10 College Move-In Tips: Make Moving into Your Dorm or Apartment a Breeze

July 6, 2021

It’s time to prep for your college move in! 🎉 Whether you’re moving into a dorm or shared apartment, there’s lots to do to get ready for the big day. The good news is that with a little planning and organization, the process doesn’t have to be stressful! We’ve polled our EPOCH Tribe and residents and shared the best tips to make your college move-in simple and fun.

Prepare for a Dorm College Move-in

For those first-timers, moving into the dorms can be an exciting but nerve-wracking experience. You’re finally on your own, you’re living with a roommate for the first time, you don’t want to forget anything—so much to think about! Don’t worry, we’ve created an easy list to get you ready for your very first college move-in (or your second time, for sophomores). 

1. Check the paperwork 

Your dorm/school will likely send paperwork that outlines a schedule for college move-in. This helps avoid the nightmare of everyone moving in at once. Find out your specific move-in date and time and mark it on your calendar. Make sure your parents or those who are helping you have the date blocked off too. Check for other details, such as where to park and unload your things.

2. Discuss who brings what

You wouldn’t want to get to the dorm and realize you and your roommate have two Keurigs and no cleaning supplies. So for items you’ll share, decide what each of you will bring. If you want to get super coordinated, you could also discuss your decoration ideas/color scheme.

3. Make a list and check it twice

For a general list of items to bring to your dorm, check your school’s housing website. You’ll see info like whether the room has a mini-fridge and microwave, or if you’ll need to bring them. It will also show what’s not allowed. For example, some schools ban toaster ovens in dorms. 

4. Pro tips for a speedy setup

Pack with unpacking in mind. For instance, if you have fall/winter items that you don’t need right away, put those in a labeled box to store in your closet or under the bed. Group similar items together, like put your bathroom stuff in one container. Bringing clothes on hangers? Keep them on the hangers and put a large garbage bag over them like a dry-cleaning bag. Hang the clothes in your new closet and tear off the bag. 

Prep for Your College Apartment Move-In 

Apartments can be a little more tricky because you have more than just your room to worry about. In addition, you likely have a roommate, or several, to plan with. Which could complicate the matter—but only if you let it! With foresight, good communication, organization and a flexible attitude, you can make your apartment college move-in easy peasy. 

On the bright side, many college communities (like EPOCH!) offer furnished apartments complete with appliances. Just fewer things you have to worry about! Being experts at moving residents into our apartments, we put together the ultimate list for you to get ready: 

1. Coordinate shared items and move-in times 

Pre-planning goes a long way. Decide who’s bringing which items for your shared spaces. This will ensure you have all the appliances you need and no duplicates to take up limited space. 

For our EPOCH residents, we created a handy dandy packing list, so you won’t forget a thing. Pro-tip: use this with your roomies and initial the items you’ll each bring. 

While you’re at it, coordinate a move-in schedule with your roommates too. Stagger arrival times and slots for people to move their things in. This way, your parents won’t be shuffling at the door trying to get everyone’s boxes in at once. 

2. Turn on utilities 

If you’re responsible for gas, electric or internet service, arrange to have these turned on by moving day. At EPOCH, we take care of most of this for you, but every community is different!

3. Inspect the apartment 

Walk through the apartment when you first arrive and photograph any damages. If there’s anything significant, notify your community manager to discuss right away.

Moreover, when it is time to move out, you’ll have evidence that the problem existed before you got there. That way, you won’t be responsible for any type of fine or additional cost for repairs.

4. Make it feel like home

Decorate your new apartment to show your personality. Add accent lighting (lamps or strands of twinkle lights), a photo collage or a rug for warmth and color. For more ideas, read our blog post, 8 Ways to Make Your New College Place Feel Like Home

5. Set roommate rules

You can avoid a lot of tension when everyone understands their responsibilities. Make a schedule for weekly chores, i.e., which day you empty the dishwasher or take out the recyclables. Decide when bills will be paid. Will each of you only eat your own groceries? Also agree to rules for company and overnight guests.

For even more pointers, check out our guide, Living with a Roomie 101.

6. Store your stuff

Once you get all your stuff into your apartment, you might be surprised by just how much stuff you have. It happens to the best of us! To keep your apartment clutter-free, consider a storage unit for items you’re not using. Keep your winter clothes there until you need them or use it to house your belongings during summer break. 

And as another added benefit to living at EPOCH, our residents get a discount at Greenleaf Storage through our EPOCH Perks discount program.

Plan Ahead to Actually Enjoy the College Move-In Process 

Whether you’re moving into a dorm or an apartment, moving day can be exhausting and exhilarating. Use these tips to organize yourself and your roomies and to start the school year strong.

Happy prepping!