Written by Claire Schneider
With stores setting up their back-to-school displays, many 18-year-olds are getting ready to embark on the thrilling adventure of going off to college. While preparing a move to college might seem fun and exciting at the time, it also has its challenges. As a parent you want to be there help them in the moving process while making sure to not overstep. With these helpful tips, moving to college might be the easiest thing your college student does all year.
First, check the paperwork. By this time you’ve received numerous pamphlets and emails from the college containing information about the upcoming year. Remember to re-read everything the residence life dean sent, paying particular attention to check-in times, locations, and procedures for dorm move-in day. Some schools let arriving students and their families pull cars right up to the dorm door, while for others it’s first come, first served. See that you have all the necessary paperwork easily accessible.
Get to know the roommate. It’s important for roommates to meet before move-in day, so they don’t feel like they’re moving in with a stranger. This is a busy time of year, so if you can’t find a time that works to meet-up, connect with them on social media to learn their interests, hobbies, and interior decorating ideas. They should also take this time to decide what large items they can share and who will be responsible for bringing them.
Create a checklist. Together with your college student, make a list of the necessary items and stick to it. Make sure to include photos of friends and family and other sentimental items which will help make the dorm feel like an extension of home. Keep in mind everything will have to fit in your vehicle; otherwise, there might be too much stuff. This is the perfect time to go through the overstuffed closets and drawers to identify those favorite clothes and shoes which will make the journey to college.
Assemble a “living” kit. A “living” kit contains little items, which are not liquid or bulky, a teen may not think of as necessary but will need at some point. Items include:
• First aid: Bandages of assorted sizes, antibiotic and hydrocortisone ointments, pain killer, digital thermometer, contact solution, decongestant, and antacids
• Laundry: Detergent pods (they’re small, easy to store and easy to use), a stain remover stick, and fabric softener sheets
• Cleaning: Antibacterial wipes, glass cleaning wipes, microfiber dust cloth, roll of paper towels, broom, and dustpan.
Remember, storage space is minimal so anything in a convenient, flat-shaped packaging is ideal.
Locate the store oasis. No matter how prepared you may think you are, there will always be those items you’ll need to make a trip to the store for. Before moving day, find out where the nearest Target, Staples, and Lowes (or similar stores) are.
Know your time and arrive early! Colleges take a lot of time planning out all the inner workings of moving day to ensure things run smoothly. For a lot of colleges there will be limited parking space, so the earlier you arrive the better. Just remember there are so many others moving in that day as well and are just as stressed as you are. Be sure to stick to your designated time of arrival. If you come before your time, it could throw the housing staff completely off.
Only bring one or two suitcases. Even though they make it easy to move, especially if they are on wheels, you won’t need many while you’re away to college. Instead pack your belongings in large storage bags; these can easily be stored until you move out.
Moving tip: Keep clothing on hangers, place a trash bag over them, and tie the bottom. Then secure the hangers together so they don’t fall back into the bag. This will keep all of your clothes together and protected during the move. Then all you have to do is hang them up in the closet, rip the bags off, and you’re ready to go!
Bring tools. A tool kit with a basic hammer, screwdrivers, and pliers can be a handy thing on move-in day. You may need to bunk the beds, raise or lower mattresses, or deal with minor repairs.
Relax. Going to college is a fun and exciting time. Don’t get stressed with the move. Instead have fun and take this time to bond as a family. Make a fun and upbeat moving playlist prior to keep everyone in good spirits. Maybe include a few songs which have special memories for your family.
Of course you could always avoid the college moving day drama and hire a moving company. Here’s a fun video showing just how relaxing moving day could be for you.
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