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Going Away to College? 5 Tips for a Stress-Free Move-In

Going Away to College? 5 Tips for a Stress-Free Move-In

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Whether you’re going away to college for the first time or for round two, three, or four, moving in can be a rough process. No matter if you’re going a few hours away or few states, below are five tips to make the move-in process ten times easier:

Tip #1: Make a List of All You Need in the Summer BEFORE You Leave
There’s nothing worse than making it to your destination and realizing that you left that important medication in the bathroom cabinet. That’s why it’s extremely important to make a list of all the things you need to take before you leave. It can be as detailed as needed (specific things you would like to pack) or as general as the room: “Okay, did I pack all of the clothes I want to take from my bedroom? Did I get all of my meds out of the bathroom?” Be sure to do this a month before you leave so that you have the chance to add to it if necessary.

Tip #2: Sharing a Room or Apartment? Talk with Your Roommate(s) Beforehand
Not only is talking to your roommates a way to get to know them, but it’s also a way to plan out who’s bringing what. It would be incredibly awkward if show up with a dining table for the whole apartment and it turns out that someone bought one already.

If you’re living in a dorm, this may not be as important, but in the case that the university does not provide a microwave or a mini fridge in your dorm room, then you may want to coordinate who gets what. Also, while some universities may let you rent a television, not all of them provide this service. Therefore, you may want your roommates to pitch in on buying one, if that’s something that you want in your room. That goes for any other large item that you and your roommates would share that you want to buy – talk to them and see if they will pitch in.

Tip #3: Have a General Idea of How Much Room You’re Working With
Most university housing websites allow you to view a floorplan of your apartment, dorm, or suite so that you will be able to get a general idea of how much room you’re going to have. Sometimes, they will give you specific dimensions. Search online for the details before you are able to see your room in person so that you can begin to plan out how much storage and floor space you will have and think about what else you might need.

Tip #4: Living in an Unfurnished Suite or Apartment? Search Furniture Online Before Getting to Campus
You can buy furniture online from chain stores such as Target, IKEA, and Bed Bath & Beyond and pick it up at their locations closest to your campus. This is super helpful especially if you are going to school out of state, but want to do a bit of furniture shopping before you get there so you’re not going in blind. If you have any questions about whether or not there is a location near your campus, you can either search the city in which you will be going to school for a location or you can go to your local IKEA or Bed Bath & Beyond and ask them in person.

Tip #5: Consider Road Tripping – It’s Cheaper than Flying!
While many people choose to fly over road-tripping, you may want to consider making that trip because it can be cheaper than buying a few plane tickets. Not only can you store more in a car than on a plane without any extra charge, but you can also take those larger items that you would normally ship in one trip. It could also be a fun bonding experience with the family or with friends that you’re going off to school with.


Moving in doesn’t have to be the stressful experience that it could be. With these few easy tips, the college fun can start earlier and moving in to your first college dorm, apartment, or suite can be the first memory you make of your college career and not because of the headaches.

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