For a lot of young people, moving into a dorm is the first big move they will have experienced. It can be exciting and scary at the same time and you will want to make this transition as easy as possible (for both parent and student). Check out our top tips on moving into a dormitory to make this big day a breeze.
Read the Paperwork
Before a student moves into a dorm, they will be sent a package from the resident life dean; be sure to read through this information. This packet will tell you the time, location and procedures of moving into the dorm. Pay particular attention to the loading and unloading rules. This can be very precise, so you will want to know what is going on before you get there with a car full of boxes.
Pack What is Needed
Dorm rooms are small and cramped, so this is no place to bring everything you own. A good rule of thumb is, if it can’t all fit into a minivan or regular-sized car, it’s too much. Most dorm rooms already come equipped with the basics; bed with mattress, desk, dresser, chair, bookshelves, curtains and wastebasket, so there’s no need to bring this along. However, you will need to bring; bedding, pillows, lamp, clothes hangers, throw rug (if hardwood), laundry essentials, cleaning supplies, mirror and personal items. If you are going to have a roommate, this is a good place to share some of the “common” things that are necessary, like small appliances, dishes and cutlery.
When packing up items, it is best to use plastic totes or cardboard boxes versus plastic garbage bags. Boxes stack better than bags and can be easily labeled for quick reference. If you use an under-the-bed plastic tote, fill it with spare towels and bedding so it can be easily slid under the bed without unpacking it.
Pick and Pack Clothes Wisely
There is not going to be enough closet space to bring every article of clothing your student owns, so pick and pack these wisely. If the school is located in a warm region, bulky sweaters and jackets most likely will not be needed. In addition, if possible think ahead to different kinds of events that will occur, then make some clothing choices. For example in the Greek system of certain universities there are get togethers that will require more dressy clothes, or music majors may want to attend a concert, so packing something spiffy won’t leave you desperately looking for the appropriate wear the night of the big event.
Comforts of Home
Even though the dorm room may be cramped, you can still have touches of home added to your packing list. Photos that hang on the wall, throw pillows or even a stuffed animal can all make the room more homey, without taking up loads of room.
Moving into a dorm should be an exciting new beginning, not a lesson in frustration and stress. Be organized, pack wisely and plan ahead as much as you can to make this move fun and an exciting new step to a bright future.