One of the most anticipated day for both parents and students – COLLEGE MOVE-IN DAY! Taking a little time in advance of the big day will alleviate a lot of stress and make it a more enjoyable experience for all.
- CONNECT: Research and pick your roommate sooner than later. Most colleges encourage and facilitate social media to help connect potential roommates. Incoming freshmen can gain valuable insight about a potential roommate’s outside interests, personal style, friends, music, lifestyle choices and so much more. It is no guarantee, but it can be a great tool to discover roommates who might be a good fit.
- COORDINATE: When the perfect roommate and campus living arrangements have been selected, divide and conquer who is bringing what. Dorm, Greek, on or off campus housing each come with differing degrees and varying sizes of provided furniture. One thing they usually all have in common — very small room sizes and limited storage therefore planning ahead can save a lot of time, frustration and headaches. Beyond the school provided items (bed, desk, dresser, closet, etc.) decide how you will divide the desired (school approved) additional creature comforts like a mini fridge, microwave, T.V., additional furniture, area rugs, etc. If possible, create a rough sketch layout of the room to make sure everything has a place before you haul it across the country and up 7 flights of stairs.
- EARLY: Have the majority of all your larger and heavier items already purchased and if not driven, have them shipped directly to the purchased from store that is closest to campus. Arrive at the earliest assigned move-in time slot with the majority of the student’s larger and heavier items. Why? Because a lot of colleges and universities recruit student volunteers who descend onto the cars to assist freshmen by moving their gear directly into their respective dorm rooms. Halleluiah! It is a wonderful welcoming gesture that whittles 10-12 anticipated trips from the car to a manageable 2-3.
- EAT: Move-in day generates enough stress, being hangry will not help. Move-in can take hours so plan accordingly by eating a full meal before as well as carry additional energy snacks and water to refuel and hydrate throughout the day.
- SMALL: Storage space is an absolute premium so adopt the minimalist’s creed “less is more”. If possible, plan clothing seasonally. Have parents ship (or local friends’ parents store) bulkier winter sweaters, coats and blankets later in the fall when temperatures start to drop. Unlike at home where there are limitless supply of clean towels and linens, bring only two sets and encourage students to become intimately acquainted with the dorm’s laundry facility.
- FUNCTIONAL: Space, and lack thereof, means the additional items in dorm rooms need to be multifunctional. Bedside lamps need to be a remote charging station. Utilize over the door hooks for both bedroom and cabinet doors to hang jackets, backpacks, hand towels, blow-dryers, etc. Utilize bed loft options to maximize room space to tuck desks and refrigerators underneath. Foldable storage crates are invaluable since they can expand and stack when needed for food, books and clothing yet fold flat for easy storage when not in use.
- FUN: Ultimately this is a day of celebration. Keep the mood light, flexible, helpful, patient, polite and fun. Relish the experience and all the good and bad that come with it. Most students are juggling the excitement of meeting new roommates and the year to come with the possible dread from the realization of being away from home for an extended period for the first time. Having the day planned out in advance by coordinating and connecting, most room items purchased in advanced, a general agreed idea of dorm room layout, arriving early with plenty of time for last minute supply runs, and bringing a measure of patience and understanding in the event all things don’t go according to plan will all contribute to a memorable, fun and stress-free move-in day!