The Ins and Outs of Moving Into a College Dorm Across the Country

August 23, 2022 / Posted in Moving Basics
Madison Rogers

Born and raised in Houston Madison is a content writer who loves traveling. She has lived in different states and is always eager to share her knowledge with others.

Moving into a college dorm is one of the most exciting periods in life for all young people who have decided to enroll at universities and pursue academic degrees. However, you can’t just appear on campus and start unloading your possessions. Universities have strict rules about these things, and we will provide you with all the necessary tips for moving into a dorm which will make the whole process much easier.

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Before setting your sights on graduating, you have to relocate to the university first

Having a Moving Into College Dorm Checklist Will Help You a Lot

You might have heard about cross-country moving checklists. The principle will be pretty much the same for your campus checklist. However, the content will be different since relocating to a university is not the same as relocating to a new home.

Be that as it may, having a plan is absolutely necessary if you want to have adequate preparation for the relocating day. Here are some advantages of having a checklist:

  • You will have an exact timetable for all tasks, which will make the relocation more efficient.
  • You lower the chances of forgetting something important to a minimum. This is especially important when packing begins.
  • You will be able to manage your relocation budget in a better way, knowing in advance what has to be done.

We strongly recommend asking yourself, “What to know before moving into dorms?” at least a month before the actual relocation, and start writing a checklist.

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It Is Important to Know Before You Move What to Pack and Bring to Your Room

Naturally, you will be wondering what to pack for college. Here, some research has to be done before you start packing, so be sure to place “Research” on top of your relocating to-do list. Luckily, all the important information will be available on the university’s official website, but here is a brief overview of what you will need to know.

Banned items

What not to pack when relocating is probably the most important thing you will have to know about before hiring long-distance movers. Universities have strict rules and regulations about possessions that are banned on campus grounds. Unfortunately, if you have thought about relocating with pets, that will be completely out of the question. Kitchen appliances are also usually forbidden. All items that can in any way modify the structure of the building are also banned, meaning that you won’t be allowed to hang pictures on the wall of your room or install pull-up bars.

Available items

You also have to check what things will be present in your room. This will help a lot in downsizing for the move, which will result in saving on relocation costs. In most cases, all the necessary furniture will be present, meaning that you will have a bed, desk, chairs, and a cabinet. However, campuses differ, and it is important to know what has to be packed, especially if you have hired long-distance moving services.


One of the most useful relocation tips for living in a dorm is knowing whether you will have a storage space on campus. You mustn’t forget that these rooms will be small, and you will share them with at least one roommate. On the other hand, students like to pack all sorts of home possessions, especially those used for leisure activities (ski equipment, for example). However, it can happen that there isn’t enough space for everything. You can always try to search for some small apartment ideas for furnishing, but if the campus doesn’t have storage facilities, there is the option of hiring professional storage services from a long-distance moving company.

Nowadays, universities even offer virtual tours of their rooms and the whole campus in general. So, be sure to check this if it is available, as it will help you to organize your move even better.

Get To Know What Life on Campus Is Like

What is living in a college dorm like? This question will certainly create a lot of excitement. But there is no need to guess anything. Nowadays, there are a lot of official groups on social media, like Facebook, that have been specifically created for freshmen. Therefore, make the most out of it, and ask any sort of questions about the university, the general lifestyle, and the curriculum. The senior students will be more than happy to share their experiences.

Do Research on the City – Your College Dorm Room and Campus Won’t Be the Only Places Where You Will Be

If you are relocating to a new state, be sure to check some basic information about life. The most important thing will be to check the cost of living (useful websites like Numbeo can help a lot,) but it is also helpful to know about the availability of public institutions, amenities, and transportation. This will all help you deal with the adjustment insomnia more quickly.

Get To Know Your Roommate Before the Relocating Day

Universities will post information about which room you got and who will be your roommate. You don’t necessarily have to meet this person on the relocation day. Thanks to social networks, you can get in touch with your roommate long before that day, and this is highly recommended when going to college. Most importantly, you will not have to go through the whole process of getting to know each other, which will result in feeling more comfortable in the new environment.

You Can Also Make a Packing Plan Together With Your Roommate

Another advantage of getting to know your roommate before the relocation day is the opportunity to organize the inventory list together. That is especially useful if you are allowed to take some type of furniture or appliances. So, for example, you can bring a mini-refrigerator, while your roommate will bring the TV. That can render your packing more efficient, and money can be saved on protective materials for relocation.

