Adulting Transition

9 Moving Tips and Tricks for Recent Grads and College Students

December 5, 2022

Moving is no easy task. On top of that, it can be even more daunting if you’re leaving home and striking out on your own for the first time. 

Stressful as it may be, moving doesn’t have to be a struggle. Whether you’re headed to the dorms or into your very first apartment, try these nine tips and tricks to make your move a breeze. 

Moving Checklist for College Students

1. Clean Your Room 

Your parents nagged you about it, but maybe they had a point. Cleaning your room is a great first step in preparing for a move. It’ll help you find items you misplaced or totally forgot about. This gives you a better sense of what you have and what you actually want to bring to your new place. 

Plus, if you’re living in a dorm or another situation where you don’t own the property, cleaning your room before moving out will help you get your deposit back if you paid one and avoid any fees.

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Downsize 

Most college dorms and living spaces are likely smaller than what you’re used to at your parent’s house. The same goes for an affordable studio or one-bedroom apartments. You don’t want to discover that you have too much stuff for your new place on move-in day. 

Downsizing as you pack is a great way to ensure you have everything you need in your new digs and nothing you don’t. You can donate, give away, or even resell items you don’t want.

3. Take the Essentials 

Bringing only exactly what you need to your new home can make for a much quicker and easier move. It means you’ll have less stuff to carry, worry about getting damaged in transit, or try to find a place once you unpack. 

If your parents are okay with it, keeping some of your stuff at their house can be a great option in the meantime. That way, you can sort through it gradually and move it once you’re settled in or have more space. 

4. Make a List

One of the best ways to reduce the stress of moving is to stay organized. Don’t just jump into moving—think about what you need to do, and make a list. 

It’s helpful to take inventory of your important items, think about what and when you need to pack and schedule the time you’ll need to accomplish everything. Doing this makes it easier to balance the move with the responsibilities of your everyday life. 

5. Pack Carefully 

It’s tempting to rush through the most tedious part of moving, but taking care when packing your items is essential. Even hitting a small bump in the road with your moving truck can cause your stuff to break if it isn’t secured correctly. 

Make sure your items are packed in well-fitting boxes with cushioning, like paper, packing peanuts, or bubble wrap, around and between them, especially if they’re fragile. Also, when loading boxes into a vehicle, ensure they’re secure and aren’t sliding around and that your lighter items are stacked on top of the heavier ones. 

6. Label Your Boxes

In addition to packing your items carefully, it’s also essential that you know what’s what. Once things are packed, it’s difficult to remember what items you put in which box. Labeling your boxes not only makes the process of unpacking much easier but also helps you make sure you’ve packed everything you need and that you handle more fragile items with care. 

7. Look for Discounts 

Moving can be pretty pricey, even if you only go a short distance. Luckily, a lot of moving services offer special discounts for students. You might be able to get deals on everything from truck rentals to shipping containers to packing supplies.  

If you can’t find big discounts, there are other ways to save on costs, like borrowing unused boxes and packing supplies from family and friends. 

8. Ask for Help 

It may be your first time moving, but do you know who has moved before? Your parents. While it’s nice to feel independent and like you can take a big step into adulthood alone, moving is always much easier with a helping hand. Plus, since they’ve been through it before, your parents can help you avoid the mistakes of a first-time move. 

9. Get to Know Your New Place 

Whether it’s a dorm on campus or your first apartment, getting to know your new place and the area around it before you move in will help make the transition smoother. It’s better to know who your neighbors are, where the closest grocery store is, and how you’ll get around—all the basics of living your life—from the time you get there instead of scrambling to figure it out after the fact.

It’s also a good idea to check out the place you’ll be living in before moving in. This makes it easier to judge if you’re bringing too much or not enough stuff. Will you have any roommates? Do you need furniture? All of these things should factor into how you prepare.   

Final Thoughts 

Your first move can feel overwhelming, but it’s an exciting milestone in your life too. Just remember to stay on track, keep organized, and give yourself ample time and resources, so that you don’t get stressed out and can deal with any issues. 

We hope these tips and tricks will help you when it’s time to move. Good luck!


Author: Rachel Perez

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