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Ultimate College Move-Out Checklist

college students packing up dorm room for move out

Spring semester has come to an end! Finals are complete and you have 24 hours after your last exam to vacate your room. As you head home for the summer, remember moving out is just as important as moving in. Collegeboxes is here to help simplify your college move-out process.

Before you begin packing, take inventory of your belongings and any shared items with your roommate. As shocking as it seems, it is easy to accumulate stuff over the course of two semesters and things get mixed up. If you purchased any shared items like a mini-fridge, microwave, etc. decide who’s going to keep the item(s) the next semester. If you’re going to live off-campus, it’s probably best to let your roommate have it. Most universities sponsor donation trucks that are usually parked around campus during move-out. Always consider donating first to avoid unnecessary waste as much as possible.

Once inventory is taken, place your items in the following categories to help make packing a breeze:

  • Take Home
  • Store
  • Donate or Sell
  • Trash
  • Recycle

After you have taken inventory and created a list – do a good purge of your desk drawers, get rid of expired food, and start packing items you are no longer using such as winter clothing, holiday decorations, extra linens (must be washed and dried), and books.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s now time to jump over to the common university checkout list.

University Move-Out Checklist

  1. Schedule a walk-through appointment with RA or Hall Staff
    – Check with your university if they allow for express check-out.
  2. Remove all personal belongings from your room
  3. Remove all tape, 3M hooks, poster putty, etc. from walls and surfaces
    – Double-check with your university about 3M Command Strip removal. Some universities (not all) prefer you DO NOT REMOVE the hooks as they can cause damage.
  4. Dust and clean your space including your dorm room, bathroom, and common areas
  5. Wipe down furniture
  6. Vacuum drawers
  7. Defrost mini-fridge
    – Check out this article for the best way to defrost a mini fridge in college.
  8. Empty trash and recycling bin
    – Including your kombucha bottle collection.
  9. Close and lock windows
  10. Lower blinds
  11. Return furniture how you found it when you moved in
  12. Meet with RA
  13. Turn off all lights and lock the door
  14. Complete your move-out form
  15. Return your room mailbox keys
  16. If you’re not living on campus in the fall, cancel your mailbox
    – Mail is only forwarded for 30 days.
  17. Take your bike home or to the campus bike shop if applicable

Remember failure to complete your university check-out will result in charges as well as failure to return keys.

What If I Have Plants or Fish?

If you are traveling home by plane, ask a friend that’s traveling home by car to take your plants. Sometimes staff may enjoy a new plant. Just because you’re moving for the summer or graduating, does not mean you have to leave your plants behind.  It’s often a great idea to gift someone with a plant. If your friends or roommate can’t take the plant, consider gifting it to staff, RA, or professor.

Now your pet fish could be a bit tricky. If traveling by car, get a plastic bag like the one when they sold the fish to you.  Fill the bag halfway with water and seal it with a rubber band. Rule of thumb – don’t feed the fish 24 hours prior to moving it. Drain your tank and remove the gravel.  If you can’t find a home for your fish, always contact your university discovery center to see what options are available. Never flush your fish or drop it in the river or lakes near campus.

Moving to college is fun! But move-out day can be stressful, especially as it takes place during finals.

Like 95% of college students, you will wait until the night before move-out day to start packing.  Whether you do it yourself, have your parents come out or book Collegeboxes, remember you will repeat the process again in less than four months. Save yourself the stress and let us move you out and back to on-campus housing or your first off-campus apartment.