A student group moves along a sidewalk.

The Ultimate Guide to Student Moves: College, Graduate School, and More

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Moving to a new campus, dorm, student housing, or apartment can be an exciting and transformative experience for higher education students. It marks the beginning of a new chapter in their lives, full of opportunities for growth and independence. However, the process of moving can also be overwhelming, especially for those who are doing it for the first time. 

In The Ultimate Guide to Student Moves, we help higher education students prepare for their move to college or graduate school. We’ll talk about what clothes, electronics, appliances, and essentials to bring. We’ll also talk about why hiring a professional moving company may be a smarter strategy than the DIY approach on moving day. 

Planning Ahead 

Start by creating a checklist of tasks to be completed before, during, and after the move. This will help you stay organized and ensure that nothing important is overlooked. Consider important factors such as the move-in date, transportation arrangements, necessary paperwork, and any specific requirements or guidelines provided by the housing facility or university.

Before packing, assess your needs and determine what items are essential to bring with you. Consider the size of your new living space and any restrictions or guidelines regarding what you can and cannot bring. 

College dorms and student housing often come with specific rules and restrictions to ensure the safety, comfort, and well-being of all residents. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these guidelines before moving in. While rules and restrictions can vary between institutions, here are some common ones to consider:

  • Prohibited Items: Dorms and student housing typically have a list of prohibited items that are not allowed in the living spaces. These may include candles, incense, open flame devices, halogen lamps, space heaters, and certain cooking appliances like hot plates or toaster ovens. These restrictions are in place to prevent fire hazards and maintain safety.
  • Pets: Many college dorms and student housing do not allow pets, except for service animals or therapy animals with proper documentation. This rule is in place to maintain a clean and allergy-free environment for all residents.
  • Quiet Hours: Dorms and student housing usually have designated quiet hours during which residents are expected to keep noise levels to a minimum. This ensures a conducive environment for studying and restful sleep. Violation of quiet hour rules may result in disciplinary action.
  • Smoking and Substance Use: Many college dorms and student housing facilities have strict no-smoking policies, which may extend to e-cigarettes and vaping devices. Substance use, including alcohol and drugs, is also generally prohibited in these environments.

What Clothes to Bring   

When moving to a new dorm, student housing, or apartment that is far from home, packing the right clothes is essential to ensure comfort, adaptability, and preparedness for various weather conditions. Here are some tips on what clothes a higher education student should consider packing:

  1. Essentials for All Seasons: Pack a mix of clothing suitable for different seasons. Include basics like t-shirts, jeans, and shorts that can be layered with sweaters or jackets during colder months. Also, include lightweight and breathable clothing for warmer weather. By having a variety of clothing options, you can adapt to changing weather patterns and be prepared for any unexpected climate variations.
  2. Comfortable Everyday Wear: Opt for comfortable clothes that are versatile and suitable for everyday activities. This may include casual attire like joggers, leggings, and hoodies. Comfortable shoes, such as sneakers or flats, are also a must-have. These items are perfect for attending classes, studying in the library, or participating in extracurricular activities.
  3. Professional Attire: Higher education students may need professional attire for internships, job interviews, or networking events. Pack a few business-casual outfits, including dress pants, blouses or button-down shirts, skirts or dresses, and dress shoes. It’s always better to be prepared for any professional opportunities that may arise during your time in higher education.
  4. Sleepwear and Loungewear: Don’t forget to pack sleepwear and lounge wear for relaxing and unwinding in your new space. Comfortable pajamas, loungewear sets, or sweatpants are essential for a good night’s sleep or simply lounging around your room. These clothes will provide comfort and a sense of relaxation during your downtime.
  5. Outerwear: Depending on the climate of your new location, pack appropriate outerwear to stay warm and protected. This may include a winter coat, rain jacket, or lightweight windbreaker. Accessories like scarves, hats, and gloves are also useful in colder climates.
  6. Undergarments and Socks: It’s important not to overlook undergarments and socks when packing. Pack enough underwear, bras, and socks to last between laundry cycles. Having an adequate supply will ensure you have clean and fresh undergarments readily available.
  7. Special Occasion or Formal Attire: Consider bringing one or two outfits suitable for special occasions, such as formal events, parties, or celebrations. A semi-formal dress or a suit can come in handy when attending social events during your time in higher education.

What Electronics and Appliances to Bring 

Before packing electronics and appliances, familiarize yourself with any rules or regulations set by your housing facility or university regarding the use of certain devices. Some accommodations may have restrictions or guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of residents.

