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How to Move Your Son or Daughter In (and Out) of College

Monday Aug 20th, 2018

Whether you’ve been dreading or dreaming of this day, it’s time to move your son or daughter into college. Regardless if they’re moving into an apartment or dorm, preparation is essential to make the move as smooth as possible.

Not only do you need to ensure your son or daughter packs the essentials, but you also want to guarantee their belongings make it to their dorm or apartment in one piece. And, if you don’t pack strategically, there’s no way you’re going to be able to transport everything in one trip. There’s no doubt that moving can feel like a hassle, but if you utilize available resources the transition can be effortless.

What to Pack

According to the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI), about 47% of college students are attending a university over 100 miles away from their home. As if going off to school wasn’t stressful enough, now your son or daughter has to be super selective about what to pack. Compounding the problem: the farther away the campus is, the more inconvenient it is to make multiple trips. To prioritize what needs to be packed, remind them to:

  • Talk to their roommate(s): Sharing some essentials can cut back dramatically on how much needs to be packed. Moreover, when living in close quarters, you can save space by eliminating duplicate items such as coffee makers, microwaves, and mini-refrigerators.
  • Prepare for emergencies: There are some items that you can’t risk leaving behind. Be sure to pack medications, essential documents (driver license, insurance card, etc.), and a credit card.
  • Bring tools to make the move smoother: If your son or daughter is moving into an apartment and is responsible for furnishings, consider bringing a dolly or moving cart for sizable items like couches, tables, and appliances. If the distance is far enough away that it requires a flight, consider hiring a moving company to help with the transition.

Make sure to reference the university’s website for a list of furnishings that are already supplied for the students, for example, beds and dressers. Furthermore, be aware of any items that are banned from the dorm rooms. Although every college is different, a few commonly prohibited items include:

  • Air conditioners and space heaters
  • Candles
  • Extension cords
  • Electric blankets
  • Hot plates
  • Multi-head lamps
  • Personal door locks
  • Pets
  • Wall-mounted objects
  • Weapons

Ask yourself: Can I purchase this once my kid is settled? Many colleges arrange group shopping trips to the local Walmart or Target. With that in mind, common items to add to your “do” and “don’t” packing lists include:

Do pack :
  • A few personal mementos
  • Bedding
  • Blankets
  • Clothing for all types of weather
  • Laptop and other school supplies
  • Mattress pad
Don’t pack:
  • Any full-sized appliances
  • Extensive book collections
  • Off-season clothes
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Printer
  • Trash can and bags

Continually do a cost analysis while completing these lists. In some cases, it may be cheaper to buy items at the local Walmart than shipping belongings across the country.

The Act of Moving

Once packing is out of the way, it’s time to figure out moving-day logistics. Transitioning your son or daughter into a dorm room generally doesn’t require large furnishings. However, if they are moving into an apartment, it’s likely that they will need large items of furniture, like a couch, bed, and kitchen table. Either way, preparation is key.

Dorm Living

To make the transition easier for students and their parents, universities usually include beds, desks, and dressers in dorms. Ideally, this should reduce the amount of packing to only a few boxes. If the university is in your hometown—or within a reasonable driving distance—it’s possible to make multiple trips.

Apartment Living

In most cases, your son or daughter won’t have the option to move into an apartment until their sophomore year of college. But when the time comes, this move requires significantly more furnishings than a small dorm room.

Even under the best of circumstances, moving furniture is backbreaking, but when adding long distances into the equation it’s even more strenuous. Rather than borrowing a truck, making multiple trips, or hoping that that mattress tied to the roof doesn’t go airborne, consider hiring a moving company, to make the whole relocation process smoother.

A premier moving company, such as B.F. Fields Moving & Storage, also provides boxes for packing, long and short-term storage, and vehicle relocation services. Additionally, when you choose a premier mover, you’re ensuring your rights under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) which allows you to file a complaint if anything were to be damaged or lost. FMCSA regulations also confirm that the moving company has proper insurance.

Moving Back Home

Summer vacation will be here before you know it. This probably also means it’s time to move out of the dorm or apartment and back home. While packing up a dorm room is relatively simple, moving out of an apartment is a different story. Further, it seems like when the school year comes to a close, it becomes increasingly apparent just how many items were accumulated over the past year.

Now what? Start making a timeline for the upcoming move, and be sure to reach out to a moving company at least six to eight weeks in advance since summer is the busiest time for movers. If your belongings include items and furnishings you can do without, consider using a short-term storage option.

A Smoother Move

Moving your son or daughter into college can be both physically and mentally draining. That’s why B. F. Fields Moving & Storage is here to help you with the transition. If you’re interested in learning more about our services or would like an estimate, click here to contact us or call us at (814) 454-2481.