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5 Tips for Navigating Move-In Day

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By Elana Goodwin, Uloop

Move-in day is both an exciting and stressful time for you and your college student as you get them settled and prepare to leave them at school for the semester. Being prepared for move-in day is key to making the process go as smoothly as possible and to ensure your child does not forget any important items.

Here are some tips that will help you navigate move-in day.

1. Don’t bring everyone

While your whole family may want to see your college student off to school and help them move in, it does not logistically make sense. Not only will your student likely need the space in the car for their things if you’re driving them and their stuff to school, but once the actual moving in is happening as well, more people just makes it more hectic.

Instead, limit who comes along for move-in day and plan instead for more of your family to attend the family weekends during the semester so everyone can participate.

2. Consider leaving the suitcases at home

Unless you and your student are flying to their school to get them moved in, you may want to opt to have your student leave the suitcases at home. Instead, they can pack in duffel bags, already full containers/storage bins, or even large garbage bags.

No matter where your child is living, the likelihood is that there is not a huge amount of storage space — and suitcases take up a nice amount of room to store. Your student will also be able to more easily pack items in a more organized way, separating things into bathroom, bedroom, seasonal clothing, etc., by not packing in suitcases.

3. Have your student touch base with their roommate

There is no need for both your student and their roommate to bring the same stuff when only one is needed for the room. Have your child reach out to their roomie and coordinate who is bringing what, such as a mini-fridge, rug, fan, cleaning supplies, etc. There’s no need to have duplicates nor will there probably be room to store both so this should be avoided from the onset, otherwise you or the roommate’s parents will just end up having to return stuff.

Your student should also find out around what time their roommate is planning to be moving in on move-in day as it may be hard for both families to move in your students at the same time. If possible, the actual moving in times should be staggered so there is no overcrowding.

4. Wait to make the bed

It may be tempting to make the bed right when you get into your student’s living space so their bedding is not lying around and that way it is done and looks nice, but this should be something you do last. That way, you and your student can put other items on the bed as you move your child in and unpack, making it easier to spread things out and get some stuff off the floor.

If the bed is already made, you are not going to want to get it dirty or put a bunch of stuff on it so wait until everything else is done before getting to making the bed.

5. Don’t bring absolutely everything

Your student does not have to bring every single thing they think they will need for the year with them on move-in day. In fact, they should not. Since they will be working with a limited amount of room, it may be more practical to leave items like bulkier winter clothing at home and wait to swap it out when they come home for a break.

Some items that you will want to bring with you from home though include cleaning supplies — that way, you can wipe down and clean up the room a bit if need be before your student starts unpacking and putting away their things. Additionally, bringing some food and drinks to have after finishing moving your student in will be appreciated and quickly consumed.

Other stuff like school supplies, toiletries, durable snacks etc., may be easier to stock up on once your student has moved in rather than bringing those items to college from home and thus using up precious space in the car. Research what stores are close to campus so you and your student can head there after moving them in and buy some items locally that they will need for the semester.

Even though move-in day may be chaotic, try to savor the moment and make it a good memory for you and your student — and don’t forget to pack tissues and keep them handy!

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