Navigating College Move-In Day: Tips and Tricks for Success

Class is almost back in session! We know there’s a lot to keep track of as you prepare to head back to campus, and so SpotHero is here to help with these reminders about move-in day etiquette to ensure you have a smooth transition back to campus.

Make a List, and Check It Twice

Before you even get in the car, start making a list, and start planning how you will pack and transport everything; you don’t want to end up stuffing your favorite clothes into garbage bags— in our experience those clothes inevitably end up becoming garbage. Also, if you will be living with a roommate, be sure to check with them about what shared items you can each provide to make your living experience an excellent one.

If the prospect of a packing list feels overwhelming, you can check out a list of suggestions here. Also, we’ve found the best packing advice comes from people who’ve been there; ask current college students, recent grads, or check with your parents what their must-have supplies were—and what they wish they’d left behind.

Assemble a Crew Before You Unload

If you’re arriving on move-in day, it’s highly likely that you will have family and friends there to assist you. We understand the instinct to bring more people to get the job done, but sometimes a larger crew is actually a hindrance on move-in day; emotions are already running high, add heavy boxes and bags, and it’s a snafu waiting to happen! 

The easiest way to ensure a smooth move-in day is to assign everyone in your cohort a job before you pop the trunk; for example, one person unloads items, one person brings items up to the room, one person checks items off a list, and so forth. It will save confusion and time and prevent too much distraction.

Expect to Forget Some Things

There’s nothing worse than hauling a giant couch 700 miles only to discover there’s been a miscommunication, and now you have two giant couches, no TV, no fridge, and (eek!) no fan to keep the room cool. Set aside time on move-in day to make a list of musts you forgot—or just didn’t feel like schlepping from home, and send someone on a supply run. This is especially handy for clunkier things like microwaves and mini-fridges that take up valuable trunk space you could use for more pairs of extra-comfy sweatpants. 

Worried nearby stores won’t have what you need when you get there? Order online and take advantage of in-store pickup. You can get your new mini-fridge and grab snacks on the way out!

Share the Love…by Which We Mean the Resources

Remember that you are not the only person moving in on move-in day; size can vary widely, but many dormitories in the U.S. have space to house hundreds, if not thousands of students. On move-in day, be sure to share items provided by the school with fellow students. Don’t monopolize carts, dollies or elevators, but do your best to take everything in turns.

This includes parking spots! While it’s awesome you found a space right out in front of your new residence, be considerate and move out of the spot once you’ve unloaded your stuff so others can use it! Also be sure to pay close attention to nearby street signs; the last thing you want on a hectic day is a parking ticket. Not sure where you can park or for how long? You can learn more about decoding common signs here.

Reserve With SpotHero

If worrying about a space to park your car is top of mind, then take some of the stress out of move-in day by booking a spot with SpotHero! You can use SpotHero’s search filter to find facilities that offer in and out privileges,  allowing you to enter and exit the spot during your reservation timeframe at no extra charge. You can drop stuff off at the dorm and run errands freely, and you will have your spot waiting for you!

Happy move-in day!