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This post is all about dorm move in day.

dorm move in

Moving into the dorms can be super stressful. I remember the entire day was just chaos - you're excited but stressed about moving but also sad to say goodbye to your family - soo many emotions! 

After moving in and out of the dorms myself, as well as helping my sister move in, I've definitely found some things that help make the entire process a little easier. 

Here are my best tips and tricks to make dorm move in day go a little smoother.

This post is all about dorm move in day. 

Tips & Tricks For Dorm Move In Day:

1. Only bring the essentials

dorm move in day

One of my biggest regrets when moving into my dorm room was overpacking. I seriously brought my entire wardrobe from home (which was incredibly unnecessary lol). 

Only bring things that you NEED. Remember you're going to still be purchasing things throughout the year that you're going to need room for! If you haven't worn something in the last 6 months, leave it at home. 

For a list of all the essentials I recommend bringing, check out my dorm essentials post (links to everything I bought for my dorm too!).

2. Door stopper 

The door to my freshman year dorm did not stay open on it's own (and locked automatically) which was super annoying when we were moving in. We would have to unlock it every time or propped it open with a shoe. 

A door stop is super helpful when moving in but also great to have throughout the year! I think it made a huge difference when meeting people on my floor - when I had my door propped open, people felt way more inclined and comfortable to peek in and say hi!

This also is definitely one of my biggest tips for meeting new people in the dorms. 

3. Tool set

For some reason I didn't bring a screw driver when I was moving into my dorm (dumbbb) and needed it for a lot of things. If you have a small tool box or just a few screw drivers, bring them! 

We had storage shelves that we had to put together and didn't have a screw driver so we had to go buy one lol my dad was not happy. Don't forget this! 

4. Lots of Command strips / hooks 

Most dorms have brick walls which makes it really difficult to hang things. Definitely recommend bringing a ton of Command strips and hooks so you can hang pictures, lights, etc. 

These make the move-out process way easier too because they come off the wall super easily and damage-free. 

I used these all the time to hang wall decor. For some wall decor inspiration, check out all my favorite ideas here!

5. A fan or two 

Most dorms unfortunately don't have A/C (and if yours does you are LUCKY) but moving boxes and heavy items all day is a workout. 

It's bound to get hot in your dorm room so you'll definitely want to bring a small fan that you can set up when you're moving in. And this is a good essential to have in general because the first few weeks are HOT. 

6. Coordinate move-in time with roommate 

dorm move in day

In such a small space, having two families moving stuff in is realllyyyy difficult. Like I could barely have my family in the room without feeling overwhelmed. 

Definitely talk with your roommate and coordinate move-in times - maybe one gets the morning and the other gets the afternoon. It'll be way easier when you have the entire space to work with when moving in and getting everything set up. 

7. Wait to buy things you don't need right away

There are definitely going to be things that you don't need to buy beforehand - like a Keurig, microwave, TV, etc. 

Instead of wasting space in your car, wait to buy these things once you get to school. I did a HUGE Target run once I unpacked the car for things that I didn't necessarily need the first night of school. 

This will make packing at home much easier. 

dorm room essentials

8. Pack clothing strategically 

Since you aren't going to have a ton of room in your closet, try to pack things according to season. I always kept my sweaters stored under my bed until it started to get cold and then switched them out for my summer clothing. 

If your closet is on the smaller side, this is a great way to free up some space and keep things organized. 

9. Cleaning supplies

Before moving in, definitely do a quick wipe down of the desks and any other surfaces!

Things can get dusty fast and you want to make sure that everything is clean and sanitized before you put your things there. 

10. Don't forget your pillow!

I swear it's the obvious things that people end up forgetting the most. I was so dumb freshman year and forgot my pillow at home! I was so mad because I literally can't sleep well without that exact pillow so it was a rough first week haha. 

Definitely make sure you have the small things but also make sure you're not forgetting anything obvious! 

11. Plan dorm layout beforehand

dorm move in day

Talk to your roommate and brainstorm what kind of layout you want - lofting beds, who's bed is where, where to put the TV and futon, etc. 

This was one of the most time consuming parts for me when I moved into my dorm room because we hadn't planned anything and ended up moving the furniture around like 10x haha. If you have at least an idea of what you want the layout to be, the process will be much quicker!

12. Coordinate who's purchasing big items 

To ensure you don't show up to the dorms with two TVs, make a list of all the big items you're going to need and decide between your roommate(s) who wants to bring what. Here are the big items I would recommend deciding on: 

  • TV 
  • TV stand / storage
  • Futon
  • Microwave
  • Keurig
  • Rug
  • Tapestry

Obviously you don't need all of these things in your dorm but these are all of the big items that people tend to purchase!

For a list of everything I recommend bringing to college, check out my dorm essentials list!

13. Bring a snack and something to drink 

Move in day takes a lot longer than you might expect and A LOT more energy. Definitely plan on eating a good meal beforehand and bring some small snacks and something to drink. 

When my family and I moved my stuff into my dorm, it took us so long and everyone got really HANGRY and we all ended up screaming at each other over the dumbest things lol. 

Avoid causing stupid arguments due to hunger and plan accordingly! 

14. Make sure you have all the paperwork / IDs that you need 

Go through and make sure you have filled out everything you need to and have the correct identification so when you get to dorm check-in it can be as quick as possible. 

My mom always prints everything out and puts it in a separate folder so it's all in one place and easy to find (which is now what I always do too - so easy!). 

15. Keep hanging clothes on hangers

This is a moving hack I always use (just used it when moving into my apartment!). It saves sooo much time since you can literally take the clothes out of the bag and hang them up instead of having to put each thing on a hanger. 

I love finding ways to make moving easier. Here are some more of my favorite moving hacks.

This post is all about dorm move in day.

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