I have moved 15 times in my life, and 11* of those times have been during my college career. Seeing as the freshmen will be arriving very soon, I thought I'd offer some of my sage moving wisdom!
These things will make your life easier:
- Make a list. Before you move, especially if you’re moving to college, make a list of all the stuff you’ll need.
- Know what you’ll need access to and what you’ll sort of need access to, then pack accordingly. For instance: Don’t pack your office supplies with your winter coats. If you know you won’t be needing those coats for a few months, pack them so you can store them in your room. That’s one box “unpacked” already!
- This is your new home—select stuff accordingly! Sure, you might not need your stuffed horsie. But if seeing it on your bed when you come into your room will make the dorm feel like home, you bring that fluffy companion along!
- Pack it all fast. Don’t leave stuff out for weeks and weeks. Set a number of days, sit down and just do it. I like to take about four days of intense packing. This also keeps me from sneaking in stuff I don’t need.
- Use wheelie suitcases. They are excellent alternatives to bins, and much easier to haul from the car.
- Use a dolly. Normally I borrow one from my local church.
- Men and boys. Bribe them with pizza. But seriously—the more muscle you have, the faster and more painless the process.
- Actually, just people in general. Again: Pizza. Or eternal love. Whatever it takes to recruit hands. A lot of the stuff you move will just be little things. The more
bodies, the less trips everyone has to make.
- Unpack it all at once, preferably in the day or the day after you move the stuff. The longer those boxes sit there unpacked, the more overwhelming it will get. Do it
fast—like ripping off a Band-Aid!
- Forgot/missed stuff? Make another list! As you’re unpacking or as you start to live in your new room, keep a list of things you need your mom to mail you or that you
need to grab from WalMart.
BONUS ROUND! What not to do:
- Leave everything packed. Don’t sit around in your soulless room with all those suitcases staring at you. There’s no better way to make yourself feel isolated
- Move all your stuff by yourself, especially when you know you need help. Speaking as someone who’s injured herself by not flat out asking for help, it’s just not
worth your pride. Ask. The worst that can happen is people saying no. (And, again, food does wonders to increase helpfulness.)
- Make someone else bear the brunt of your move. If you ask for help, it’s your responsibility to have everything ready on your end. Have the stuff set to go.
Even move the things you don’t need help with. Don’t expect your friends or parents to do all the hard work.
- Bring all your stuffed animals. I know I said to bring your stuffed horsie, but you have to be selective. Bring the items that are the most important of all the
important things. Remember that you’ll be buying new stuff and making a new home, so you need to leave space for your new memories!
- Use permanent wall stickies in a dorm room. Seems obvious. It isn’t. Take care. The tape section of WalMart is a tricky place.
*11 is not a typical move statistic for college students. As a summer worker, I have to move extra when I go into summer housing. Study abroad and room changes also add
complications to my moving resumé.