The Bekins Blog

College Moving Tips

August 22, 2013 | Moving Guides & Tips

It doesn’t matter how old you are.  It doesn’t matter if you’re moving across town or across the country.  Any type of move is a stressful event for everyone involved.  In the next few weeks, millions of American college students will experience the rite of passage known as Freshman Move-In Day.  For some students, this is a day for celebration.  For others, it’s a day filled with heavy emotions that go along with relocating, heightened by the fact that this is the first time that many have ever lived independently of their parents.  No matter the feelings involved, a move is a move which means it’s probably going to be stressful and not a whole lot of fun.

Earlier this week, Meredith Slavens, Online Content Development Specialist at Bekins Van Lines, shared her own personal freshman move-in story.  Today, she shares some tips she’s gathered from her many moves throughout college.

College move-in graphic

College Moving Tip #1:  Be picky about what you take

In college, your living spaces or dorm rooms are small.  Unfortunately, there’s just no way around it.  It’s better to take less than to take too much and not have room for it.  Be choosy as to what you bring. If you haven’t used it in a year, then chances are you won’t use it in college either.

College Moving Tip #2:  Organize Wisely

In college, I used four trusty plastic containers to store a lot of my stuff in, such as shoes, toiletries and craft supplies.  Not only did the containers help to contain a lot of my possessions, but it also made it easy when I went to move.  All of those loose items were already packed and organized in easy-to-carry containers.

Dorm Room Closet

My closet – that I shared with two people! The plastic containers saved my life.

College Moving Tip #3  Bring a fan

I got my tower fan as a high school graduation present, and still to this day I maintain that it was the best present I received.  In the summer months, your dorm room will be really hot – especially if you don’t have air conditioning. In the winter, your dorm room will still be really hot due to the heaters in your room. You can’t win in terms of temperature, so do yourself a favor and bring a high-quality fan with you. As a bonus, it will also drown out the noise of snoring from your roommate!

College Dorm Room

A view of my freshman dorm room, complete with not one, but TWO fans.

4.  Don’t splurge on furniture…yet

If your college experience is like mine, you’re going to have to move a lot in college.  There’s really no point in buying nice, expensive furniture at this point. It will just get banged up in the countless moves that you’ll inevitably have to make.  If you do have to buy furniture for a house, I suggest buying secondhand from a consignment store or donation center. There’s a time and a place to buy new furniture, but it isn’t while you’re in college.

5.  Coordinate with roommates beforehand

College is a time for the wonderful world of communal living.  While there are definitely pros and cons to living with a handful of other people, one of the major pros is that between each person, you and your roommates will probably have everything needed to furnish a dorm room or house.  The biggest obstacle in determining this though is communicating well enough to know that before moving in.  I suggest spending a few days during summer break creating and sharing a Google doc spreadsheet where each person can all write which items he or she has.  For even more organization, divide the spreadsheet up by room.  This helpful document will give your room or housemates a good idea of what still needs to be bought and what can be left behind.


What other college-related moving tips would you give to an incoming freshman? Let us know! Leave us a comment on our blog, Tweet us using the hashtag #BekinsU,  or write on our Facebook page.

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