tips for moving to college

7 Tips for Moving to College Out of State

Moving to an out-of-state college is an exciting, yet nerve-racking feat. While packing your things and moving is enough of a task in and of itself, when you throw moving and traveling out of state in there, then things become a bit more complicated. Whether you’re moving to another state, across the country or to another country altogether, here are some tips on how to pack and move without the added stress!

tips for moving to college

Image by Resi Kling

1. Consult the Recommended College Packing List

This might seem like a no-brainer, but when your college sends out the recommended move-in packing list, you’re going to want to read (and use) it. This list is incredibly helpful in giving you an idea of what items you’ll need that will fit within the constraints of your living space. This list will also give you an idea of some of the amenities that your college does provide, like a mattress or mini-fridge. It’s also a good idea to contact your future roommate (if you have one) to make sure you aren’t brining any duplicates. After all, if you both bring two sets of curtains for the one window in your dorm, you’ll be wasting valuable packing space!

2. Keep Weather In Mind

Whether you’re moving across the country or just a few states away, you’ll want to do your research on the weather in your new city and pack accordingly. As a rule of thumb, pack only for the first 3 to 6 months as you’ll most likely be coming home on Columbus Day or Christmas and you can grab anything you might have forgotten or bring home anything you don’t need then. If you’re moving to Boston, you’re going to want a coat and winter boots, and if you’re moving to California you can ditch the cold-weather items and instead pack a lot of tanks and sandals.

3. Pack Only What You Need

While it might be tempting to pack the entirety of your room and bring it with you, resist the urge to bring things that you won’t need and will only take up space in your dorm or apartment. Sort your clothes out by seasons and then take those piles and divide them into “keep” “toss” and “give away” piles. While you might be tempted to bring every single t-shirt you own, know that most college dressers have 3-4 drawers and you’ll need to fit most of your clothes in there and in a shared closet. When it comes to packing, vacuum-sealed clothing bags will be your best friend. No matter which way you’re traveling to college, this is the best way to pack a lot of clothes without taking up a huge amount of space. Plus, if you get the smaller ones, you can easily store them in a suitcase, while the larger ones can easily fit and be piled into the back of your car or moving van. Standard bins and boxes are always a great idea, too. Pack any bedding items, knickknacks, toiletries, towels and supplies in the bins so that you can easily carry them into your new room.

4. Ship Items Ahead of Time

Whether you’re flying to your new school or just don’t have enough room in the car, you can always ship things ahead of time. You can either ship to your college mailroom (just make sure it’s open before school starts) or to the local post office to pickup once you arrive. This is especially helpful for bulky things like winter coats.

5. Order Online

A lot of retailers have started to allow you to order essentials online and pick them up in-stores in another state. Bead, Bath and Beyond is one store that allows you to do this, plus they typically have a college move-in section of their site, so you can easily shop for dorm essentials.

6. Consider Hiring a Moving Company

Moving is a complicated task and sometimes it’s best left to the professionals. While the size of a college dorm move is a lot smaller than that of an entire home move, it’s still a great idea to get a quote to determine the cost of a small move. Whether you’re moving across country or just a few states away, a moving company can help ease your stress and can take care of packing, unpacking and transportation so that you can stay focused on a new school year.

7. Think About Renting a Car

Another great option is renting a car one-way to take you and your belongings to college. While it may seem like a daunting task for your parents or friends to drive you and your things on a 10+ hours roundtrip, you can always look into renting a car and dropping it off in a different location. If your parents come with you, they can always fly back or if it’s just you, you can unpack your items and then drop the car off at the nearest airport or rental car location.