How To Start Planning Your College Student’s Apartment

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By: Madison White, Uloop

When your student moves out on their own for the first time, you might start to feel overwhelmed with questions and details. It can be easy to get caught up in all the logistics of moving. You’ll also need to find the right balance between being helpful and taking over the whole process. After all, it is them moving and not you! Luckily, there are some great ways for you to help make their college apartment transition as smooth as possible.

1. Where are they going to live?

As the realtors say, location, location, location. It is of the utmost importance that your student knows exactly where they’ll be living next semester. Depending on the area, college apartments can be leased months in advance or moved in to pretty immediately. Because you’re probably a parent who likes to plan ahead, try helping your student find a place sooner rather than later. This way, they won’t be panicking to find an apartment during the weeks before school. They could also be forced into paying higher rent prices because an immediate move-in means less availability.

If you’re still looking, try talking with your child about a few key things. Firstly, they should know whether or not they are going to be living with roommates. It is likely that they will be, so they all need to be on the same page about what they’re looking for. Next, they should narrow down the general location that they want to live. Do they want to be right next to the university, or are they okay with driving into campus? The answers to these will help you narrow down your search. And finally, they need to think about the price range. Most college students don’t have a lot of money so they will need to find something reasonably priced.

2. What will the move entail?

Once they know where they are moving to, then you will need to begin preparing for the actual move. The actual moving situation may differ greatly based on your child’s situation. Are they moving from home or from another apartment? Will it be a long drive or is the distance relatively small? These will help you plan for the day.

You should also think about how many items your student has. If they are moving from a different apartment, they may have many more things than if they were moving from home or from the dorms. If this is the case, you may need to consider renting a moving van or borrowing a truck of some kind.

Try to also figure out what date they need to move on and how many people they will need to help. You may need to persuade some family members or some of their friends to help with the move. Make sure to ask people early so that they won’t be busy on the day.

3. What items will they need?

After you have successfully moved their things into the new place, you can better evaluate what kinds of things they are missing. If your student has other roommates, it is very possible that they have brought along some of these items that they can share with the entire apartment. It works really well for roommates to share things like pots, pans, dishes, cleaning supplies, and other general housework items. Make sure that you have checked with the other roommates before you go rushing off to buy something. You wouldn’t want to end up with double!

It is very likely that your student will need some larger items that aren’t necessary from the initial move in. These could include things like a vacuum cleaner, television, or extra storage space. This gives you the opportunity to look for things at a low cost. You can try checking secondhand stores or websites that might carry cheap, used items. This way, you won’t be spending a fortune just trying to outfit your student’s college apartment.

4. How will it look?

Now comes the fun part: decorating.  For many parents, it can be easy to get a little carried away with decorations. You may be out shopping and see a cute painting or item that you think your child would love and be tempted to buy it. Make sure that you are using caution when buying decorations for your student’s apartment. Your taste may be very different from theirs. You should definitely let your child take the lead when it comes to decorative items. If you do see something that they might want, take a picture of them and ask. This way, you aren’t wasting money and they get to make the decisions.

Always remember that this is a crucial experience for your child as they are growing into an adult. Be ready to help whenever possible, but also allow for them to figure things out on their own.

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