The Move-In Day Survival Guide Every College Student Needs

FRemale Student Moving-In

The day you’ve been waiting for is finally here. It’s time to move into your college dorm and begin the new school year! Whether you’re moving into a residence hall or into one of our apartments, move-in day is an emotional, action-packed day for everyone involved. To help you have the smoothest, least stressful experience possible, we’ve compiled a list of move-in pro-tips to help you survive the day. Read up on these tips to help you be as prepared as possible for the big day!

Pack with Unpacking in Mind

We know it might be tempting to toss everything you’re bringing with you to college haphazardly in various bins and boxes, but trust us – you’ll want to be organized, especially if you’re a first-year student. You’ll only have so much time to unpack between attending New Student Orientation and convocation, so pack wisely! Organize your items and pack them in bins and boxes by category; for example, you’ll want to dedicate a bin to your school supplies and another to your toiletries. Doing so will help ensure that unpacking goes as effortlessly and quickly as possible!

Label Everything

Maybe you’re packing all of your things in clear bins and you can see exactly what is inside – and that’s great! Still, it’s a smart move to label everything. It makes unpacking that much easier. You don’t need anything fancy either – just some masking tape, scissors, and a trusty Sharpie will work perfectly. Be sure to label what’s inside and include your name, building, and room number, just in case it gets misplaced!

Tape Bins and Drawers Shut

Plan on bringing any storage units or bins with drawers? Remember to tape them shut before you start moving. There’s nothing worse than carrying a heavy item up the stairs only to have unsecured drawers fly out and let loose all the contents within – or cause an injury. Even if you think the drawers are secure, go ahead and tape them up anyway, just to be safe!

Coordinate with Your Roomie Before You Move In

If you can, get in touch with your roommate(s) to find out what they’re bringing so you can avoid bringing duplicates. Think microwaves, mini fridges, TV/DVD player, and gaming systems. Figure out when they plan on showing up so you can arrive before they do, if possible. Dorm rooms can quickly become cramped when two families are trying to move in their students at the same time. See if you can move in at least an hour apart from each other to make things easier and less crowded!

Male Student Moving-In
Wear Comfortable Clothes and Shoes

Move-in day is not the time to break out your best outfit. Instead, dress for the weather (it’ll more than likely be hot!) and wear comfortable clothing and your trusty pair of sneakers to get the job done right. Besides, you can dress up as much as you want for convocation later on! In addition, avoid wearing flip-flops or opened-toe shoes. It might feel more comfortable at first, but it won’t feel so great if you accidentally drop something heavy on your toes!

Create an Action Plan

You’ll only be allowed so much time and a small number of helpers on move-in day, so make the most of your time and resources as possible by coming up with a solid action plan beforehand. Determine who will help you carry things in from the car, who will help build any needed furniture, who will organize or decorate your room, and who will stay with the car until it’s fully unloaded and moved to a parking space. Delegating different tasks to parents, siblings, or anyone else who may be helping you move will help ensure that your dorm room won’t get crowded and that you’ll finish moving in record time!

Student and Parent Checking-In at NSO
Keep Your Personal Information on Hand

When you arrive on campus, you’ll need to check in first to receive your keys, turn in any necessary paperwork, and more. To help things go smoothly and quickly, be sure to have your personal information easily accessible. Keep your ID card, license, insurance card, and any other important information with you in a designated bag, purse, or folder. Doing so will help make check-in a breeze!

Clean and Disinfect Your Room Before Moving In

Before you start unloading all of your things in your dorm room, you’ll want to break out the cleaning supplies and spruce it up a bit! Wipe down all surfaces with a multipurpose cleaner or disinfectant wipes to ensure that everything is spic and span before you bring your belongings in.

Fenmale Student and Parent Making Residence Hall
Make the Bed First

Once you’ve finished cleaning your new home away from home, grab your bedding, sheets, and pillows and make your bed. Not only will it clear up some space in your dorm room for other bins and boxes, but it will also help your room start feeling homey right away! To make this easier on yourself, make sure that your bedding is the last thing you pack in your car so that it’s the first thing you grab when you arrive on campus.

Bring a Door Stop

Small yet mighty, the humble door stop is there to keep the door propped open so you can carry in those heavy bins and totes without any cumbersome obstacles in your way. Remember to bring one with you on the big day so you won’t have to worry about holding the door open for one another! Additionally, plan on bringing some trash bags so you can throw away any used masking tape or recycle any leftover packaging you might have while you unpack.

Consider Bringing a Fan

Moving is hot and sweaty work, no matter the weather. If you can, it might be wise to bring a fan along for the ride on move-in day. Plug it in as soon as you get to your room so it’ll be ready to cool you down whenever you need a break.

Keep Your Hanging Clothes on Hangers

Bringing in clothes that are already on hangers? Don’t waste time packing them in a suitcase only to hang them back up. Instead, keep them on their hangers, put a trash bag around all of the clothes, and tie it at the top. The hanger hooks should be sticking out of the opening. Once you put them in your dorm room’s closet, just rip the bag off and voila! You’re all set!

Female Student Carrying Furniture
Don’t Forget Snacks and Water!

It’s important to stay hydrated and energized during move-in day, which can be a long, exciting, and exhausting day. Pack a small cooler filled with water bottles and a few healthy, nutrient-dense snacks like nuts or trail mix to help you refuel.

Lend a Helping Hand, if You Can

If you happen to move in before your roommate, friends, or many of your hallmates, offer to help them carry their things to their rooms. It won’t just make their lives easier – it’ll also help you make friends and start the year on the right foot! Remember, a little kindness can go a long way.

Don’t Pack Too Many Clothes

You might think you need to bring your whole wardrobe with you to college, but we promise, you don’t! You’re bound to get plenty of free college swag as the semester goes by, especially if you join clubs and organizations or attend campus events. Feel free to bring outfits that you love, but don’t feel that you need to bring everything you own either.

Say Hi to Everyone You Meet

First impressions are important, even on move-in day. Be the person everyone will remember for being friendly, approachable, and helpful. Say hi or wave to the other students moving in, your NSO leaders, and anyone else you see on campus. Being a friendly face will help make you memorable!

Resist the Temptation to Stay in Your Room

Once you’re all moved in, you’d probably love nothing more than to shut the door, lie down on your newly-made bed, and chill out. As nice as this might sound, fight the urge to do so! Keep your door open as you unpack and decorate your room to be more social and approachable to other students moving in that day. After you’ve finished packing, take a walk around your dorm and say hi to your hallmates. It’s a great way to make new friends, no matter what year you are in school!

Parent Taking Photo of Student
Enjoy the Day!

Move-in day is a whole lot of things: exciting, exhausting, overwhelming, nerve-wracking, chaotic, and awesome. As the day goes by, soak in the memories and enjoy your time. Don’t sweat the small stuff and remain as calm and patient as possible should any setbacks happen. This is the beginning of your life as a college student, so savor all you can!

Looking for information about New Student Orientation this year? Visit this link for everything you’ll need to know! We’ve also got a handy move-in guide and a list of all the essentials you should bring with you to college.

Welcome to McKendree, Bearcats – we’re so happy you’re here!