9 Tips for Moving Into a Dorm


Packing for a big college move? Moving into a dorm can sometimes be a challenge – space is usually limited, and you’ll have to readjust. But it’s easy to get a head start by packing the smart way. Here are nine tips for efficient, low-cost, time-saving preparation for the big dorm move.

9 Tips For Moving Into a Dorm

1. Label Smartly

Don’t be one of the college-goers that happily stuffs everything in boxes…without labeling any of it. Depending on what you are packing, labels can make or break your move-in experience, especially with all the other activities happening at the same time. You want to make things as easy as you can on yourself, so get a sharpie or print out a few labels and stick them to the boxes with packing tape. Make sure you know which boxes hold food and which hold clothes.

2. Use Flat Plastic Bins

Here’s a way to deal with both labels and space issues – buy a few flat plastic bins to take with you. These offer several advantages to your dorm packing adventure. First, they tend to use clear plastic, so you can see at a glance what each bin contains, an ideal solution for quick storage. Second, those flat bins are great for sliding under bins or into small closets, allowing you to keep on using them in even the smallest dorms and apartments. Crates are another solution that can be used long after the move. They just keep on giving.

3. Leave the Right Stuff in Boxes

If you do use plastic bins and crates, try to pack them with the things that will stay in those bins and crates. The extra clothes (if necessary), the snack foods, the supplies that you will not immediately need – put these things in your permanent storage choices so that you won’t need to take them out right away. The items you’ll need immediately can go in cardboard boxes or bags.

4. Keep Your Clothes Together and On Hangers

You hear this piece of advice often, and it’s usually a smart move: When moving into a dorm, keep your clothes on hangers and pack them lightly in boxes or crates so you can just pick them up, shake them out, and hang them back up. It doesn’t work for all clothes, but you can use the garbage bag trick (push the hook out of the trash bag so it covers and protects your clothes) for added security.

5. Use Plenty of Tape and Cling Wrap

Tape and cling wrap are ideal solutions for any furniture that you have to move. Need to transport a case of DVDs, books, or supplies? Just wrap them up in cling wrap to prevent anything from falling out, and you can save a tremendous amount of packing and unpacking time. Tape is great for keep drawers shut and taping any loose cords to devices to help keep things neat and tidy.

6. Pack in Usable Items

When possible, don’t use boxes at all – just pack in items that you will be using for other purchases. This saves money, since you don’t need to purchase boxes or crates, and can often save on space, too. Pillowcases, for example, are great for packing sheets and other bedding supplies in. Laundry hampers can hold all kinds of items. Use your imagination and pack without using extra boxes whenever possible.

7. If It’s Too Heavy, Leave It

Free Digital Landing Moving GuideThis is an easy test for moving into a dorm: If something is too heavy to easily pack, leave it behind. Chances are great that you won’t need it or use it much in the first place. If a TV, mini-fridge, or piece of furniture is uncomfortable heavy, there probably won’t be enough room for it in the first place – no matter how much you might want it. Many heavy items like filing cabinets can be replaced with lightweight expanding folders and other solutions as well.

8. Use Common Sense When Loading

Put your heavier, sturdier items on the bottom and stack lighter items on top of them. This is a simple rule, but ignoring it can lead to lots of squashed items, broken boxes, and worse.

9. Take Your Packing Accessories

Remember all the packing tape, screwdrivers, hammers, and other various items that you used when packing? Take those with you. They will help you with repairs and moves throughout the year and far beyond. Additionally, you can lend out those accessories to others who probably forgot them – it’s an easy way to make new friends.

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Photo Credit: Prayitno Photography