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A Parent’s Guide to Move-In Day 

Three women are in a dorm room unpacking, surrounded by boxes.

When summer begins, so does the countdown to college move-in day. But then once you get there, it is complete and utter chaos! There will be hundreds of families moving into a single dorm building, so it’s bound to get a little hectic. Save yourself and your family the added stress by planning early and walking into the day with a plan.

Label Everything

You got all the essentials packed away, you decluttered, and you checked off everything on your list. But once you tape up the last box, how do you know where everything is? Make sure you are labeling everything as you go and packing things in ways that make sense. Keep related items packed together so you don’t have to do a scavenger hunt on move-in day.  

Labeling things is especially important if you opt to ship it to campus. Make sure you have multiple ways to identify your box. Adding a sticker with the relevant information on top of writing everything on the box itself is a great way to stay organized.

Keep Seasons in Mind

No matter if your freshman is going to school in California or Vermont, they need to be prepared. Every state is different, so make sure you do your homework before packing up your student’s closet. If they are heading to a warmer climate, maybe skip the extra pair of jeans. While for colder climates, make sure they are taking a coat and sweater with them (yes, even if they don’t need it right now). 

Sweaters, jackets, and hoodies can be bulky and take up a lot of space but send your student to school with a few options of each. College students are not given much storage, so try and be mindful of how much space they have to store those items. Remember, you can always send more if you need to, or even trade clothes out when your student comes to visit. 

Collegeboxes can help you ship any last-minute items to participating schools. If you can’t find your school, direct shipping is also available. We also offer storage for the students who need help making room. All you need to do is sign up with us, and we will handle the rest!

Limit Who Comes Along

As mentioned before, move-in day isn’t just for your family! There are hundreds of people scrambling to get their child moved in, too. Initially, it may sound fun to bring your child’s siblings, their grandparents, and the family dog, but it just isn’t realistic. Trying to cram everyone in that dorm room is going to make unpacking almost impossible.  

Keep the group small, with one other person along with you and your child. Most colleges have enthusiastic volunteers that help you move everything upstairs. There will be more than enough help offered to you. 

It might feel sad to leave some of the family at home, but this is why colleges host family weekend. During that weekend, they encourage you to bring your whole family to participate. So, you will be able to get everyone together again before you know it! For now, enjoy the quality time you’ll have with your child; this can be a very special moment for both of you.

Pack the Car the Night Before

Whether you’re flying, driving, or shipping your student’s belongings, try to get everything packed away the night before. Putting things into boxes is the easy part. Yet making those boxes fit into a car is a completely different challenge. When you pair that with the move-in day jitters, it’s a recipe for disaster. 

Move-in day is over in a flash, so make sure you are setting yourself up to enjoy it. Having the car all packed up the night before will give you more opportunities to do fun things, like enjoying a nice breakfast together before hitting the road. Don’t just plan on surviving move-in day, plan on enjoying it!

Learn About the Area

While your student may be more interested in learning about where to find the most fun, you will have to be a little more practical. Prior to moving in, get to know the immediate area around your child’s campus. This would include important information like where to find the necessities. Think of places like gas stations, grocery stores, and urgent care clinics.  Luckily, most colleges have these things within a reasonable distance from campus! 

This will come in handy on the actual move-in day. No matter how much you try to prepare, you are bound to forget something. Navigating an entirely new area for the first time can be hard, but doing some homework beforehand can save you time and stress.

Do Your Heartfelt Goodbyes at Home

Move-in day is emotional, there’s no way around it. There is no shame in allowing yourself to get a little choked up, but on campus there is no such thing as a “private moment.” When it comes to saying goodbye, try and say most of the heartfelt things back at home. This will give you both a chance to share your feelings without having to be mindful of the hundreds of people running around you. 

As a student, move-in and the days following it are filled with activities and chances to get to know their peers. It will be hard for them to focus on saying goodbye when a million things are happening at once. Be patient with them and allow them to feed into that excitement. 

If you are looking for another way to say goodbye to your child, consider leaving a sweet note in a care package you leave for them.  

While you may be stressing out about how to make this an easy transition, the truth is that it will always come with some challenges. The important part is that you take those challenges in stride and remember what this is all for. You have officially completed one of the hardest milestones of parenting. It’s time to pat yourself on the back!  

If you’re looking for some extra help when it comes to college move-in day, look no further. Collegeboxes by U-Haul is here to share the load. As the number one student storage and shipping provider, we can help get your belongings exactly where they need to go. Save yourself from the heavy lifting and sign up with us today.