1. Expert Tips for College Students Moving into New Apartments

Expert Tips for College Students Moving into New Apartments


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Written by: Benjamin Smith | Best Company Editorial Team

Last Updated: February 24th, 2020


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College students are on the move! Returning students as well as a slew of freshmen are headed off to start a new semester at universities across the United States. It is an exciting time! Though some parents mourn their children leaving the nest, others silently jump for joy seeing their kids moving forward and growing up.

For students, this can be a very stressful time. Not only are they going to be attending a university, community college, or trade school, but they are going to be living on their possibly for the first time in their lives. For some, that can be very intimidating.

Getting started

Going to college is one thing, moving to college is an entirely different animal. Sometimes, just thinking about moving can be stressful. Mike Glanz, Co-Founder and CEO of HireAHelper, suggests the following three tips for those moving to college:

  1. Before you even step foot on campus, you need to do some homework. Know the move-in date and time, dorm address, and vehicle parking policies. Be aware of the items that are included in your room. This could include a desk, bed, or closet. You should also know what items are not permitted in your room which may include candles and microwaves. Have a sense of your room floor plan, including the dimensions of the included furniture as well as any furniture that your roommate may be bringing.
  2. Be sure to pack a small tool kit for move in day. You're going to need it!
  3. For most students, college is the first time living away from home. For many, this could mean feeling a little homesick during the first few weeks of school. To make the transition a little easier, be sure to pack plenty of treasures that remind you of home. Make your space cozy and comfortable, and you’ll start the semester off on the right foot.

Glanz has helped with over 350,000 moving projects in the past 12 years and knows how to avoid the majority of moving complications. He feels that if you avoid the bulky things (big suitcases, clothing and equipment that are not in season, etc.) that aren’t really needed and make sure that you have the essentials, you are going to have a great semester!

Girl sketching or writing in nature

Knowing what to pack

There are some common items that students think they need to bring, but really just take up room in your car and can easily be purchased when you get to your new apartment or dorm. Kate Windleton, Relocations Manager at Strong Move, provides three expert tips to help you enjoy this moving experience.

  1. Don’t pack shower products, cleaning supplies, or books that aren’t on your reading list. You should buy these products when you’ve settled in your new apartment, and you likely won’t have time to read the books.
  2. Stock up with some medicine. Things that are nice to have on-hand are pain killers, allergy pills, flu medicine, band-aids, a first-aid-kit, and earplugs.
  3. Don’t let anxiety kick in when you move! Don’t focus on moving-for-the-first-time panic. Instead, focus on the great new experiences and higher education you’re about to receive.

Hiring help

College is not cheap and most students don’t have a lot of extra cash to spend after tuition, housing, books, food, and transportation have been paid for. Ryan Carrigan is the co-founder of moveBuddha, a quick and easy way to plan a move online. He shares some of his thoughts regarding college students moving:

“We get a ton of calls this time of year from college students looking for moving help. We tell most of them not to bother with trying to hire a professional moving company. For the vast majority of students, they really don't have enough stuff to justify paying for a moving company.”

So not only would hiring a moving company be fairly expensive for you, but it is likely you don’t even have enough stuff to justify the expense. Carrigan also had some suggestions to avoid a full-service rental for college students who feel they could use some help.

He said, “A much cheaper way to get a small, college apartment size move done is to rent a U-Haul and grab some friends or hire some moving help off of a website like TaskRabbit. There's even a good chance your neighbors will help out for some extra cash.”

If you feel that the only way to maintain your sanity is to hire a moving company to help you or if your move is simply too far for you to do on your own, you should invest in some type of moving insurance.

Stephanie Lloyd, head of Toggle, a renters insurance provider says, “Get renters insurance that protects your stuff and fits your budget. We’ve found most renters greatly under value their stuff and how much it would cost to replace it.”

Toggle, or a similar renters insurance provider, is a great option for college students moving into new off-campus apartments or houses. Policies can be as cheap as $5 per month and you can “toggle” on and off the coverage to insure the items you value most (i.e. your fur baby, iPhone, computer or side hustle equipment).

Playing it safe in this area is always better than playing it sorry!

clean wall with white table and chair

Feeling at home away from home

For those moving off to college and leaving their parents for the first time, or just moving out for the first time for that matter, moving can cause a bit of a culture shock. To help combat this, Katie Eldred from Vistaprint suggests surrounding yourself with mementos from home to help you settle in.

Eldred says, “Bringing photo keepsakes is a great way to make your dorm room feel like home. Whether you’re into morning coffee, afternoon tea or evening cocoa, sweetening your study breaks with a personalized mug with a special message or favorite photos is a great way to de-stress and remind yourself that you’ve got this. For those times when you’re missing the family pet or want to show some love for your home team, a fleece blanket or custom pillow with your favorite photos will remind you that your support system is just a phone call away (as well as coming in handy for those late-night, winter writing assignments!) Although moving out for the first time can be daunting, surrounding yourself with memories from home is a great way to feel more settled in a new place.”

Though moving away can be hard, if you take the appropriate steps, you are setting yourself up to have an incredible experience! Good luck!

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