same time, so moving one person in the morning and one person during the afternoon is a much more efficient plan.

Move In Early, If You Have the Option

If you could opt-out of being amongst a sweaty crowd of frustrated people all day long, why wouldn’t you?

Moving in early can save a lot of unnecessary stress and headaches. So, if you find out that you have the option, do yourself (and whoever is helping you move) a favor by taking advantage of the opportunity.

Check Out (and Measure) the Space Beforehand

If you are able to gain access, take a sneak peek at your future living space before move-in day. It doesn’t have to be the exact room – any example dorm room will do the trick.

Take measurements so that you won’t have to haul furniture that won’t fit all the way to a dorm for no reason. It will save a lot of time and effort come move-in day for everyone involved. Plus, you can plan out positioning beforehand and avoid the entire infuriating Tetris ordeal mentioned above.

Plan Parking

Ask any parent who has moved their student into college and they will likely tell you that their biggest nightmare during the entire move-in day experience was the parking situation.

Help your folks out and do a little research beforehand to see if your school offers parking passes online or if there are specific unloading zones they are able to park in (both of which many schools offer for move in day).

If you sort out parking issues before arrival, the unloading process will be much faster.

Plan for Rain

We all know how unreliable the weather forecast can be. If you catch a bought of bad luck and it starts to rain on a day that is meant to be sunny, don’t catch yourself unprepared!

Pack plastic tarps and some plastic bags to cover items when outside, just in case, so your stuff doesn’t become a soggy mess.

Don’t Over Pack

Again, you’re moving into a very confined space with another human being. Most people regret how much they originally bring and, the truth is, you can always bring more.

It’s extremely difficult to organize when you have way too many items from the very beginning. Bring only the essentials and, if you find it necessary, add on from there.

Move-In Day Essentials

There are some items that you will appreciate having on move-in day because it will make everything much easier:

A Fan: Most dorms aren’t air conditioned and, while moving in and out, you’re likely to work up a sweat. Having your room a little cooler will make the transition much more comfortable. This is one of the items on the list you’re likely to keep in your room once your move is complete!

Cold Beverages: You’re bound to get thirsty with all that heavy lifting so bring some refreshments to help cool off.

A Dolly: Carts and dollies are usually available for rent in the dorms but, on a crowded move in day, are in high demand so there’s often a wait. If you have one at home or are able to purchase one, it can be quite useful to have your own so that you don’t have to rely on utilizing the dorm’s for your heavier items.

Command Strips, Extension Cords and Batteries: These are the items that everyone needs, yet nobody ever seems to have enough of! Do yourself a favor and bring extra – you may even make some friends by loaning them out.

Cleaning Supplies: Not only will you want these to keep in your room, but you’ll want to give your room a good once-over before moving all of your nice stuff into it.

Map Out Local Stores

Locate the nearest Target, Home Depot, Walgreens, etc. because you will inevitably forget something. If you know where the nearest stores are, it will be much easier to run out for whatever last minute items you may need.


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