Two women moving outside a building for college.

How to Move for College: Tips and Tricks

Planning ahead is crucial when it comes to moving for college. There are many things to consider, such as whether you will be living in a dorm or apartment, coordinating with roommates, and deciding what to bring with you. By planning ahead and creating a checklist, you can avoid last-minute stress and ensure that you have everything you need for a successful move-in day.

Preparing for Move-in Day

Moving to college is an exciting time, and choosing between living in a dorm or an apartment is an important decision. Each option has its pros and cons, so it’s important to weigh them carefully.


Dorms are usually the most affordable option and offer a great opportunity to make friends and be part of a community. They also provide basic furniture, which can save you money on moving costs. However, dorms can be noisy, and you may have less privacy than in an apartment.


Apartments offer more privacy and independence, but they can be more expensive. They also require more responsibility, as you will have to furnish your own space and pay for utilities.

Once you have decided on where you will be living, it’s important to coordinate with your roommates if you have any. This can help ensure that everyone is on the same page and avoids any misunderstandings. Discussing topics such as cleaning schedules, shared expenses, and personal boundaries can prevent potential conflicts down the road.

Long-Distance and International Moves

Moving to college can be a daunting task, but moving long distances or internationally can add even more stress to the process. Here are some tips to help make the process smoother:

How to prepare for a long-distance move:

  • Start planning early: Give yourself plenty of time to research moving options, gather packing supplies, and make necessary arrangements.
  • Purge unnecessary items: The fewer items you need to move, the easier and cheaper the process will be. Consider donating or selling items you no longer need.
  • Choose the right moving company: When moving long distances, it’s important to choose a reputable moving company. Get multiple quotes, read reviews, and make sure the company has experience with long-distance moves.
  • Consider auto transport: If you’re moving long distances and plan to bring your car, consider hiring an auto transport company to transport it for you.

Moving resources for military moves:

  • Military moving resources: For military families, there are a variety of resources available to help make the moving process smoother. The Defense Personal Property System (DPS) can help with planning and scheduling your move, and the Military OneSource website offers resources and support for military families.
  • Military discounts: Many moving companies offer military discounts, so be sure to ask about any available discounts when getting quotes.

Tips for international moves:

  • Check visa requirements: If you’re moving internationally, be sure to research visa requirements for your destination country.
  • Research customs requirements: Different countries have different requirements for what items can and cannot be brought in, so be sure to research customs requirements before packing.
  • Hire a reputable international moving company: Moving internationally requires more planning and coordination than moving locally or even long distances. It’s important to choose a reputable international moving company with experience in international moves.

Preparing for College Move-In Day: Tips and Tricks for a Stress-Free Experience

Tips for a stress-free moving day start with time management. Make sure you have enough time to load your items onto the truck and get to your new location. Be sure to double-check that everything is packed and ready to go before the moving truck arrives. 

  1. Determine the Best Time to Move In

Before you start preparing for move-in day, it’s important to determine the best time to move in. Check with your college or university to see if they have designated move-in days or times. If possible, try to schedule your move-in for a time when there will be fewer people around, such as early in the morning or late in the afternoon. This will make the move-in process smoother and less crowded.

  1. Hire a moving company 

You will need to decide whether to hire a moving company or rent a truck. If you have a lot of items or are moving a long distance, a moving company may be the better option. Hiring a moving company is a better option when moving to a college dorm due to the convenience and time-saving benefits. 

A professional moving company has the expertise and resources to safely transport belongings, avoiding potential damage or loss. Additionally, they offer liability coverage, which rental truck companies do not. While renting a truck may seem cheaper, the cost of gas, insurance, and damages can quickly add up, making a professional moving company a more cost-effective solution in the long run. Overall, hiring a moving company provides a convenient, efficient, and affordable solution for college students moving into a new dorm.

  1. Create a Moving Day Checklist 

Creating a moving checklist is an essential step in preparing for move-in day. It can help you stay organized and ensure that you don’t forget anything important. Your checklist should include items such as school supplies, cleaning products, bedding, and toiletries.

When it comes to packing for college, it’s important to pack the essentials first. These include items such as clothing, electronics, and important documents. It’s also a good idea to organize your items with storage bins and bags. Zipper bags can be great for organizing smaller items, while plastic storage bins can keep larger items safe and protected during transport.

  1. Prepare an Aid Kit

It’s always a good idea to have an aid kit on hand during move-in day. Your aid kit should include basic first-aid supplies, such as bandages, pain relievers, and antiseptic wipes. It’s also a good idea to include some snacks and water to keep you energized throughout the day.

  1. Consider Self-Storage

If you’re moving into a smaller dorm room or apartment, you may need to consider self-storage options for some of your belongings. Self-storage can provide you with extra space for items that you don’t use on a regular basis, such as seasonal clothing or sports equipment. 

Storage units can be a great option for college students who need to store items during the school year or over the summer. When choosing a storage unit, it’s important to consider the size and type of unit that best fits your needs. Many storage facilities offer a variety of unit sizes, from small lockers to large garages, to accommodate items of all sizes. Additionally, some storage units offer climate control options, which can help protect sensitive items from damage.

Self-storage is a popular option for college students, as it allows for easy access to your items throughout the year. With self-storage, you can come and go as you please, making it easy to retrieve items when you need them. Additionally, self-storage can be a more cost-effective option than other storage options, such as full-service storage or renting a moving truck.

  1. Pack Smart

When it comes to packing hanging clothing, there’s no need to take everything off the hangers. Simply take a trash bag and make a small hole in the bottom. Then, put the hangers through the hole and tie the bag around the bottom of the clothing. This way, you can easily hang your clothing back up when you arrive at your new location.

Once you arrive at your new space, unloading and organizing can seem overwhelming. However, using plastic storage bins and zipper bags can make it easier to keep your items organized. Group similar items together, and label the bins so that you can easily find what you need.


We have provided valuable tips and tricks to help make the college move-in experience stress-free and efficient. We started by emphasizing the importance of planning ahead and creating a moving checklist. Then, we discussed various factors to consider when choosing between a dorm or apartment, packing for college, and selecting a moving company. Additionally, we explored storage options and how to pack for long-term storage. We also provided tips for a successful moving day and discussed how to prepare for long-distance and international moves.

Wes Struebing

Wes Struebing

After more than 30 years in the logistics sector, I have learned a thing or two about moving things and motivating people to do their best and offer their all to our customers. Whether in life or in business, I believe in one thing: I only want to be there if I can improve things.

Logistics is not only what I do; it is my passion.

Wes Struebing

Wes Struebing

After more than 30 years in the logistics sector, I have learned a thing or two about moving things and motivating people to do their best and offer their all to our customers. Whether in life or in business, I believe in one thing: I only want to be there if I can improve things.

Logistics is not only what I do; it is my passion.