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College Move In Day Musts

I would argue that move in day is one of the most stressful days of the school year. Stress is high and emotions are inevitable. Rest assured I do think it gets slightly easier year after year and you figure out small little tips and tricks that work for you. 

My lucky parents got to help me move in and out of 4 different places throughout my four years. And with 2 younger brothers, one going into his sophomore year at College of Charleston and the other going into his senior year of high school, my parents still have a lot of moving in their future. 

My mom and I like to think we have it down to a science now. However, that's not to say it's easy to set up an entire living space including decorations and organization in less than 24 hours. But we now know how to arm ourselves for battle before the big day to be as prepared as possible. 

I've posted before some helpful things to bring with you on move in day but with the school year quickly approaching and many college aged followers I thought it would be appropriate to bring the topic back up!

Take a peek into my freshman dorm, sophomore dorm, and junior and senior year room! Plus see some of my other dorm room posts:

No. 1 Command Hooks: Most schools don't let you nail or screw anything in the walls and in my case, the walls in my freshman dorm were cinder block so it was impossible to nail anything in. I suggest bringing a large stash of command hooks in a variety of sizes to hang pictures and to put in your closet to hang jackets and towels on. We typically bring a large ziplock of different size command hooks so we don't need to run to the store mid move in!

No. 2 Trash Bags: My mom and I try to take everything out of packages and all store tags off to minimize what we have to do while moving in but none the less you always end up with a large pile of trash. Bring at least one trash bag that can be accessed easily so you can collect the trash in one place.

No. 3 Cleaning Products: Before we unpack or move anything into the room I try to go in and wipe everything down like the desk, chair, dresser, and bed. You can never be too clean in my book.

No. 4 Scissors: To get everything out of the package and to cut off tags!

No. 5 Zip Ties: Most likely you won't need them but if you don't bring then, of course, you're going to find yourself wanting them. I made my headboard every year and it was nice to be able to secure it to my bed post using zip ties. You can also use command strips!

No. 6 ScrewDriver: My roommate was always prepared and luckily brought a mini tool kit for the room. I was always surprised how often I asked to use it. It's so handy to have and I regretted not having my own.

No. 7 Extension Cords: Dorms never seem to have enough plugs. I always wanted on near my bed in order to plug in my phone at night but there never seemed to be one where I needed. I always brought a few extension cords so I could ensure I had a plug where I needed one.

No. 8 Tape Measure: Although you can try to be prepared something always comes. A few times we would send my dad to Lowes or Home Depot (or Walmart or Target) and it was nice to have a tape measure in case my dad needed measurements.


A few tips that I can think of when it comes to unpacking: 

1. Have your hanging stuff already on hangers ready to hang. This makes things so much easier when you're working on organizing your closet and saves so much time.

2. Get there as early as possible so you have as much time as possible.

3. If you really want to be prepared often times I would have the command stickers already stuck on the back of the pictures I wanted hung to save time.

4. We always started with making my bed and ended with decorations but whatever order you decide to unpack make sure you're being efficient.

5. Be nice to your parents! This is hard for them too so maybe consider throwing in some tissues!

Good luck and feel free to comment if you have any questions!





  1. I'm moving into my freshman dorm in less than three weeks (!!!) so this is so helpful! Thanks Shannon!


  2. A great post! So much insight! I am staying at home for college so I will never have this experience!

    Cat // https://cottonandhydrangeas.wordpress.com