Tips and tricks for tackling college move-in day

For seniors heading into their first year living as college students, thinking about the necessities of dorm life can be overwhelming. Many will be far from home, without cars to make a snappy trip to the grocery store or mom to do their laundry. Additionally, most will be on a tight budget with little income. Here are some suggestions for moving into a cozy home away from home and having the best college experience:

DON’T FORGET – Other than the obvious clothes, bedding, school supplies, here are a few things one might want to consider throwing in their suitcase:

-A couple sets of eating utensils

Even if one has an eating plan, there will most likely be times you may need to grab a quick breakfast or meal in.


Bulk packs of granola bars, peanut butter, crackers, cereal, nuts. If one or their roommate has a mini-fridge yogurt, fruit, juice boxes, are other easy options.

 -Durable Water Bottles (Nathan brand is great).

-Tupperware and Chip Clips

For storing snacks and any food one sneaks back from the cafeteria

– Coconut Oil

Uses: Dry hair, cuticles, dry feet, cooking, squeaky door hinges, make-up remover

 -B-12 Vitamins

Gives steady, natural energy throughout the day with no crash. Maintains healthy appetite and nourishes metabolism.
– Brewing System

That is if one is one of those coffee fanatics.

-Brita Water Pitcher

This has a filtering system to make dorm water taste less like metal.

 -Posters, Photos, Lights

Anything one wants to add to personalize their room and make it feel like home.


This can help many sleep better, providing white noise and a cooler room.

 -Air Freshener

No one wants to be known as the stinky kids down the hall.

 – Clorox Disinfecting Wipes

Use them for a quick clean for surfaces from laptops to desks to microwaves.

 -Ziploc Bags

Organizing and storing items, as well as throwing shower items in for trips.

 – Purex 3 in 1 detergent, fabric softener and anti-static sheets.

They do everything.

 -XL Duffel Bag

Can fold up and be stored nicely after all clothes are put away, not like many hard-cover suitcases.

 -iHome Alarm Clock/Speaker

Charge that phone while listening to music and getting ready.

 -Academic Planner

Write down when papers are due, test dates, and a reminder to call mom.

 -Caselogic CD/DVD Case

Put CDs and DVDs all in one place to reduce clutter.

 -Extra Phone Charger

 -Extension Cords

 -Kindle (Or iPad or other E-Reader)

Download those textbooks for a very reasonable price, no carrying around large textbooks, and for those essays, most literary merit books are free.

 -Hardcover Plastic Laptop Case

No scratches or dings on that expensive laptop.

 -Fitted Comfort Fill Mattress Cover

Make those hard beds more comfortable and cozy.

 -Coleman Sleeping Bag

For weekend retreats, spending the night in friends’ dorms, weekend trips, etc.


Fashion basic

 -Lint Roller


Check to see if one’s room will have a closet. If so, hanging clothes can be a big space saver.

 -Weather Specific Apparel

Make sure to know the weather conditions if going far from home. Depending on location, investing in things from rain boots, umbrellas and snow parkas to sun hats, comfortable sandals and sunblock may be a wise decision.

 -Bath robe – For convenience going to and from shared hall showers, avoiding hauling clothes back and forth.

 -Turbie Twist

Girls – if one hasn’t heard of them, look them up. They are great and easy for drying long hair quickly and without completely soaking your towel.

 -Bathroom Caddy

For easy storage of shower products.

 -Projector screen

Not as bulky as a TV, but way cooler. Just hook up with one’s laptop, and boom, dorm room transformed to movie theater.


(Assuming one is driving to college. If going further away, one may need to be more creative with transporting items):

– Take all packaged appliances and items out of packaging before transporting if possible

to avoid doing this is a tight dorm room. (i.e. take mini-fridge out of box before loading it into cars)

-Put clothes on hangers in a rolling suitcase to be easily hung in closet

-Place lightbulb, alarm clocks, etc. between rolled clothes for protection

-To maximize car space, roll clothes, towels, bedding and keep in fridge for the car trip

-When bringing storage units, put whatever one is planning on putting in the drawers


-Follow the schedule – Because of the natural chaos of move-in day, be sure to follow your assigned times for moving in and going to other scheduled orientation events. It will be a busy, but important day.

-Don’t forget to say goodbye to parents/siblings – They will most likely have different events to go to, so giving goodbye hugs even before they leave campus may be a good idea in case separated.

-Spend a little time getting to know roommate – It’s going to be a crazy day, but sitting down to begin getting to know the person one is living with and establish a good relationship is a good idea.

-It’s okay to be sad, one is making a huge life adjustment and the day can be frantic. Remember everyone else is going through the same thing, so try to be surrounded by people. But most of all be excited – This is just the beginning of an amazing adventure!

Good luck seniors!