Moving to College

Perhaps you are the parent of a child who will be moving away to college this fall, or maybe you are that child, who has grown up and is ready to leave home. Regardless of what side you fall under, moving to college is another difficult task just like any other move. This type of relocation, however, brings with it its own unique set of challenges. For that reason, you need to know how to approach the situation so that you can successfully transition into the college life without any trouble at all. To help you, has compiled ten simple tips that you can use to avoid the otherwise common problems associated with college age moving.

1. Keeping Emotions At Bay

When you’re finally ready to move off to college, you will probably be feeling a ton of different emotions. You should be excited about the move itself, but you will probably also feel a little sad because you are leaving home. This will be a stressful and tumultuous time for you, but in the end, you’ll be okay. As you plan things out and prepare for the move, sit down and take a deep breath so that your emotions don’t rule what you pack, what you say, or any other aspect of this event in your life. Ask your parents to keep your more sentimental items safe at home so that you can have them when you return.

2. Planning and Organization

Even though you’re just moving away to college, and you might not be taking much with you, it is important that you plan ahead so that you can avoid problems throughout the process. Moving, regardless of where or with how much, is something that will require you to be organized. Therefore, keep a file full of anything related to the move, and to the college, so that you can refer back to things as needed. If you get overwhelmed, take a moment to talk to your parents; remember, they’ve been here before and they can probably help you through some of the more difficult aspects of the process.

3. Talk to Your Roommates

Communication is pretty important if you plan on having a good relationship with the roommates you’ll soon be living with. You will usually be able to get their contact information from the college before you actually make the move, so consider reaching out and contacting them before school starts to discuss things like furniture and shared items so that nothing overlaps. Furthermore, you will be able to get to know these people who you’ll be living with in the near future, which will make the process slightly less awkward.

4. Label Your Boxes, and Everything Else

Remember that you will be living with other people in your dorm. Since there will be others around, who might end up bringing some similar things to what you’ve brought with you, it’s a good idea to not only label your boxes for the move itself, but to label your things as well. You can purchase a special marker that won’t come off in the wash and write your name on the tags of your clothing or linens, or you can use sticky labels to ensure everything else has your name on it and will return to your hands should it get lost or misplaced.

5. Protection for Valuable Items

Protecting the valuable items that you are taking with you to your new home is important, regardless of what those valuables are. If you are taking delicate items and you are worried about them making the trip, then be sure to wrap them well. If you have other items that are just worth a lot to you, consider getting an insurance policy to cover them  while you are away from home. Still don’t feel good about leaving these things around the dorm? Invest in a small safe that can easily be stored under your bed and keep these items there when you aren’t using them.

6. Downsizing Dramatically

When you’re moving into a dorm room, especially one that is shared with other people, you need to keep in mind that you aren’t going to have a whole lot of room. As such, you need to choose the smaller options of the things that you might otherwise have around. Instead of your desktop computer, bringing a laptop is often a better idea. Instead of CDs or other music options, bring your mp3 player. At the same time, remember that you want to be comfortable, so if you have to bring some extra stuff from home, look at creative methods of storing it. You can purchase bed risers and special shelving that hangs off of the bed frame online, enabling you to store more with less space.

7. The “College Kit”

At home, you have pretty much everything and anything you’ll need, all right there at the tip of your fingers. When you move off to college, though, there will be plenty of things that you’re going to wish you had. Instead of wishing, take a moment to pack a ‘College Kit’ that includes all of the things you might have forgotten. In this kit, include a picture of your mom and dad, screwdrivers and a hammer, some picture hangers, wall sticky strips, paper plates and disposable utensils, disposable cups, and anything your parents suggest you include as well. Remember, they were here at one point in the past and their experience can be priceless.

8. Plan to Unpack Before You Pack

You might think it will be easy to unpack once you arrive at your new home in the dorm, but you might be pretty surprised when you get there. With so much going on around you, and many other people moving in on the same day, things can quickly get out of control. To ease the chaos, and ensure that your things are unpacked and put away before the day is over, plan ahead on how you will unpack. Get information from the college about the dimensions of your living area and map everything out. Keep this map in a handy place and follow what you’ve planned out when you get there, knowing that you’ve only brought what you can fit. Remember to be flexible though; if everything isn’t quite as you expected it, being flexible will make it easier for everyone to regain their footing and continue on.

9. The Big Day

Moving day is probably going to be quite the chaotic moment. Not only will you be saying goodbye to the life that you’re used to and a home you’ve grown up in, but you’ll  be heading into a situation you’ve never experienced on your own. It can be difficult to deal with on top of the moving truck or the movers you’ve hired to help you get there. Knowing where everything is, being organized, and not being afraid to ask your parents for help can all be good methods of dealing with the craziness of the day.

10. Saving Money Too!

College, in and of itself, is pretty expensive. Between books, tuition, and living expenses, you’ll already be paying a lot of money to a lot of people. For that reason, saving money on the move itself can be quite helpful. To reduce your moving expenses, consider using boxes from local retail stores or from others in your local area who have moved recently, use clothing you’re taking with you anyways as padding for your more delicate items, and consider sharing the expense of a moving truck with your dorm-mates for added savings.