While starting college can be a fun and exciting time, moving to a campus usually isn’t. It’s a day that many parents of college students dread the most, not just because of having to say goodbye to their child, but because of the stress of packing and moving possessions into a dorm room.
With a little planning, however, the college moving process doesn’t have to be a big deal. Considering the average dorm room has limited storage space and usually includes basic furniture, chances are you won’t have a large number of boxes to lug. Here are some basic tips to help make packing for college and move-in day a lot easier, whether you’re driving to the campus yourself or working with a student moving company.
Prepare for a Small Space
Remember that the average dorm size is usually much smaller than an apartment, so that limits what you can bring with you. If possible, check with your roommate first before bringing possessions and appliances that can be shared, such as microwaves and coffee makers. You should also check with the college to make sure items such as space heaters, hot plates, small fridges, and other appliances are allowed in a dorm room.
Make a Checklist
Even with limited storage space, there are still some items that every college student should take with them. This is just a partial list of what you should pack and what will take up the most space:
- Bed linens (sheets, pillowcases, and a bedspread/comforter)
- Bath linens (two each of bath, hand, and face towels)
- One or two blankets for the cooler months
- Iron and ironing board
- Desk supplies
- Desk lamp
- TV, stereo, and/or DVD player
- Toiletries and shower caddy
- Plates, mugs, cups, and basic kitchen utensils
- Small trash can
- Small rug
- Clothing and hangers
- Flip-flops (especially if the showers are shared)
- Laundry basket
- Medications and first-aid kit
Use Stackable Bins and Folding Boxes
Instead of tossing everything into garbage bags, pack possessions in clear plastic bins that can be stacked (and reused) and cardboard boxes with handles that can be folded up for easy storage. It’s also a good idea to label each one with your name and dorm room number in case they become misplaced during the move-in process. A student storage moving company can also provide the ideal containers for your possessions.
Purchase Items Near Campus
Not everything is so essential it has to be transported. You can buy some items near the campus once you’re settled in. This saves space on the way there, and fills in any gaps both you and your roommate overlooked.
Vacuum Pack Clothes and Linens
To make more space, take advantage of the many vacuum seal bags on the market that require just a vacuum cleaner hose to compress clothing and other fabrics my creating a suction. These vacuum pack bags usually take up only half the space of traditional plastic storage bags.
You may want to place some clothing items you know you’ll need right away on hangers so you can just hang them in the closet the minute you get into the dorm room.
Consider Using a College Moving Company
If you’re overwhelmed with the moving process, your campus is across the country, or you need to save room in your car, consider using a moving company that specializes in student moving. Their trained staff knows their way around college campuses and can take some stress out of this important life change.