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Meeting your roommate before the relocation is useful in many ways

Be Sure to Learn About Regulations for Parking if You Plan to Come With Your Car

There is no denying that having a car can make your life easier, especially if you are relocating to an unknown environment. However, you have to learn about the parking rules of the university. In most cases, students have special areas where they can park their cars, but there are usually some parking fees. Therefore, you have to be sure that it will suit your financial situation.

Consider Hiring an Auto Transport Company if You Want to Relocate Your Car

This is advisable particularly if you have to cross some long distance (for example, you are relocating from the East Coast to West Coast). For a driving enthusiast, that isn’t a problem, but you mustn’t disregard the gas prices. If you are relocating out of a state on a budget, it will most likely be more affordable to book a car shipping company and open trailer transportation. Also, you mustn’t forget that you will be exhausted after a long drive, and the first day on campus will be hectic with all the furnishing and meeting different people going on.

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Car shipping has a lot of advantages

Universities Will Post Schedules About the Relocating Day on Their Websites

How long does it take to move into a dorm? You have to follow a schedule made by university officials. This means that they will post the time when students should arrive and start unpacking after the move. Also, it will be indicated where families and cross-country movers can park their vehicles and start unloading. Hence, be sure to learn about this schedule in order to avoid any awkward situations. Of course, this might seem strict at first, but there will be enough time to unpack properly and say goodbye to your family members.

It Is Nice to Have Your Family Beside You on the First Day of School

First of all, since you are relocating out for the first time, don’t forget that you are relocating away from your parents. This is one of the hardest things for a student to reconcile with, but having your parents beside you will assist a lot in overcoming the relocation anxiety. But also, if you have decided against hiring professional relocating services, having assistance for furnishing will render the whole process much more comfortable.

Don’t Pack Too Many Clothes and Other Unnecessary Things

As mentioned, the chances that you will need storage services are high, but one of the most frequent tips when relocating to a university is to pack only the essentials. Having too many things like clothes can create unnecessary errands (you mustn’t forget that your parents won’t be able to do your laundry anymore). Therefore, when making an inventory list, be realistic, especially if you are not that far away from your home. You can always fetch anything you need during one of the visits to your hometown.

However, It Is Advisable to Take Some Sentimental Items

You will have to go through a period of adaptation, and sentimental home possessions can help a lot. Therefore, don’t hesitate to pack your favorite books, a board game, or something else. Such possessions can bring much comfort in stressful times and can also serve as a foundation for establishing new friendships.

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One bigger suitcase is often enough for students

A Bag of Essentials Is a Necessary Part of Every Relocation

A bag of essentials is a bag that will contain your most valuable items and things needed to function normally. This container should include your important documents, money, any medication you have to take, snacks, and such. However, when relocating to a university, these things are also recommended:

  • Basic toolbox – It is not unusual for a desk leg to be loose or a curtain rod to be unstable in university rooms. Therefore, instead of waiting for a repairman, with the assistance of a simple toolbox, you can repair all these minor breakages.
  • Cleaning supplies – Although rooms should be cleaned thoroughly before you enter, it is normal to feel uncertain about the level of cleanliness. Therefore, take cleaning supplies with you and clean anything that seems dirty.
  • Bedding – if you have a favorite pillow and blanket, take those as well. University will supply you with the necessary bedding, but such items are irreplaceable for some people.
  • Relocation tools – If you have packed some piece of furniture or appliance, it is smart to take a utility dolly or lifting straps.
  • School supplies – Whatever your academic field is, you will need basic school supplies like notebooks and pencils. Bring as many of these things as you can, as it will save you a lot of money (after all, your parents will buy all the school supplies needed).

Here is a nice video that can give you some more ideas on what should be included in the bag of essentials.

What to Do When You First Move Into a Dorm? Take University Seriously and Start Studying!

Hopefully, this article has supplied you with the necessary information and tips on what relocating to a university looks like and how to make it easier. We don’t doubt that you will manage to do everything properly and settle on campus. However, this is where the true challenge starts and where you have to show responsibility and determination. At all times, keep in mind why you have relocated, and start studying immediately. With such a mindset, you will have no problem overcoming all academic challenges.

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