Parent Posts

Preparing for the move out process

By Evanne Montoya

Moving out of the dorms for the summer can be just as much of a production as moving in. While you can’t control the way your student’s possessions have scattered and multiplied over the year, there are a few things you can do to prepare for the hectic process of gathering and storing it all. Remember, many universities only give students 24 hours after their last final to check out of the dorm, so preparation is key!

Do your research

There are a few things you should do before you start to make your own plans. First among them is to check when your student needs to move out.  For many students, their move-out date will depend on their final exams.

You’ll also want to talk to your student about where he’ll be storing items. Some of the possibilities include:

  • Renting space in a storage facility
  • Transferring his possessions to a new apartment
  • Using a storage facility provided by the school
  • Taking everything home

Finally, find the local businesses you’ll be utilizing ahead of time. It is probably a good idea to reserve rental cars, hotel rooms, and storage facilities ahead of time to avoid the rush. Check the UniversityParent page for your student’s school to find:

  • Moving van companies
  • Storage facilities
  • Rental cars
  • Hotels
  • Airport transportation

Encourage your student to prepare

Since move out is usually directly after final exams, encourage your student to take a few steps now in order to avoid stress later. One big step he can take is to start de-cluttering. As he goes about his day-to-day schedule, encourage your student to start throwing away or donating items that are not needed. This will help you avoid paying to store or transport home things that will just be tossed later. Ask your student if the university can buy back textbooks he no longer needs, or encourage him to see if he can lend or sell the books to other students.

Another important step for your student to take now is to start considering what he will need over the summer versus what can be stored. Encourage your student to consider summer school classes or summer jobs when deciding which clothes and books to bring. Your student may also want to consider bringing home any small valuables such as electronics or jewelry.  Don’t forget to remind your student of weight and/or space limits.

Make your plans

It’s a good idea to include your student as you make any plans for helping him or her move out. Do you plan to go to the university to help? How will you be traveling, and how much stuff can you take? When will you arrive? Talking to your student can help you figure out what will be the most comfortable for everyone involved. Your student’s preferences might surprise you. 

When you’re in town…

If you’re heading to the university to help your student move, keep in mind that this is a hectic time for him. Move-out often comes close on the heels of final exams, along with all of the other end-of-year events. Add to all of that stress packing and saying goodbye to friends, and it’s understandable that your student may not be himself.

How can you help?

  • Be patient. Your student may not be as prepared as you would like. Don’t feel like you now have to do it all yourself, but be ready to offer help where you feel is appropriate.
  • Take short breaks. If tensions begin to run high, suggest a break for food or a short walk. Getting away from packing for a few minutes can be helpful.
  • Give your student some space and time to say goodbye to friends. Plan a dinner with other parents (to help out their students too) or a short trip to visit something you’ve been dying to see in the area. Then let your student know in advance that while he’s welcome to join you, you would completely understand if he has loose ends to tie up on campus.


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