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This post is all about college move-in day tips.

move-in day tips all college students should know

 Big and small colleges alike, move-in day can be stressful.

I remember being so nervous about moving into school and I had no idea what to expect. I mean I was SO nervous. The night before I moved in I am pretty sure I didn't sleep at all. I went over all possible situations in my head and searched the internet for any college move-in day tips I could find.

I found nothing.

Now after doing the whole move in thing twice, I have a lot of college move-in day tips that will make everything so much easier for you. You can learn from my mistakes ;).

This post gives you 10 college move-in day tips all college students need to know.

College Move-In Day Tips #1: Choose an early time.

When you move into school, you will usually be contacted about what time you want to move your stuff into the dorms.

I highly recommend you choose one of the earlier time slots.

When I moved into my dorm freshman year, I made the mistake of picking a later time slot. In my head, I was thinking that it would allow me to be able to spend more time with my family before I had to leave them for school.

What really happened was that everyone was done setting up their dorms and I had just started getting mine ready.

In that time that I was finishing up getting my dorm setup, girls (and boys) were already meeting each other and once I had finished setting up my room, I felt like I was "behind" everyone.

It's just a simple thing that will make your day much more relaxed since you will have more time to set up everything.

College Move-In Day Tips #2: Get there before your roommate.

This one is not always possible, but I highly recommend at least trying to make it happen.

Besides the fact that you will be able to pick the side of the room you want, closet, etc., getting there before your roommate will make your obnoxiously small room at least a little better to set everything up in.

I can promise you that having just you and your mom/dad (or whoever is helping you move-in) will be plenty and you will be very thankful that there are not three other people in the room also trying to move-in their stuff.

{RELATED POST: Dorm Room Essentials for 2022}

College Move-In Day Tips #3: Use plastic tubs and labels.

I am an organizing gal and this made everything so much easier.

You probably already have these at your house, but if you don't Amazon has an 8 pack for $45 dollars (that's really cheap for this size of tubs).

You will use these literally every time you move in and out of college the next four years.

Putting your belongings in these tubs makes the move-in way easier because you don't have to carry all these random small things up the flight of stairs. It also allows you to pack your car better.

I didn't do this freshman year (as you can tell from my picture of our car on the way to college haha) but my boyfriend and roommate did. Sophomore year I borrowed his tubs and it was so much easier. Now, I am tub obsessed for move-in day;).

College Move-In Day Tips #4: Have all personal information easily accessible.

Something to consider when moving all your stuff is to have your personal information in arms reach (social security card, insurance, license, student ID, etc) because they will have you sign a lot of forms when moving in that require you to know this information.

It can be a mess if you lose track of all of that during the move-in process and have no idea where they went.

I would also consider a special drawer or folder you can keep all of that in your dorm room. Your parents can take the important stuff back to your home, but you do need some information (your school should tell you what you need) so make sure you have that.

College Move-In Day Tips #5: Eat before.

No one wants a hangry group at move-in. Enough said.

JK :). But seriously, eat! Your day will fly by and you probably won't have a chance to eat for a while. I don't know about you, but if I don't eat I get cranky! And that is no fun when you're moving everything into your dorm.

College Move-In Day Tips #6: Have an idea of where you want stuff to go.

Before move-in day you will want to consider where you want certain things to go.

I always looked up pictures of my dorm room before I moved into it and that was really helpful for me to be able to visualize how I want everything to be set up.

This makes move-in faster because you can easily just put things where you want instead of spending time deciding where everything should go.

dorm room essentials
College Move-In Day Tips #7: Bring tools and trash bags.

Trash bags are essential to move-in day!!

Tools are too but I forget trash bags when I moved in and my room would have been so much cleaner if I wouldn't have (visualize plastic wrap ALL over the floor :/). Not the end of the world, but for this clean freak, I was going crazy.

Tools are obvious for helping you set up everything so you definitely do not want to forget those.

{RELATED POST: 11 Items Every College Student Should Buy}

College Move-In Day Tips #8: Bring fans!

I was sweating so bad on move-in day cause my dorm room was a freakin' million degrees.

Bring fans! This is something you should definitely bring anyways (especially if your dorm doesn't have air conditioning) but you might want to bring an extra one or two to help with the insane hotness that will take over your room.

Also, don't be embarrassed about sweating while moving in. If you are, other people are definitely as well.

College Move-In Day Tips #9: Keep your dorm open. 

How many times have you been told that one;)? 

For real though, I HIGHLY recommend you actually do this.

I didn't my freshman year and I so regret it. I promise you just keeping your door open will allow you to meet so many more people!

AND, smile and say hi to everyone! Even if you don't think you will be BFF's with them, it's good to know as many people as you can. It definitely may bring you out of your comfort zone, but it will be worth it in the long run.

College Move-In Day Tips #10: Give your parents a meaningful goodbye.

I am going to be honest, I broke down into full-on tears the second after I got back into my dorm room after my parents left.

It's okay to be sad/excited/anxious about this new phase in your life and your parents are feeling the same emotions.

Make sure you say goodbye to them and don't be embarrassed about getting upset. After talking to people later in the year, I learned that the majority of my friends also cried while saying goodbye.

Something I wish I would have done is written them a letter and left it on their bed at home so when they got back home after dropping me off, they had a letter thanking them for helping me set everything up. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. Do it for me this year to your own parents ;).

College move-in day can be super intimidating with everything new happening around you. Take the time to organize everything before move-in so that it goes super smoothly.

These 10 tips showed you the insiders tricks on making move-in day easy and organized.


  1. Hey there! I’ve kind of been reading all your blog posts about the past few days because I’m going to college this fall. Your posts are so helpful and so honest. You say tons of things I haven’t read or seen other places and I really appreciate it. thank you!!!

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