Heading off to college is an exciting and life-changing experience. Whether you are moving to a nearby city or across the country, taking a few steps to plan and prepare will make the transition to your new home a little easier.
If you don’t give yourself enough time, moving to college can leave both parents and students physically and emotionally drained. Start sorting through your belongings at least a month before moving and don’t wait until the last moment to collect packing supplies and boxes. Once you know where you’ll be living, find out what’s provided for you. Usually the most affordable solution is the college’s student housing or dorms which come furnished with beds, dressers, night stands and other basic furniture. Living on campus will also give you a chance to get to know the new city or town, make friends and find out exactly how much living on your own costs. If you’re moving to an unfurnished apartment, you may want to consider bringing your furniture with you.
What can you bring?
After you’ve decided where you’ll be living and know what’s provided for you, it’s time to determine what else you’ll need to bring. If it’s your first time moving away from your parent’s home, you will need to go shopping for a few basic necessities like a microwave, linens, towels, etc. If you chose to live on campus, it’s a good idea to ask whether you’re allowed to bring more furniture since the rooms are rather small and you’ll probably be sharing it with a roommate. If you are given permission to bring additional pieces, find out if the extra stuff will fit in the space – they typically don’t allow for the existing furniture to be removed. As for electronics and appliances like TV or a small fridge, ask the administrative staff at the residence for a list of items that are allowed. Since some dorms have a limited amount of electrical output, this will determine the number of appliances to be used. Here’s a list of some of the more essential items you’ll need:
- Linens and pillow cases
- Pillows and blankets
- Towels, toiletries, bathrobe and slippers
- IDs, driver’s license, checkbook, ATM cards
- School supplies
- Fan or space heater
- Address Book
- Alarm clock
- Clothes hangers
- Laundry basket
- Laundry detergent
- Pots, pans and dishes if needed
- Extension cords
Although every residence is different, they all have laundry facilities, a communal kitchen and an eating area. Ask whether your fee includes meals or you can cook your own food. Inquire about any parking fees if you plan to keep a car on campus.
If you plan on keeping any valuables in your room or apartment, it’s a good idea to get home insurance. Once you’ve moved in, the property owners are not responsible for damage or loss of your stuff so make sure you’re covered in case anything is stolen or destroyed.
You can avoid moving unnecessary items by asking the college staff and your roommates about what items are needed and allowed. Make sure you label all your things and take extra precautions with any valuables and breakable items.