Moving to College Checklist

College moving doesn't need to be stressful

If you're moving to college in the near future, you've probably received a large packet of information from your school about what to bring, what not to bring, when to arrive and where you'll need to be during registration days. But if you're like most college students, reading that college moving manual will be just as overwhelming as the process of moving into your new dorm. To streamline the process, I've created this college moving guide which will give you all the information you need at a quick glance – no sweating, panicking or angst required.

  1. Buy your stuff. Before you can truly assess your college moving needs you'll need to know how much stuff you have. Take advantage of sales that go on during the summer, but don't go crazy. Remember that you're moving to college, not to the middle of nowhere – you don't need to take enough shampoo for the whole year or clothing for a lifetime. Chances are good that you'll want to buy more during the course of your first semester anyway. Likewise, don't purchase d?©cor items until you've seen your dorm room, as you may have a completely different idea once you've seen the space. If you aren't sure exactly what to bring, consult your college checklist for ideas.
  2. Choose between hiring college movers and moving your own stuff. If you're going to an in-state college or one that is relatively nearby, chances are good that your parents will pack up their car and drive you to campus. But if you're going to college across the country you may need a long distance mover that will get your stuff to its final destination.
  3. Hire college movers if necessaryLook for college movers (if necessary). While it's important to choose reputable college movers you probably don't need top-of-the-line services. If you get good recommendations from friends or neighbors you may be able to hire cheap moving services to haul your stuff which can save you a bundle on moving expenses. If you have friends from your area going to the same college you may even be able to use the same college moving company which can save you money.
  4. Pack neatly. In the excitement of the move and the pre-college rush, you may be tempted to just throw your clothing into the box or suitcase. This haste, however, will likely be detrimental in the long run, since your clothing will come out all rumpled and wrinkled. Since first impressions are extremely important in college, you'll want your clothing to look its best – so make sure that you take the time to fold it before you pack it.
  5. Save space whenever possible. Load up your expansive music collection onto your iPod or external hard drive before moving, so that you can avoid bringing multiple boxes of CDs. Set up your new computer at home before moving and make sure it's loaded with all the necessary programs you'll need to start off with. Once you've set up your computer and know that it's working, you can probably leave the manuals and boxes in your desk drawer at home, instead of taking them with you (just make sure to tell your parents where they are, just in case). If possible, coordinate with your roommates so that you're not all bringing big-ticket items like blow dryers or bean bag chairs. Share the load so that you'll have to bring less.
  6. Pack your items cleverly. Consider packing your items into under-bed storage boxes instead of moving boxes. This will save you money on cardboard boxes that you'll need to store or trash, and may even help streamline the unpacking process.
  7. Limit the valuables that you bring. It probably won't surprise you, but it's quite unlikely that you'll need your entire jewelry collection while you're in college. Why bring expensive items that may wind up lost or stolen? Similarly, you may want to take pictures, but you probably don't need to use your top-of-the-line digital SLR camera. Evaluate each valuable item that you wish to bring and see if it's really necessary for your life on campus.

Surprised that I was able to fit this college moving guide into only 7 tips? Don't be! Moving to college is about being practical about what you need and realistic when evaluating the costs of the move. With these 7 college moving tips you'll be able to stay focused and level-headed so that your move to college is both successful and affordable.

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