Remember, only bring what you truly need and have space for in your living area. Assessing your specific needs and the availability of shared facilities can help you make informed decisions about the electronics and appliances to bring, creating a comfortable and functional living environment. Here are some essential electronics and appliances to consider packing:

  1. Laptop or Computer: A reliable laptop or computer is crucial for academic work, research, and online learning. Choose a device that meets your requirements in terms of processing power, storage capacity, and portability. Additionally, don’t forget to pack the necessary accessories such as a charger, mouse, and any other peripherals you regularly use.
  2. Smartphone: A smartphone is an indispensable tool for staying connected, managing schedules, and accessing important information on the go. It serves multiple purposes, including communication, organization, and accessing educational resources. Make sure to bring your smartphone charger and any other accessories you may need.
  3. Printer: While not essential, having a printer in your living space can be convenient for printing assignments, lecture notes, or other documents. Consider whether having a personal printer is necessary for your academic requirements or if you can utilize printing services available on campus or in your housing facility.
  4. Kitchen Appliances: Depending on the availability of shared kitchen facilities and your culinary preferences, you may want to bring small kitchen appliances. A mini-fridge, microwave, coffee maker, or toaster oven can make it easier to prepare quick meals or snacks in the comfort of your own space. However, check with your housing facility regarding any restrictions or guidelines on appliances.
  5. Television and Entertainment Devices: If you enjoy watching movies, TV shows, or playing video games, consider bringing a television or gaming console. However, keep in mind the available space in your living area and any restrictions or guidelines related to mounting or installation of electronic devices.
  6. Portable Speakers or Headphones: Portable speakers or headphones can enhance your listening experience when watching movies, listening to music, or participating in virtual classes. Opt for compact, high-quality speakers or headphones that won’t disturb your neighbors or roommates.
  7. Power Strips and Surge Protectors: With the number of electronic devices you may have, having power strips and surge protectors is essential. They provide additional outlets and protect your valuable electronics from power surges.

What Decor to Bring 

Personalizing your living space can help create a sense of comfort and make it feel like home. Consider bringing small decor items such as photos, posters, or plants that reflect your personality and interests. However, be mindful of any restrictions or guidelines regarding decorations in your new space. Some universities or housing facilities may have specific rules about wall hangings, candles, or other items that could pose a safety risk.

Hire a Professional Moving Company

Moving to a new location can be a daunting and time-consuming task, requiring careful planning, heavy lifting, and logistical coordination. Many individuals consider taking the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach to save money, but hiring a professional moving company often proves to be a more cost-effective and efficient option. Here are several reasons why opting for a professional moving company can be cheaper and better than tackling the move on your own.

  1. Time and Efficiency: Moving requires significant time and effort, especially when handling all the packing, loading, transportation, and unloading tasks alone. Professional movers are trained and experienced in efficient packing techniques, ensuring that your belongings are packed securely and optimally to minimize the risk of damage. Moreover, their expertise and teamwork allow for a faster and smoother moving process. By hiring professionals, you can save valuable time and focus on other important aspects of your move.
  2. Equipment and Resources: Moving involves more than just boxes and tape. Furniture, appliances, and other bulky items require specialized equipment and handling. Professional moving companies come equipped with the necessary tools, such as dollies, ramps, and straps, to move heavy items safely. They have the expertise to disassemble and reassemble furniture as needed, ensuring a smooth transition. Avoiding the purchase or rental of moving equipment can save you money in the long run.
  3. Safety and Protection: Moving heavy items without proper training and equipment can lead to injuries and damage to your belongings or property. Professional movers are trained in safe lifting techniques and have the strength and stamina to handle heavy objects without risking injury. Additionally, most moving companies provide liability coverage and insurance options that protect your belongings during the move. In the event of any mishaps, you have the assurance that your items are financially protected.
  4. Cost-effective Packing Materials: Packing materials such as boxes, bubble wrap, and packing paper can add up quickly, especially when you need them in large quantities. Professional moving companies often have access to discounted packing supplies, allowing them to obtain high-quality materials at a lower cost. By hiring professionals, you can save money on packing materials while ensuring that your items are properly protected during transit.
  5. Efficient Transportation: Professional moving companies have a fleet of well-maintained vehicles suitable for transporting your belongings safely. They have experience in efficiently loading and securing items to maximize space and minimize the risk of damage. By utilizing their transportation services, you can avoid the costs associated with renting a truck or making multiple trips, as they can optimize the use of space and transport your items in one go.
  6. Expertise in Handling Special Items: If you have fragile or valuable items that require special care during the move, professional movers have the expertise to handle them safely. They are experienced in packing and transporting delicate items such as antiques, artwork, and musical instruments. By entrusting these items to professionals, you reduce the risk of damage and ensure their safe arrival at your new location.
  7. Stress Reduction: Moving can be a stressful experience, both physically and emotionally. By hiring a professional moving company, you alleviate much of the stress associated with the logistics and heavy lifting involved in the process. You can focus on settling into your new space and managing other aspects of the move, such as paperwork or utility transfers. The peace of mind provided by professional movers can greatly enhance your overall moving experience.


By planning ahead, understanding the rules and restrictions of your housing facility, and packing the right essentials, you can ensure a smooth transition and create a comfortable living environment.

While considering the move, hiring a professional moving company can offer numerous benefits over the DIY approach. Professional movers bring efficiency, expertise, specialized equipment, and liability coverage to ensure a smooth and safe transition. They can save you time, prevent injuries, and protect your belongings during the move. Additionally, they have access to cost-effective packing materials and efficient transportation options, reducing overall costs.