With September just around the corner, most recent high school grads are preparing to start their freshman year in college or university. Students who choose to attend a post-secondary school in a new town will be moving away from home for the first time, which can be stressful and time consuming. These student moving tips will reduce your stress (and the angst of your stressed-out parents!).
Furnished or Unfurnished?
The most important question for planning a move to your new school: Are you moving into a furnished space like a dormitory or into an unfurnished space like a house that you’ll be sharing with friends?
A dorm room or furnished apartment will be equipped with a bed, desk, chair, bookshelves and drawers for clothes. So you can probably fit most of your other gear into a car or minivan. On the other hand, a house is usually rented unfurnished, so you’ll need to bring all of these bulky items along with kitchen supplies, a sofa and other furniture – so a truck will probably be needed (more on that later).
> If you’re moving into a dormitory or furnished apartment.
Dorm room double
Small space, big change. Living in a dorm room is different from living at home. For starters, you will probably have a NBF – your roommate! Being away from home for the first time is exhilarating, but space is usually very tight so don’t over-pack!
A typical dorm room is about 12 by 20 feet, and most dorm rooms are doubles that accommodate two people, so plan to occupy about half that space, approximately 12 x 10 feet. Label important items and packing boxes with your name (since you never want to make an enemy of your roommate by claiming to own something that isn’t yours!)
Some questions to ask about your dorm room: What is allowed in your dorm – a toaster/toaster oven, microwave, hot plate or mini fridge – these can help you save on food expenses. Is your dorm’s move-in day on a staggered schedule? Can trucks unload only in certain spots? Do you need a permit to park a moving truck on the street? Does your apartment building have specific move-in times? A couple of minutes on the internet and a phone call or two could save you hours of headaches.
> If you’re moving into a house with other students.
Students sharing a rented house
As mentioned above, if you’re renting an unfurnished house, you’ll need to bring all the things that normally come as standard equipment in a furnished dorm room. You’ll need a bed frame, mattress, box spring, area rug, desk, chair, bookshelves, and drawers for clothes, along with kitchen supplies, a sofa and other furniture. A truck will probably be needed and to get a truck, you can either rent a truck and DIY or you can hire a moving company.
How to hire a mover?
Get a written contract
If you decide to forego the DIY route and hire a moving company instead, start by checking out a few movers on HomeStars. Read reviews and select those that are reputable. Ask for a written estimate from 2 or 3 movers and ensure each one includes all the items you want moved. Once you select the mover with the best estimate, get a contract in writing that specifies the date and times of your move and insurance coverages for anything that’s lost or damaged. Avoid Saturdays and Sundays since movers must pay overtime to their staff on weekends.
Once the contract is signed, let the movers pack your belongings because if the moving company packs everything, they are responsible for any damages; if you pack things, you are responsible. On moving day, supervise the loading and unloading of the truck. If damage or loss occurs, have the driver make a special note on the inventory and/or delivery receipt.
If you must fly to your new school because it’s too far to drive, check out this helpful article from Alaska Air.
Finally, what to pack?
Simply put, packing less means moving less. Declutter your room at home and donate unused items to charity. Remember, ‘when in doubt, throw it out!’ Here’s a handy checklist of student moving tips for packing and moving, courtesy of textbooks.com.
Toiletries. Whether living in a dorm room or in a house, you’ll be sharing a communal bathroom, so bring a toiletries kit bag or a shower caddy that is easy to cart back and forth to the bathroom. Don’t forget your towels and flip-flops to wear in the shower.
Clothes. Think about seasonal weather requirements, and whether or not you plan on heading home often, or just every few months. Can you trade in some summer clothes for cold weather items at Thanksgiving? When packing, use low-rise storage containers that you can store under the bed – so you don’t have to worry about breaking down boxes or storing suitcases.
School supplies. Bring your computer, cell phone, earbuds/headphones, charge cords, printer, paper, writing pads and pens/pencils/erasers. Bring money to buy textbooks at the campus bookstore.
Other stuff and student moving tips. Laundry hamper and detergent. Bedding, blanket and pillows. Don’t forget an alarm clock or just use your phone’s alarm, so you’ll be on time for those early morning exams!