After waiting all summer, your college move-in day is finally arriving! There is a lot of work that goes into moving to a school across the country, across the state, or even across town. Don’t panic, we’ve assembled eight time-proven college move-in tips to ensure this process goes as smoothly as possible!

1. Plan Smartly

  • Look up floor plans, email RA for rules, and organize at home as much as possible
  • Beat the rush and get there early. You might get first pick on a side of the room and avoid the lines for elevators
  • Dress comfy and be sure you don’t lock yourself out of your room or building

2. Bring the Essentials

Ready-made Packing Lists are a great short cut. Here are two we thought covered a lot of essentials:

  • Off to College Checklist 
  • The Ultimate College Packing Checklist
  • Wardrobe: don’t get carried away with too many t-shirts and shoes, but pack enough socks and underwear in case laundry doesn’t get done as frequently as you’d like. Limit yourself to one formal outfit and winter coat–climate-appropriate of course!
  • And don’t forget to look for ways to save money and time such as these great tips

3. Don’t bring this

  • Check your school’s specific guidelines but as a general rule do not bring: appliances like a hotplate, toaster, candles, incense, firearms, window a/c units, or pets
  • See if your dorm provides: trash can, mini-fridge, microwave, mirror, or lockbox
  • And finally, your Dorm’s RA (Resident Assistant) might have access to infrequently used items like a vacuum or iron

4. Space-saving Tips

  • Find hidden spaces-under beds (loft or use risers), behind doors, bedside pockets or a mattress caddy
  • Use hooks with command strips for backpacks, towels, laundry bags, etc. and keep less clutter on the ground
  • Add an additional hanging rod underneath your closet rod to double your closet space
  • A tip for the future: declutter regularly so that your space fits your needs and preferences, and let go of all the stuff that’s bugging you

5. The Roommate Factor

  • You might want to hold off until you talk to your roommate about a fridge, microwave, coffee maker, electric kettle, blackout curtains, and a rug
  • If you have a shared bathroom, talk with your roommate about: hand towels, soap, bath mat, curtain and rod, plunger/scrubber, toilet paper, and cleaning supplies
  • And last not least don’t forget and duplicate your Entertainment setup: TV, streaming device, and game systems

6. Books

  • The earlier you purchase books the better chance you have of getting the best selection of used books
  • Check your professor’s syllabi –do you need those books’ access codes?
  • The best way to compare prices for books is with We answer the question, “Should I buy or rent?” and “Should I get physical books or digital books?” Our pricing tools make it easy and can even show you the potential buyback prices to sell your books back at the end of the semester

7. Safety

  • Tell a friend about your plans when you go out
  • Park your car or bike safe locations, under lights, if possible
  • Use Campus Security options for a ride to your car or dorm
  • If you run alone outdoors don’t use headphones or earbuds and vary your route

8. COVID adaptations

  • See if your school requires any of the following items: masks, hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes, disposable gloves, and a thermometer
  • Check for any changes to how meals are served on campus, building access and protocols for things like accessing the workout facilities
  • Be sure to do things to help your mental health — get outdoors, workout, and talk with friends and family
  • Be open to change and willing to adapt during these times

And finally, enjoy your first day on campus — it’s in the books!