The wait is over. You’re FINALLY moving out of your parent’s house and starting your own journey as an independent college student!
The excitement and adrenaline of it all is so overwhelmingly delightful you can hardly contain yourself from running straight out the door this very second.
I need you to slow your roll there for just a moment though; we have one more step before we’re finally free. It’s moving time, my friend, and we have a lot of crap we’ve managed to collect over the past couple decades. It’s finally time to pack it all up and haul it to our new home. Whether you’ve chosen campus housing or a place with your bestie, the process is quite daunting.
Luckily for you, we’ve got 21 useful tips that are going to make the transition easy.
Psssst! Hey, need some help apartment hunting? Check out these 20 tips you must know before renting!
Before You Move
1. Change your address at least two weeks before moving. You may overthink this step since most of your notifications are electronic- but don’t forget things like your insurance, bank, pharmacy, doctor’s office, credit cards, etc.
2. Since you’re used to eating whatever mom brought home from the store, make sure you remember to have a few essentials (ramen and cereal) so you don’t starve. At least until you’re settled and can do some real shopping (for more ramen and cereal).
3. Start early and give yourself more than enough time to pack up your things. This will reduce stress and allow you to deal with unexpected problems that may arise. Begin boxing up items four weeks ahead. Start by packing things that you won’t use in the next couple weeks.
4. Your bank account won’t look too good after buying your textbooks and school supplies. Save money on moving by asking stores if they have boxes you can use – instead of buying new. You can try contacting your local furniture or grocery stores. Here are eight more places to find free moving boxes.
5. Labeling: Label your boxes with what room/category they belong to. Label the sides of the boxes instead of the top so you can identify them even when they’re stacked.
6. Use different colored duct tape for each room/category. That way it’s easy to distinguish which boxes go to which rooms or designated areas.
7. Make a list: Label each box with a number and keep a list of all the items you put in each box. Avoid packing items from different rooms/categories in the same box. This will make unpacking easier and keep things more organized so you don’t risk losing or misplacing valuable items.
8. Pack an overnight bag with personal essentials like a toothbrush, deodorant, toilet paper, a change of clothes, etc. so that you have the basics you will need for the first night at the new place without having to unpack a ton of boxes.
9. Pack heavy items in small boxes and lighter items in larger boxes.
10. Place a cotton ball or pad in your pressed powder cosmetics to keep them from breaking.
11. Use empty egg cartons to transport your smaller jewelry like earrings and rings. Tape the carton shut so nothing falls out.
12. If you are taking your dresser with you, the drawers can be used as their own moving boxes, which will keep you from having to unpack and re-fold their contents.
13. Pack liquids separately in a plastic bin. If anything spills, it doesn’t damage any of your stuff, and it won’t leak through a plastic container as it could if it were in a cardboard box.
14. To help cut down on boxes, use any laundry bins, suitcases, hampers, storage bins, and baskets you’re taking with you to store items in (use the suitcases with wheels to pack heavier items like books).
15. While your clothes are still hanging in the closet, place a garbage bag over them, including the hangers. This will make packing and unpacking more efficient.
16. Use vacuum seal bags to pack blankets, towels, and other clothing that’s not hung up in your closet. This will free up a ton of space since blankets and towels can be very bulky.
17. To save money on bubble wrap – remember, we’re broke now – use your clothes (t-shirts, scarves, socks) to wrap your breakables in, like dishes, glasses, etc.
18. Before taking apart your electronics, take a picture of the back so you can remember how and where all the wires go.
19. Use sandwich bags to hold any small parts of things you have to take apart, like the screws to a mounted TV. Tape these bags to the back of the item they came from. You can also use this method for the cords to your electronics, that way you know what cord corresponds to which electronic.
20. Make sure to supply food and drink to the family and friends that help you on this new journey of moving. Also, give them first dibs on items you plan to sell or donate.
21. If your bank account will allow it and you decide to hire movers, make sure you read the fine print and find out exactly what they will and won’t move. For example, some movers won’t move things unless they are in boxes. If you’re unsure of whether to move on your own or hire help, here’s a list of pros and cons to help you decide.
Now that you are fully equipped with the knowledge on how to effectively handle your first move, you can go back to being ecstatic about this new chapter of your life. We love you mom and dad, but it’s time to spread our wings and fly, or at least attempt to. Adulthood never felt so organized.
Hailee Shay is a content developer at Linear Design. She loves to reach out to people through writing. She believes that with each bit of information she shares, that can help someone in some way, is like a little personal hug.