Last month, I posted a blog entry on college move in tips based on advice from friends and my own expectations about the process. Now, after doing two college move ins in two states for two children in three days, I’m ready to pass along my expertise to you. And, if it’s too late for you this year, I’ll repost it next year in July!
Four to Six Weeks Before Move In
• Select and order bedding. For my children, I ordered wrinkle free sheets from Lands End Home. I had the sheets monogrammed for an extra special touch.
• Unless your child attends Washington University (like my daughter) where dorms boast tempurpedic mattresses, you’ll want to invest in a mattress topper. I got this one for my son.
• Both my children also ordered headboards. While definitely not a necessity, they did make both rooms look much more put together.
• Visit your local Bed Bath and Beyond where you can take advantage of their Pack and Hold service. This means you can shop for the items you need in your local store, and you pick them up at a store near your college campus. We ordered the following: very deep under bed stackable drawers, shower caddy, drawer dividers, stackable shoe shelves, drawer inserts, towels, bath mats, mattress topper (noted above), garbage cans, hangers, Brita pitcher, desk lamps (one for the desk and one for next to the bed), extension cords, surge protectors, and stick on lights (for inside the closet).
• Select wall art and have it shipped to the dorm. My daughter was an intern at Art Sugar, and they sent her beautiful framed pictures. My son ordered artwork from Icanvas and Ikonik.
One Week Before Move In
• Ship what you can, especially if your child’s school is a plane ride away.
• Pack clothes in travel plastic bags, so that clothing stays folded and unwrinkled.
• Confirm flights and hotel reservations.
One Day Before Move In
• As soon as you arrive, bring the luggage to your hotel room, then collect what you’ve ordered and shipped. You’ll want to visit Bed Bath and Beyond and the school’s mail room if you shipped items ahead of time.
• Consolidate what you have so it takes up the least possible amount of space in the car. For my daughter, it required 3 trips in the car. My son only required two trips because we had an extra day with him where we could buy what he needed.
• If time, pick up textbooks and school supplies at the campus bookstore.
Day of Move In
• Wear comfortable shoes and clothing.
• Bring supplies including a tool kit (I ordered a complete 5 pound tool kit online), a tape measure, a label maker, stick on hooks, and Gorilla tape.
• Bring water and snacks.
• Arrive early. If you’re 30 minutes early, you won’t be turned away, and you’ll beat the rush.
• As soon as you get into the room, determine how the room will be laid out and move the furniture.
• Decide how high you want the bed. At both of my children’s schools, the beds could be raised or lowered without bed risers. Helpful sophomores came to the room with a tool that raised the bed for us.
• Unpack clothes first and then desk supplies and other supplies. Use the bed as a staging area. Make the bed last, so it stays clean.
• 80% of the move will be done in 2-3 hours. It’s the last 20% that takes a day and a half.
Day After the Move In
• Return anything you bought and don’t need.
• Make sure all electronics and tech equipment is working and has the correct chargers.
• Hang pictures if you haven’t done so already.
• Stock the room with snacks.
• Prepare to say goodbye.