Several have requested me to write on this topic. This post is dedicated to you- may you find peace, joy, and organization in the emotional rollercoaster of the college move-in process.
Warning: This is not sugarcoated.
1. I will not lie. Move in day is stressful. Accept that but use this knowledge to plan and plan well. A family friend once told me, “Proper planning prevents poor performance.” She was right. Every. Time.
2. Take along someone who can serve as a distraction from the fact that Mom and Dad will leave and you won’t be going back with them. I had 3 great distractions with me. My brother and two friends were good to help get the job done without the emotional rollercoaster getting out of control.
3. Organization is a must. Show up with everything labeled and grouped by where it is going in the room. This sounds like a given, but for some it is not..
4. Do not pack things in garbage bags unless it is hanging clothes. You cannot see what it is until you open it and it just makes a mess.
5. If you are taking plastic storage drawers to keep in your closet, go ahead and put whatever is going in there inside and bungee cord or zip tie it off so all you have to do is place the drawers in their spot. This is a much better option than wasting 20 minutes putting clothes in the drawers when you get there.
6. For most colleges, there are dimensions posted online for drawers, closets, etc. If you plan to fold clothes to put in these spaces, research the dimensions of the drawers and fold clothes to fit in the space before move in. This saves so much time by not having to re- fold when you arrive. Not to mention the wrinkles.
7. If you are hanging pictures, monograms, etc. research the dimensions of the walls. Draw a true to scale model of the room on graph paper and plan where you are going to hang things. This not only saves time but sanity when you have 20 things needing to be hung.
8. Take cleaning supplies. If you are anything like me, you will want to clean the room thoroughly before unpacking.
9. If space allows, take a hand truck. Very useful. Some colleges have these on move in day for you. We took our own.
10. Take plenty of drop cords. You never know where outlets will be.
11. Scout storage bins are not only completely functional but beautiful to put at the end of your bed.
12. Move in day is more emotional for some than others. For me, it was a nightmare. The whole summer before moving in, I dreaded the blessed day. I had no desire to buy anything for my dorm. I gave my mother full authority over everything. I told her I did not want to make any decisions or answer any questions regarding the dorm. Those of you that know me know that is HUGE for me. Every night I was home that summer, I sat right beside my Dad until I was almost asleep. The weeks leading up to move in, if anyone even mentioned the term, I was in tears. I was ok (not sobbing to the point of being sick) on move in day until my Dad said, “Well I guess it’s time to go.” I immediately fell apart. Then my Dad fell apart. Then my mom. They did the best thing they could have: THEY LEFT and DID NOT LET ME GO WITH THEM. They did not stay and hang out. We did not go to eat, etc. I would have been 10x worse the longer they stayed. For everyone it is different. Think about the way your child handles these things before you make a decision as to how long to hang out after the job of unpacking and putting away is done.
13. Leave a box still needing to be unpacked just in case you need a distraction to keep you busy when mom and dad leave.
14. If you have never used a planner before, now is a good time to invest in one and learn to use it.
15. Remember to take basic school supplies. Sometimes that is the easiest thing to forget during the move in process.
16. Put together a first aid kit including ice packs, medication for cold, cough, headache, ect.
17. It doesn’t hurt to pack extra ink cartridges and printer paper. Take a backup phone charger as well.
18. Dress comfortably. Making a fashion statement on move in day is not crucial.
Just a few things to make your day easier. Hope this was helpful. Happy moving!