Ten Pro Tips for Your Teen’s College Move-In Day, From a BTDT Mom

As everyone is preparing for move-in, here are the best tips and tricks I have picked up from others and have used myself, too.

10 tips for college move in day. (Melissa Shoultz)

Ten tips for a smooth college move-in

1. Pack everything in as few, manageable bags/boxes as possible.

Avoid lots of loose items and small bags, so things don’t get lost and you don’t have to fish them out of the bottom of the big carts! IKEA blue bags are the best! Pack directly into storage bins that you’re bringing to leave at school. There is no room to store big luggage, so think folding collapsible bags.

2. Leave clothes on the hanger, zip-tie or rubber band the tops together and pull a trash bag over them.

Take them directly off the closet rod, transport and quickly hang them right back up!

3. Print out paper labels with student name/dorm and room number to tape onto each box, bag or clothing bundle.

4. Have a “moving kit” handy and pack it up front with you…not packed in with all of the other stuff!! Seriously. In this magical bag, you want to include:

  • Lysol wipes
  • Roll of paper towels
  • Hand soap
  • Roll of toilet paper
  • Other grocery bags to use as trash bags, until everything is unpacked and set up
  • Scotch or painters tape
  • Command hooks
  • Pen/marker
  • Scissors
  • Twine
  • Rubber mallet
  • Multi-head screwdriver
  • Small fan
  • Snacks and water
  • Change of shirt. Trust me.

5. Buy a pool noodle and long zip-ties.

Best $2 you’ll ever spend. Before you set up anything else in the room, attach the pool noodle to the mattress frame on the side to the wall, then move the bed into place up against the wall. This will prevent the phone, the charger, the homework, whatever from falling down between the bed and the wall… Which is especially important with raised or lofted beds! Plus who wants to pull all of their stuff stored under their bed back out to get your stuff that fell.

6. If you’re lofting the bed…. **** Get a bed rail!! ****

Kids across the country have had serious, life altering brain injuries from falls. Late nights, lack of sleep, alcohol and heights do not mix! Don’t believe me? Read this.

7. Also, lofted beds are hard to get into.

We found a pvc piece at Home Depot for about $.69. Luckily we had twine in our move-in bag and made a sturdy handle to grab onto as our daughter climbed up the foot of her bed!

8. BEFORE you start cleaning, unpacking or setting anything up, take a video walk thru (or pics) of any damage to the room!!

You will be assessed damage fees at move-out and you can’t prove that it wasn’t caused by your student without dated pictures/video to documenting it.

9. Updated for 2021–Don’t forget to pack a Covid Quarantine bag.

This should be pre-packed and ready for an RA or roommate to grab to make an isolation much more comfortable and should contain: a thermometer, a pulse oximeter, an extra phone charger, a fresh new toothbrush/toothpaste, basic toiletries and contact supplies- some comfy pjs/sweat, drinks, acetaminophen and any prescription drugs needed.

10. Lastly keep a hard copy (and saved to phones) of a Medical Power of Attorney, in order for parents to quickly/easily be able to be involved in medical conversations/decisions.

You Might Also Want to Read:

17 Items to Take Care of Before Your Teen Leaves for College – These are key things to finalize while you and your soon-to-be freshman are both at home.

College Care Packages From Home: 50 Great Ideas – From a recent grad, here are the things she loved receiving as a student.

About MelissaShoultz

Melissa Dravenstott Shoultz is an Ohio mom to a college senior daughter and a college freshman son. She moderates several Study Abroad groups and has been a part of the Grown and Flown Community since 2016.

Read more posts by Melissa

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