Seven Ways to Make College Dorm Move-in Day Easier
August 15, 2018
By: Cathie Ericson
Moving your child into a college dorm is an emotional experience. But whatever emotions you’re feeling—pride, wistfulness, maybe even a tiny bit of glee—you can make sure stress isn’t one of them with these seven tips that can guide you through a smooth dorm move-in process.
1. Find out the lay of the local retail land
Some colleges allow you to ship packages all summer so you can shop at home and have the items waiting in the dorm when you arrive. If that’s a policy your school allows, make sure to buy your goods at a national retailer so that items you decide you don’t need or want can easily be returned, even in a different city. Also, do some research to find out what stores are in town and where they’re located so you know where to go to make returns or buy items locally if you prefer not to pack and ship.
2. Get specifications on the dorm room
Next, gather as much intel as you can about the room itself, from the layout to the measurements of the closet and desk. You’ll want to make sure that any organizational tools or desk accessories you buy will fit to minimize the hassle of returns.
3. Find out dorm move-in timing details before you arrive
Many schools have a process in place for move-in day that is designed to create an orderly environment. Often they’ll give you an appointed time to arrive, and may even have people there to help with the ferrying of bins and boxes. (Enjoy it! Dorm move-out is far more chaotic!). They’ll also let you know where to park to ease traffic woes. But even the best-laid plans can go awry, so pack your patience, too.
4. Pack in storage bins rather than suitcases (unless you are flying)
If you’re driving to campus, packing in baskets and plastic bins makes it easy to move in with your belongings already organized. Dorm rooms are small and can quickly become cluttered if stuff isn’t properly stored, so you can buy the organizational tools you’ll need, spread your items out at home and then put them in the correct containers. Make sure to clearly label everything so that moving in will be a snap.
5. Wash the sheets before you get there
It’s tempting to want to keep those new sheets in their neat package, but that means you’ll have to find a way to wash them on move-in day, which can be a hassle. Wash them at home so that your kid will be ready to get some beauty sleep on his or her very first night away from home.
6. Make savvy purchases that increase storage
Dorm rooms are notoriously stingy on storage, so create as much as you can with smart purchases. Consider adding a bookshelf that can hold both books and mementos, cubes to organize clothing and an ottoman that doubles as storage. Your empty suitcase is also a great place to store out-of-season clothing (or leave those items at home and bring them when the time is right, if you live close enough).
7. Say your goodbyes before you leave home
Seriously. Your kid will be eager to begin a gab session with the new roommate or head to the dining hall for a bite, and won’t be in the mood for (or may be embarrassed by) a long drawn-out goodbye. Kiss and hug goodbye at home so you can leave to avoid an emotionally unsatisfying departure. Finally, you can surprise your kid with a special note you’ve written and stuck in their nightstand drawer, under their pillow or in their computer case. They might not tell you, but they’ll be glad you did. Because yes, they are going to miss you, too.
About the Author
Cathie Ericson is a freelance writer covering business and consumer topics. She creates branded content for Fortune 500 companies, and her work has appeared in LearnVest, Costco Magazine, Forbes, TheGlassHammer.com and IDEA Fitness. Follow her @cathieericson.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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