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Best College Move In Checklist for Parents

by | May 8, 2024 | Parenting, College Kids

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College Move In Checklist for Parents

You have known this day was coming for several months. You have shopped for all the dorm necessities on the College Dorm Shopping List, have them packed up, and everything is in the front hall ready to go in the car. But, what else do you need to ensure a smooth move-in day? There are a few “don’t forget” items you need to include in your Parent Survival Kit for College Move In.

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Move in checklist
Best College Move In Checklist for Parents 26

College Move In Checklist for Parents

Whether you are approaching college drop-off with dread or excitement or a combination of both, you want the day to go as smoothly as possible. There is the potential for crowded hallways and staircases (forget the elevator), no or very little air conditioning, and a high emotional level from every person you bump into in these crowded hallways. Being prepared with a college move in checklist will keep you from bursting into tears as soon as you walk into your child’s very small room that is already full of her roommate’s stuff and her roommate’s five family members.

Successful College Move In Day Tips:

FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS FROM THE SCHOOL:

Plan to arrive at the time you have been assigned. Don’t try to beat the system. They have assigned the times for a reason and they will not want to check you in early. If you manage to beat the system and get moved in early, it will cause resentment from your child’s roommate who arrives to find the room already set up without his input.

BRING THE ITEMS ON THE COLLEGE MOVE IN CHECKLIST:

  1. A dollie or collapsible folding utility wagon. Hopefully, happy and enthusiastic upperclassmen will meet you at the curb and take everything to the room for you. If this does not happen, you will be prepared to stack things in your wagon and make quick work of moving the stuff to the room. We originally bought a utility wagon like this for our daughter’s track meets. It was awesome! It folds up flat, has drink holders, and all-terrain wheels. It is a life saver almost anywhere.
  2. A Small ice chest with cold drinks and snacks. It was over 100 degrees in Waco, Texas when we moved our daughter in!
  3. A door stop to prop the dorm door open while moving in or to keep the room from being too stuffy.
  4. A few tools (electric screwdriver/drill, rubber mallet, hammer) for assembling shelves and drawer units.
  5. Pen and Paper to make a list of items to go buy once you arrive or you can make a list in your phone.
  6. Tape Measure. If you need to go buy shelves or drawer units, it will help to know the space available.
  7. Alcohol Swabs and a blow dryer: These seem like strange items, but they will make hanging Command Strips so much easier. Getting the wall clean and dry before adhering the strips will make them stick better.
  8. Kleenex (a few for your pocket and a box for the car).
  9. Multi-purpose cleaner and paper towels to clean spots in the room or furniture that were missed by the last occupant.

College Move In Day Tips for Before You Go

  1. Anything that you need to build, build ahead of time at home where there is room. Take it apart again if you need to to transport. Be sure you package and label all parts and pieces! Fill the the drawers at home with what the student has so that they know how much room they will have.
  2. Take a toolkit with you for small tasks that will come up at move-in.
  3. Take plenty of Command hooks -multiple sizes for so many things!
  4. Only mom, dad, and student allowed to go. Those dorm rooms are tiny! Any other family members need to have other plans. This is also good because younger kids will get bored with the whole move-in process.
  5. Pack the car in reverse -put the things you’ll want or need first into the car last so they are easy to get to. These would be things like: tools, hooks, power strip, food…)
  6. Pack a picnic because all eating places on and near campus will be packed! You can leave the leftovers for your student to finish off later.

A Few More College Move In Day Tips:

  • Expect chaos and be ready to be patient and malleable to the situation.
  • Don’t plan to give advice to your child about room setup or anything else. This is not the time. It is their room and they need the freedom to decide where the bed goes, what drawer they want their underwear in, and whether they want you to unpack everything.
  • Take pictures of any existing damage to walls, floors, doors, and furniture in case it is an issue at move-out.
  • Plan a shopping trip. After you arrive and get the basic unpacking done, take a survey of the room and make a list of items to go buy. These may be items that were too big to bring with you or just some snacks and laundry detergent. A shopping trip gets you out of the dorm for a while and lets you and your child pick out a few last things together.
  • Find a place other than the dorm for your good-byes – some place calmer and more private. Take your child out to dinner or for ice cream as your last activity and say good bye there.

While it may be hard to believe, you both will survive the drop-off experience. Planning ahead and bringing the items on this College Move In Checklist will certainly help. You cannot anticipate everything the day will entail, but having a few items at your fingertips will keep the panic at bay. When it is time to get in the car and drive away, smile through the tears and congratulate yourself on raising a spectacular kid who is ready for the adventures and experiences ahead.

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