College dorm and apartment move-In guide

It’s finally here! College dorm or apartment move-in day. Moving into a new dorm or apartment brings a mix of nerves, excitement, freedom and responsibility. But you’re not the only one feeling these conflicting emotions. It’s one of the most exciting and intense events of your college experience, but you can make sure it goes smoothly with this college dorm and apartment move-in guide.


Review Your Paperwork

Before you head off to college, make sure you review all the information and documents for your dorm or apartment. For your dorm, make sure you know the check-in times, locations and procedures so your move can be efficient. Make sure you have the necessary forms, which may include health reports, student id or registration paperwork. For an apartment, review your lease agreement and make sure to have a copy on hand.


Know the Rules

Know the rules and regulations for your building, including items that may be prohibited, and make sure you leave those things behind. You should also learn your building’s security measures. You’ll need to know how to get into the building after a late-night study session.


Do a Walk-Through Inspection

After arriving, take a minute to observe the condition of the room or apartment. Take inventory and thoroughly note any missing or damaged furniture, walls, or flooring so you can alert your school or landlord. At the end of the year, you want to make sure you’re not charged for any damage that was pre-existing.


Pack Prudently:

Do not overpack! Before you arrive, know what basic furniture you will need to bring, and what will be provided. And, make sure you coordinate with your roommate on larger items, such as a TV or mini-fridge. Here are some more tips for packing:

  • Consider packing only seasonal items and have the dead-of-winter gear sent later in the semester.
  • Focus on the must-haves like bed linens, towels, clothing and study materials.
  • Leave expensive items, like jewelry, at home.
  • Bring a few items with special meaning, like photos of family or friends, to make your space more like home. But don’t overdo it!

Buy the Basics Later

To make move-in day more efficient, consider buying perishables, toiletries and basic supplies after you arrive. This makes traveling and unpacking easier. You’ll also be able to take stock of your space and buy only what you need, avoiding unnecessary purchase returns.


Label & Organize

As you work to pack your belongings, label your things and the boxes you pack them in to prevent any confusion about ownership. Keep like items, like bathroom items, clothing and tech gear in separate boxes to make unpacking and finding things easier.

Consider bringing a few basic storage bins to organize your belongings. Choose standard bins designed to stack in a closet or slide under the bed. You can buy additional or more customized storage solutions after you take stock of your organizational needs.


Bring a Toolkit

Throughout the year, a small, basic toolkit may come in handy for hanging pictures or minor repairs. Colleges and landlords should handle large-scale repairs, but having your own tools for common repairs can minimize the need to call for help. In addition to a hammer and a variety of screwdrivers, some extension cords, extra cords and plugs for your tech items, and some duct tape should be all you need.


Bring Loose Change

Move-in day can be hot and exhausting! You’ll appreciate having some loose change in your pockets to purchase vending machine drinks and snacks.


While the practical tips in this college dorm and apartment move-in guide can help you be prepared, don’t forget to have fun and enjoy this experience. Moving into your own place may seem surreal, but when you settle in and start to meet new people, you’ll start to feel at home quickly.