Finally! It’s time to head to college and begin a new school year. Here are some tips to make move-in day as easy as possible for both freshmen and upperclassmen!

Freshmen: Stay relaxed; this is an exciting day, don’t stress about it! It’s the beginning of what will be an exciting and busy year at school! When it comes to unloading everything, I’ve found out that most schools generally have the same idea. At my school, parents were allowed to drive up to the front of the building where volunteers from various clubs helped move freshmen in. Big rolling laundry bins were used to bring everything inside in one fell swoop, as well as rolling hanging racks that you see in hotels! It was all a very concise and quick process to get everyone moved in as easily as possible. However, in other schools they may do it slightly differently; I had a friend who still didn’t have to move a thing while volunteers carried all her stuff in!

Upperclassmen: The next year we had to do everything ourselves (or with your parents or whoever came to help!) It took more trips to move everything in, but with teamwork and patience it’s not that bad! Be sure to enlist your roommates or hall mates to help you out as well.

I had the opportunity to check in a few weeks before school started, which helped so I could move things in waves instead of clamoring to get everything into my apartment. If your school allows the same, I would definitely recommend doing it because it allows you to compartmentalize everything. Packing your stuff in clear, labeled plastic tubs is smart so you can see what’s what when you’re beginning to organize your room.

On the Big Day (No Matter Your Grade): Whether you have one chance to move things in or can move things in periodically, you should first get a look at your room. Do you want to move around any of the furniture? Moving around heavy furniture while trying to navigate over containers is a difficult task! If you want to move any of the furniture out, check with your RA first to see if you are allowed to move out any of it or if you have to use the standard drawers, desk, and bed. If you have a roommate, check with them before move-in day if you want to move anything. You want to respect their space as much as they want to respect yours.

I would also suggest that if you can, arrive at a different time than your roommate. Two people trying to cram everything into one space is a lot more difficult that one person unloading all their stuff.

 If you are living off campus, you have the opportunity to put furniture where you want it. Lucky you! Discuss with your roommates before you get there who should bring what for the common area and kitchen; you don’t want to be scrambling the night before school starts for a toaster!

After you’ve decided the perfect place for your bed and other furniture pieces, it’s a good idea to bring everything in and then unpack it. If you unpack it as you go along, it may seem like it takes a shorter time but in actuality each time you find another item prolongs this process; you will want to find the perfect spot for everything!

Beginning with your bed is a good bet; at least you’ll have a place to pass out if you are moving everything in late in the day! Plus, it gives you an idea of the look you’re trying to achieve with your room. Here’s a picture of my room after I moved everything around and unpacked:

I opened up the space by moving the bed next to the window; I plan on adding more to that wall space once I move down to school for good!

As you unpack everything, take note of things you think you might still need. You can always pick up basic items at your local drugstore. It will take time, but it is so worth it in the end to see your wonderful new room! Good luck moving in!