10 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Moving Into College

10 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Moving Into College - College Move in Day Tips // ew & pt

I don’t remember a whole lot about move-in day, but I do remember that it was very sweaty and also somewhat calming. There’s something really fun about unpacking and decorating…after the stress of it all moves to the backburner. These are a list of things I wish I had known before moving into college. None of that “I wish I had left my door open to make friends!” or anything, because on move-in day, while you’re actually moving into college and you’re sweaty and stressed and helping your dad hang up your necklace holder, one of your lowest priorities is fostering friendships.

I have previously given you some move-in day tips (Read all of the tips here before or after reading this, it’s seriously helpful!) but now I’m about to get even more real with you. These are the things I wish I had known before moving into college. No candy-coating here, friends.

1. The Dorms Are HOT

When I arrived at my freshman dorm, the room was no less than one hundred degrees. I almost didn’t even pack my fan. Call your college or ask previous/current students and ask about the air conditioning and heating situations in the building you’ll be living in. This will save you a lot of future discomfort and stress.

Also, if your rooms are not air conditioned and you anticipate it’ll be hot, both you and your roommate might want to bring miniature fans in addition to having one larger one in the room. Miniature fans (and bitching about the heat) was super popular during my freshman year.

Bonus Tip: Encourage the people helping you move in to bring an extra T-Shirt so if they sweat through the first one they have a new one to change into. As a result, they’ll be less sweaty and you’ll be happier to hug them goodbye. Shout out to my dad, who I didn’t hug goodbye freshman year because he was too sweaty. Thanks for helping me move in and for now bringing a second shirt. 

2. You Don’t Need to Pack as Many Clothes as You Think

I’ve done a few posts regarding college wardrobe essentials and shoes every college girl needs but I definitely overpacked when I was moving in. There’s no need to pack clothes for all seasons, but if you do, put seasonal clothes in one small tote to be stored underneath your bed. Again, you’ll most likely be home or have your parents or someone else visit you before the seasons change, so there’s no need to lug your entire wardrobe.

Bonus Tip: Bring some summer and fall clothes up with you and before you leave home, pack up a tote with your winter clothes so it’ll be ready for you or your family to easily bring up to you when necessary. This is something I did every semester and it saved me a lot of stress!

3. Storage Bins are Life Savers

I packed so many different sizes, colors and types of bins when I moved in and they all ended up getting used in one way or another. There’s no need to go overboard, but when you have shelves, windowsills, and space underneath your bed, bins can help you stay organized and provide a polished look.

4. Don’t Remove The Tags Until You Actually Use It

This saved me a lot of money! Sometimes when you’re buying things for college you buy things you end up not needing or not being able to use. Do not remove the tags from anything until you’re actually using it or it’s actually in your dorm room. I returned a few makeup organizers and bulky items that ended up not fitting in my room or not being something I actually needed. Once you’re actually in your room you’ll be able to get a real judgment on products you need.

Bonus Tip: Save your receipts when you’re dorm shopping! Also, take note of 10 Things Not To Buy For College as you’re shopping so you can make as few returns as possible.

5. You Can Always Buy Essentials While You’re Away

When I first moved into college I packed two tubes of toothpaste, two bottles of shampoo, three extra toothbrushes, and so on. There’s no need to pack bulk toiletries unless they’re something you seriously can’t buy at your school’s local Target or grocery store. These things take up a ton of space. Remember, you’re moving into college–not into a desolate spaceship where you can never purchase any item ever again.

Bonus Tip: Avoid buying essentials from your college’s bookstore. They’re usually overpriced and have limited options.

6. Command Hooks for Everything

Use these to hang up jackets and statement necklaces. Hang your towels on these. Stick them in your closet or on the side of your bed to hang purses or belts. They are ridiculously handy when it comes to living in the dorm. Make sure you pack extra!

Bonus Tip: stick one next to your door to hang out ID/keys on. It’ll make it much easier to remember them when you’re on your way out the door.

7. A Door Stop is a Must

This will help keep your room cooler and it’ll make it a lot easier and less stuffy while you’re moving into your dorm.

Bonus Tip: In a pinch, if you don’t have a door stop, you can shove a rolled up box or magazine into the top bracket of the door to keep it open. You can also move a dresser in front of the door, but that’s way less efficient.

8. You Don’t Need That Damn Dry Erase Board on Your Door

Almost every dorm in college has a dry erase board on their door. These boards range from “I got it at the dollar store” to “This cat-shaped custom carved dry erase board was $90 from PB Teen.” It doesn’t matter. Within one month I can promise you that at least three people will have drawn a penis on it and your marker will be MIA. If anyone really had a special message to leave for you, they would have texted you or knocked on your door.

The dry erase board’s blank, smooth canvas only begs for phallic symbols and the marker is only another thing to be stolen. Of course, you can get one of these to fulfill the “I need this from the college section at Target!” void, but be prepared to become the dry erase board police. And buy extra markers.

9. Label Everything

Write your last name, dorm building and room number on everything–especially larger items. You can do so with painter’s tape (so you don’t damage any items) or, if it’s in packaging, use a marker. This will help prevent items from getting lost in the shuffle of move in day.

10. Tape Drawers Shut

If you’re planning on bringing plastic drawers with you, which is great storage in the dorms, tape them shut! Pack them full of your belongings and then put small pieces of tape on the sides of each drawer so they won’t open and spill all over the place. This definitely makes it easier for you to move them.

What are you dreading/looking forward to the most about move in day?

Paige DiFiore Post Signature - Eyeliner Wings & Pretty Things

More Helpful Reading:

10 Things You MUST Do During College Orientation
10 Things NOT to do The Summer Before Starting College

Subscribe to my mailing list!
Discover exclusives, new content & occasional updates now & again!
100% Privacy. No Spam. No annoying excessive e-mails either, I promise.

Related Posts

  • I wish I knew about these things when I first went to college! I remember burning up in my dorm freshman year because of how hot it was! Great post!

    • Thanks, Jessie! The freshman dorm rooms were SO hot!! I’m so glad I wore a tank top, sneakers and shorts instead of the cute sundress and sandals I’d originally planned on haha.

  • These are all excellent suggestions! I would also suggest reaching out to your roommate and coordinating moving times. My freshman year my roommate and I arrived at almost the exact same time and moving two people into a tiny dorm room at the same time was hectic to say the least.

    • Thanks, Deborah! That’s such a great tip, I’m so glad my roommate ended up arriving a few hours after me so we didn’t crowd too much!

Post Navigation