Heading to - or back to - college often involves a smaller space than a full-fledged, house-to-house move. However, a substantial effort is still needed to organize belongings, pack them securely and safely bring them to their intended destination. It's even more complicated when you consider that hundreds or thousands of other students will be moving back around the same time. This advice can make the move-in process as smooth as possible for parents and students alike:
Communicate with roommates
Dorms, suites and off-campus apartments are generally small spaces. That means it's vital to talk to roommates about what's needed in a shared living area and who will bring which items. Ending up with two of anything, whether it's microwaves or sofas, means someone has to bring the extra one back home or find a place to store it. Some cooperative texts or emails help build an early rapport between roommates, too, which is especially important for students who haven't yet met each other.
Know the move-in schedule
"Move-in weekend is an incredibly busy time."
Move-in weekend is an incredibly busy time. Not only do most students arrive back on campus in just a few days, they often have parents and others in tow. Depending on the size and number of the roads leading to campus and the layout inside the school's boundaries, you might spend a lot of time to cover a relatively small amount of ground. Knowing exactly when you can arrive to start the process means you can plan more effectively.
Writing for HuffPost, life coach Hélène Tragos Stelian recommends arriving a day early, if the trip is a long one. She says to take care of as much as possible - from last-minute purchases to picking up student IDs and other necessities - during that extra day.
Specific times to move into buildings are also important to understand. For large dorms, access to elevators and tools like wheeled carts can be limited during peak times. Arriving at the very start of the scheduled move-in time doesn't guarantee you'll have immediate access to those helpful tools, but it boosts your chances.
Pack with a long-term plan in mind
Students traveling across the country or internationally for college will likely only have a few opportunities to head home during the year and have limited space to bring back more items. Those attending institutions closer to home will have an easier time bringing clothes, supplies and other sundries and housewares back and forth. Keep your specific schedule in mind and pack your items accordingly - a student who lives an hour away from campus won't need to bring heavy winter clothes on move-in day, for example.
Grown and Flown co-founder Lisa Heffernan suggests packing using storage containers instead of suitcases, which gives students space to store other belongings once they have their clothes, toiletries and similar items put away in their permanent locations. Those containers can be used for a variety of purposes, from holding books and school supplies to packing up certain clothes and bringing them home once the seasons change.
Work with experienced college movers and packers
It's not always easy to find college movers and packers who can work with all the unique considerations that come with heading back to campus, but Atlas can help students make the trip a breeze by handling the heavy lifting.
Our offerings are especially useful for students living in off-campus apartments, where there are more large belongings - from couches to beds - needed to fill those spaces.
As you plan for an initial or return trip to campus this August or September, keep this advice in mind and don't be afraid to get in touch with the experts at Atlas.