Practical Tips for Moving Into a College Dorm That Every Student Should Know

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If you’re about to leave home to move into a college dorm, you are most likely feeling excited and a little scared. Moving to campus after years of living at home with your family can be overwhelming. 

However, following a few simple steps, you can make leaving and settling in easier on yourself. All it takes is practical planning and getting the help of professional college movers.

Use the following tips as a checklist to make sure your move goes smoothly:

Research Your Dorm Room Dimensions

Before you start packing your stuff into boxes, you must know the dimensions of your dorm room. Visit the college website for a virtual tour of your room, or check out the detailed floor plan. If you have an idea of the room’s setup, you’ll know how many pieces of furniture you can take. It will also prevent you from bringing items that don’t fit, which you’ll have to send back home. 

If Possible, Buy Multi-Functional Furniture

You may find that space is a problem in your dorm room, so consider getting multi-functional furniture. This will eliminate the issue of large furniture not fitting into the room or having to take multiple small pieces with you. 

A storage ottoman is a good idea for storing old books and papers and providing seating. You may also want to consider a lofted bed that leaves space underneath for a desk or sofa. 

Go Digital

You don’t have to haul bulky textbooks from your house to the dorm or on campus. Instead, you can digitize your study materials using Kindle, Apple Books, or another e-book app. Doing this will also save a little space in your dorm room. 

Pack Light

You may feel tempted to toss everything you own into several bags and take it all with you. Since you’re not moving for good, you should pack essentials only. For example, pack seasonal clothing if you’re attending a college close to home. When you visit your family during breaks, you can replace your clothing items for the next season. 

Essential packing also applies to sentimental items. If you don’t really need that five-year-old bedside lamp, leave it at home. If there is no space for the massive wall poster you’ve had since you were 10, don’t take it with you. These items may get damaged during your time at college, so it’s best to keep them safely at home. 

Use Removable Decals

Leaving some of your stuff at home doesn’t mean you can’t decorate your dorm. Do a little shopping just before you leave for college, and try to find a wall decal or two. You can attach these to your dorm wall without using nails or glue. After you graduate, you can take them off without damaging the wall. 

Take Noise-Canceling Headphones

Your schedule and study habits will differ from the rest of the students and your dorm roommate. Remember to pack a pair of noise-canceling headphones so you can study in peace while the others enjoy a break or time off. 

Use Apps to Stay Organized

It may take a while to get used to your new college schedule, so use an app to set up a study plan or get reminders of your next class. If you prefer a room cleaning schedule, you can do that via an app, too. When you start getting group projects, you can use Todoist or Trello for task management. 

Go Wireless

Speaking of organizing, you should use wireless charges, mice, and keyboards to prevent cord clutter. Considering how many items need to fit into your dorm room, you want a bunch of cords getting in the way. 

Use Vertical Space

If you have items that must go with you but don’t know if there is enough space for them, you may want to look at using the vertical space in your dorm room. For instance, you could add an over-the-door hook for coats and hats. You could hang a shoe organizer behind the door. You could also install a couple of wall-mounted shelves. Doing this will help you make the most of all the available space. 

Remember, Health and Safety

Don’t forget to pack a small first aid kit and any chronic medication you may have. If some of your medications need to stay cold, find out if you can keep a mini fridge in the room. Also, pack a mini-toolkit for small or unexpected repairs. 

Get to Know Your Roommate Before Your Move

If possible, get in touch with your roommate before you move. Discuss who will bring what, especially shared times like fridges and microwaves. Considering the small space, you don’t want to pitch up with your appliances if your roommate has already placed theirs in the room. 

Plan a Sustainable Move

If you’re using a professional college moving company, ask if they have reusable containers you can use for packing. If they don’t, you may be able to find some of these containers online. If your college has a green move-in day initiative, you can take part to reduce your carbon footprint. 

Plan for the Weather

There’s no guarantee that you’ll arrive on campus in good weather. Remember to take a jacket and warm clothing for unexpected cold or rain. 

Learn the Dorm Rules

When you move into your dorm room, take the time to learn the dorm rules. Each college has its own guidelines about what is allowed in the dorm, and there are also rules about curfew. Don’t get fined because you’re not familiar with the rules. 

Set Up a Study Area

When you’re used to your new room, you can set up a study area in your half. Get a comfortable chair, a small desk, a good lamp or study light, and stationery to help make the study process easier. 

Enjoy College!

Moving into a college dorm is a rite of passage for American students. Using these tips, you’ll soon feel at home in your room and ready to take on college life!

Make moving easier with the help of Ship Smart. We are a top-rated college mover and will provide you with all the help you need to get your items to your dorm room. 

Also Read: 5 Best Films That Make the Grade in Depicting College Experiences



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