A dream come true and a nightmare all in one.

Yes, that’s right. I’m talking about college move in day! What begins as one of the most exciting days in a student’s life usually ends in sweating, frustration, stress and exhaustion.

Here’s some tips on how to make every step of the process a little less stressful and a little more memorable!

Your complete guide to making college freshman move in day less stressful and more memorable!

Before Move In Day

Find out what you can and cannot bring.

You definitely don’t want to show up with a toaster, blender, power strip and candles and the next day find that your RA confiscated all of them. Save yourself the time, money and trouble by finding out what you college doesn’t allow you to bring.

Most of the time, this can be found on their website, or in housing packet that was sent to you over the summer.

Get a schedule of events for the day.

You don’t want to be in the middle of carrying your mini fridge up the stairs and realize that you have a mandatory residence hall meeting in two minutes. Knowing the day’s schedule makes it easier for you to plan when you will arrive and how much time you have to move everything to your dorm room.

Label every single box.

Your complete guide to making college freshman move in day less stressful and more memorable!
photo credit: unpacking awaits via photopin (license)

Before you pack even one box, make sure that you have a system for packing and labelling the boxes. Whether it be simply using a sharpie to write on the boxes, or this genius number system, it will make your life a million times easier!

Designate a job for every person coming with you.

Before you even leave the house, make sure that every person coming with you knows their job. For example, maybe your brother and dad is in charge of carrying all of boxes from the car to your room and your mom and sister is in charge of helping you unpack and decorate.

Whatever the case may be, make sure that everyone is on board and knows their role in the process.

On Move In Day

Wear something comfy.

Your complete guide to making college freshman move in day less stressful and more memorable!

You probably want to look super cute and impress all of those senior boys, but there will be plenty of time for that in the next four years. This isn’t the time to where your hottest dress and heels. A cute top and some workout pants will make those numerous trips from your car to the dorm a lot more bearable.

Come prepared with bottled water and snacks.

Your tummy and your family’s tummies will thank you. I would suggest to bring an ice chest stocked with drinks and snacks so that your awesome helpers can have a refreshment throughout the day.


Bring a dolly, cart or anything with wheels.

I cannot stress this enough. When I first moved into my dorm room, it was a wonderful feeling happily pushing my cart full of boxes past all of the families lugging around their boxes in their arms.

Get there as early as possible.

My suggestion would be to get there as soon as check-in starts. This might make you seem like an overachiever, but the earlier you start, the cooler the temperatures will be, the less crowded it will be and the more time you will have! Trust me. It’s worth it.

Take lots of pictures.

Your complete guide to making college freshman move in day less stressful and more memorable!

This is a day that you will definitely want to remember. Don’t get so wrapped up in the stress and frustration of it all that you forget to make some memories.

Take a selfie in the car. Ask your roommate to take a picture of your family in front of your residence hall. Let your mom take a cheesy picture of you sitting on your bed. After all, your first college move in day only happens once!

Disinfect everything you can.

Your dorm room was probably cleaned at the end of last semester, but let’s be real. You don’t know who or what was in your dorm room before you. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

A container of Lysol or disinfectant wipes will do the trick (and you can use those throughout the school year, as well!)

Accept the fact that you can’t do it all in one day.

You most likely won’t go to bed your very first night with every single picture hanging on the wall and every article of clothing folded nicely in your closet. Be okay with that.

Don’t stress about having everything perfect the first day. Go have some fun and meet new people…that’s what college is all about!

12 thoughts on “The Complete Guide to College Move In Day

  1. I really loved this. Your blog is really fun and exciting, as well as offering useful advice. As an incoming freshman, I have to prepare myself for move-in day as well.

    I assume I’ll be writing a blog post about move-in day sometime in the next few weeks and I’d love to be as prepared as possible when I write that. Maybe I could use this post or some items from it? My blog is here and is just starting out: clemsonfroshblog.com

    Thanks a bunch for such an interesting read!


  2. This was a very informative post! I am past my dorm move in days, but I am currently working on a round-up blog post about dorm living. I would love to link this post/back to your blog in the round-up, please let me know if you would be willing to allow me to do so!

    Colleen | Buckeye Bliss


  3. Pingback: WEEKLY ROUND-UP!
  4. Yes, I’m chuckling reading these tips. They’re very well made, and I agree completely, but remembering my own freshman move-in experience, I’m struck most by the girl who stood by the elevator crying miserably because she’d left the box with her underwear at home in Texas (this was Clemson University in SC). The parking spots in front of the dorms were timed and obsessively guarded by university security, who marked a tire on the car upon each round. My father, a Clemson graduate, took great delight in moving our car forward or backward a matter of inches to hide the chalk mark, infuriating the guard. Somehow we survived not only my move-in but my siblings’ as well, and twenty-five years later we are twelve Clemson degrees richer (or Clemson is richer for our twelve degrees, depending on how you want to look at it)! Oh, and the girl who left her underwear at home received a Fed-Ex box two days later.


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