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5 College Moving Hacks You’ll Actually Use

oung brunette man placing a shipping label on a Collegeboxes box.

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, moving isn’t cheap and it certainly isn’t easy. This is especially true for incoming college freshmen, because you have to downsize your entire life to fit into a tiny dorm room! But what if we told you there were ways to make moving easier while also saving money along the way?

At Collegeboxes, we’ve moved thousands of students into dorms across the United States and Canada. Along the way, we’ve learned a few tips, tricks, and hacks that will help you save money and time. If you are trying to find creative ways to make your dorm move easier, you’re in the right place.

Purge Before You Pack

You might roll your eyes at this one because we always say to declutter and purge first, but it actually makes a difference! When you’re trying to fill up tubs and boxes, it can be stressful to try and sort trash, donations, and actual items you want to bring all at the same time. Instead of overwhelming yourself by doing everything once, try to take it one step at a time.

By getting rid of trash and donations first, you will have a smaller number of items to sort through. This will make it easier for you to strategize how you want to pack your belongings. Move all the things you plan to donate or leave behind into a separate room. This will help you keep you organized and keep the extra clutter to a minimum. And it’s especially helpful for when you have to pack up your closet!

Have an “Open First” Box

If you know there are certain things you’ll need immediately, keep them together in the same box. You can label this box as “open first,” so you can get these items immediately after getting to your dorm. It should include handy items like toilet paper, toolbox, and a first aid kit.

It would be a good idea to pack some pajamas, an extra outfit, and your toiletries in this box as well. If your dorm has communal bathrooms, it is especially important to have your toiletries readily accessible. That way, even if you can’t get fully unpacked, you’ll still be able to get ready as usual without the extra runaround.

Pack Using Items Around the House

You can wrap up all your fragile items in towels, blankets, sheets, and even clothes. This is a great way to save on bubble wrap or other packing items. It also knocks out two birds with one stone because you won’t have to worry about remembering to pack up bedding and towels separately.

Suitcases are also a great way to transport heavier items. They are less likely to rip and tear, and the wheels are an added bonus! If you are transporting a lot of books or any other items that are difficult to carry, using your luggage is a great impromptu option. It can save you from unnecessary heavy lifting.

If you’re looking for an affordable way to protect your clothes, try wrapping them in a garbage bag. If you cut a small hole at the base of a trash bag, you can slide multiple clothing hangers through and create your own garment bag, but cheaper! This is great for those clothes you can’t just throw into your luggage; it keeps them protected and packed away neatly.

Get Free Boxes from U-Haul

You never realize how expensive boxes can be until you need them! Luckily, every U-Haul location has a designated spot for the take-one-leave-one box program. This is a completely free perk our U-Haul centers offer, allowing customers to drop off gently used boxes that they don’t need anymore. If you’re looking for a box in a pinch, try to hit up your local U-Haul center first.

You can feel confident in choosing the green option, too! With every box recycled, we reduce the energy and resources needed to produce more boxes. U-Haul reuses over one million boxes every year, taking steps to better the environment while making moving easier for everyone.

Smart Labeling

Once you close and tape up a box, you should always label it. Many of us will just grab a marker and scribble on top of the box, but there are some better methods to try.

When you get to your dorm, you’ll probably have to stack your boxes to save room. In preparation for this, write your labels on the side of the box, rather than on top. This way, you can easily tell which box is which without having to do extra heavy lifting.

You can also use an index card and tape for your labeling. This gives you an opportunity to reuse boxes without having to scribble out any old labels. That way, you can write whatever you want while also preserving the integrity of the box. That way, you can even leave them at your nearest U-Haul facility so someone else can get some use out of it!

When it comes to moving into the dorms for the first time, you never really know what to expect. In reality, the most work you’ll experience is packing and unpacking. That’s already a lot on your plate, so let Collegeboxes take care of the heavy lifting.

Once you have your belongings packed, Collegeboxes can pick up, store everything for as long as you need, and deliver your items right to your dorm. With our ship to school program, you don’t have to worry about getting your items to school when you return to school. You can focus on how you’re going to decorate instead!

Collegeboxes serves over 350 colleges and universities across the United States and Canada, so wherever you decide to go to school, we can help you get there. With affordable prices, wide availability, and over 20 years of experience, you can trust that we’ll make your move to campus seamless. That way, you can focus on making your freshman year a memorable one!