How to Conquer College Move-In Day

Move-in day is fast approaching, no worries though – here’s what to expect when you arrive!

Although my move-in day was busy, personally I was surprised to find that it wasn’t the nightmare everyone had told me it would be. Everyone had said it was going to be completely crazy and hectic and how they dreaded doing it again. At Michigan State I honestly found it to be a very “organized chaos” and truly was not that bad at all. Maybe it’s because I found it all to be very exciting, maybe it’s because my parents and I had come in with a positive attitude about the day but from what I experienced, move-in day is nothing to be worried about. That being said it will be a long day, definitely plan on bringing some easy-to-pack snacks and water for sure.

Now, before you even arrive on campus there are a few things that can be done in advance during your packing process to make the day extra smooth:

One thing is if you feel comfortable, you can take boxed items out of their boxes before hand to save time and space.

Something else that I found to be extremely helpful come move-in day was how I organized everything I was bringing in separate bins based on category. For example, toiletries in one and desk things in another! This will be such a time saver when it comes to unpacking and you’ll be happy you did it.

If you plan to keep some of your clothes in plastic storage drawers in your dorm (I did this), it’s so helpful to pre-pack them in the bins! Just tape the drawers shut for the drive to school and remove the tape once it’s all set in your room!

Clothes that I wanted to have hanging in my closet I brought in a big suitcase, some already packed on hangers. Then I could easily take them right out and hang them up. I found a suitcase worked easier to bring my shoes as well rather than a bin or box.

Not always necessary but something I thought should be mentioned is to bring tools just in case – (totally a dad thing) – screwdriver, etc. Not anything I can really say we even specifically used them for, but we definitely had them. The beds at my school didn’t need tools to be lofted but some beds might so just keep that in mind.

If your school is like mine, you will most likely get an email weeks in advance giving you a time slot to come on your scheduled move-in day; this is just to help avoid complete mass chaos. Now, this time is honestly just a ‘recommendation’. You will not be turned away if you come early and you will definitely not be unable to move-in if you come later than your time slot. It would be smart though to talk with your roommate and try not to move in at the exact same time. Definitely talk with your roommate well ahead of time to discuss how you both agree to have your room set up, that way whichever of you gets there first can arrange the beds, desks, dressers etc. to where they need to be. It was extremely nice to not have to try and move in double the stuff into a small space at the same time. It allowed time with our own families to set up our things the way we liked and do it the way we wanted. It worked out very nice on my move-in day, just as I finished up with my parents, my roommate and her parents got there and we were all able to meet and take the classic “move-in day roommate picture” which trust me, your parents are going to want to have!

When you arrive:

When you pull your jam packed car(s) into the parking lot, you’ll be greeted by staff members who will have you fill out a quick form with your name and phone number so they can contact you (they’ll call when your parking time gets close to being up). They will also give you a free parking pass for most likely 20 minutes (yikes, I know!)…it’s not a lot of time so it’s best to come prepared and that’s what this post is for! Don’t worry too much about the parking time, once you bring all of your things to your room have a parent go down to the parking lot and move the car to another area where you can pay to park and leave it there for an extended period of time (hopefully not too far of a walk from your dorm). Then they can come back to your dorm and help you set up your room without the stress of the time constraint.

There will be big rolling carts to put your stuff in to get it into your room. You just wheel it over to your car and start to unload – there will also be volunteers to help you carry your heavy items to your room! Personally the things I brought took up two carts, this will vary depending on what you brought but you are welcome to use as many carts you need (availability permitting).

In my dorm (and most dorms at Michigan State at least) there were only two elevators in the lobby area making it a slow process to bring carts to the upper floors. For items that you are able to carry up the stairs I would recommend doing that just to save time rather than waiting in the elevator line.

Right when you get into your room it’ll be a really good idea to plug in your fans first thing- especially if you don’t have AC! It’s going to get hot and sweaty moving in all your stuff!

Now that you’ve pre-packed intelligently with the organizational ideas listed above ( 😉 ), unpacking shouldn’t be too difficult! The best advice I have for the actual unpacking experience would be DECORATE LAST. I was so excited to begin hanging my lights, pictures and other decorations, but try to wait until you’ve finished doing all the big things (like the bed, couch, wifi, tv etc) first. Once the big things are done and settled in, you (and your parents) will be much more relaxed about decorating and will be ready to make the room feel like home.

As your day concludes, the time has come. Goodbyes are never easy wether you’re attending school 20 minutes from home or 20 hours from home, but just keep in mine this isn’t goodbye, it’s only “see you later”. It’s okay to be sad, it’s okay to be overwhelmed, but please be patient with yourself. Your parents are so proud of you and as tough as it may be to watch them leave, it’ll be even tougher for them to drive away without you. Take it in, hug your siblings, let your mom cry, listen to the advice your dad gives and take a deep breath – you did it, now let the adventure begin.

Best of luck to you and your family on move-in day! Please let me know if you have any questions or if you have other helpful move-in day tips or tricks!

Sincerely, Sienna

(follow me on Instagram at siennamohl for more updates!)

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