So, the day has finally come. Your child is officially an adult, has graduated high school, and will be starting college soon. That’s a lot to process, and when it comes to helping your child pack up and get ready to move out, it’s probably an emotional time as well. Of course, there’s not much to be done about the emotional side of things—let’s face it, you’re probably going to cry—but here are a few tips that might make the moving process a bit easier on you and your soon-to-be college freshman.
Get the Info about Move-In Day
Most colleges have very particular outlines of how they want move-in day to go, so be sure you get this information. This will usually be included in any welcome packets your student receives, and you may be able to find the information online. Here’s some of the things you should be looking for and making a note of:
- Designated date for moving in
- Start and end times
- Parking areas around your student’s dorm or apartment
- Parking rules and vehicle policies (e.g., whether or not moving trucks are allowed, whether or not parking is enforced on move-in day, etc.)
- Where to pick up keys or access cards
- Items not permitted in the dorms/apartments (microwaves, mini fridges, etc.)
- What facilities are open on move-in day (e.g., the mail room to pick up any items you may have shipped, the cafeteria to grab a quick lunch between unpacking boxes, and so on)
The more information you have about move-in day, the more prepared your newly minted college student will be, and the more smoothly move-in day will go for the both of you.
Pack Clothing Wisely
As your child packs their clothes for college, remind them to think twice about everything they’re going to pack. Most college housing has limited storage space, so they don’t want to over pack and end up with clothes that don’t fit into their dresser and tiny closet.
This is especially important if your child is traveling a long distance to attend college, since hauling (or worse, flying) with all of your college necessities can get pretty tricky. Help them to break down their wardrobe into a few essential items that can be mixed and matched to create a number of outfits for various occasions.
Additionally, keep in mind any major differences in the weather. If you live in Florida and your child will be attending school in Colorado, they may need to trade out those tank tops for some winter coats. Of course, in those cases, you should wait until you’ve reached the university, then head to the store to pick up any new seasonal clothing your student might need.
Know What’s Provided
It’s extremely important that you know what items the apartment or dorm room will provide for your freshman. Will there be a desk for your student to study at, or will they need to get their own? Is there a toaster in the kitchen, or was this smaller appliance overlooked? While most university housing supplies all of the essentials for comfortable living, it’s always better to take the time to review the dorm’s inventory to ensure your student isn’t left without something important.
Don’t Overlook Comfort Items
Sure, your child is an adult now, and they probably want to leave behind most of their childish things. However, this is also a huge change in their lives—and in yours—so it’s important that they take at least a few comfort items along with them to help them get through any difficult days ahead.
This can be something as simple as using the comforter from their bed at home, instead of buying a new one for their dorm room. Encourage them to pack a few framed photos or other decorations they may have had hung in their bedrooms at home. Any simple things they can bring along to make their new accommodations feel more like home will help to make this transition easier on them.
Let Them Take the Lead
Finally, don’t forget to let your student take the lead on all of the matters mentioned above. Yes, you should double check that they haven’t forgotten anything, and ensure they got all the important information. But remember, they’re an adult now, and pretty soon, you won’t be around to handle these kinds of things for them. So, let them handle most of this stuff, but provide a gentle reminder if you notice they’ve overlooked something.
For more moving tips, or for help with a big move of your own, contact us.