Tips for Moving Your Things to Your New College Home

Mother helping daughter unload car at college dormitory
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When moving from home to college, in particular when moving to a college that's far away, you need to plan the move carefully to ensure you get all your things packed and moved. A good place to start is researching how to pack for a long distance college move. Once you've gone through the practical steps to move, then it's time to think about some of the logistics of moving far away. To help, we've prepared the following tips and suggestions.

Pack and Move Only the Essentials

Before you even begin to pack, think about what you need versus what you'd like to take. Essentials are items that you need on a daily basis and ones that can't be bought easily or without spending too much. Items that are a "nice to have" are those that you don't use or wear very often or things that you can purchase easily. Limit the number of shoes and boots as they tend to be heavy and bulky, plus often one pair can serve multiple purposes. Take one, or two at most, jackets or coats. Again, a good multipurpose coat can take you from the rains in Spain to a cool fall day and even well into the early winter, depending on where you live and how well you can layer sweaters and warm woolies underneath.

Determine How You'll Travel, and Size of Your Suitcase Before You Start Packing

How much you pack will depend largely on how you plan to travel to your new college home.

If the only way to get there is by flying, then the amount you pack and move will be determined by flight rules and how much extra you want to pay to bring along additional bags. If you're traveling by car, then you'll have a greater range of options. So decide first how you'll travel, then how much you're willing or allowed to take.

It will help ensure you don't overpack.

Ship Dorm Room Essentials Before You Move

If you're moving into a college dorm, you'll have to provide your sheets, blankets and some of the furnishings as well. Much of the bedding essentials can be packed and shipped before you move. Check with the residence to see what they'll provide and if they'll accept packages before you ship them.

Pack an Essentials Kit or a Survival Pack

Tip number one above describes all essentials, that is, those things you'll need for the first few months of your stay. This tip is about making sure you have everything you need for your first night or two. Don't rely on your luggage to make the trip or that the items you shipped will arrive on time. Or even more critical, is the fact that once you arrive on campus, your life will be pretty crazy with campus activities and dorm room socials taking up a lot of your time. You may find that there's little time to unpack, never mind collect and sort through the items you shipped ahead of time.

Buy What You Don't Want to Pack

To cut down on the things you need to pack, think about what you can buy once you arrive. Bulky items such as bedding, kitchen items, school supplies can all be purchased during the first week on campus.

An even better plan is to pre-order items from online stores such as Amazon or Staples and have the items shipped directly to your dorm or apartment. Not only will buying online save you having to pack stuff, but it also saves you time once you arrive. Again, your first week will be busy, and you may not have time to shop.