Freshmen moving into dorms for the first time

Congratulations!  You have graduated high school, and are now headed off to college all on your own.  Whether you are heading to the University of Arizona, Pima Community College, or if you are headed from Tucson to any other college in the nation, you will be faced with the prospect of moving your life into a new space.  College freshmen tend to have a lot of questions when it comes to moving out of their parents house and into a dorm room for the first time – what should you take, and often, more importantly, what can you take?

The first thing you want to determine will be what is the move in date provided by your new school.  Often times, schools will designate different move in dates and times and then give out passes to allow you to pull your vehicle in closer to the dorm hall for an hour.  Generally, when you are sent your acceptance letter, they will also include information for your move in date, and it is very important that you read all of the rules that they lay out for move in day.  Along with information about move in day, you should receive information about your new roommate. It is always a good idea to reach out to your roommate, not just to get to know them better, but also so that you two can avoid doubling up on items such as televisions or mini fridges.

Dorm rooms are notoriously small, so if you get a chance to go on a tour of your school and dorm rooms you should take note to how little space you will actually have available.  Something you can do to maximize your space is to ask your Resident Assistant to loft your bed (lift it higher) so that you have more storage available below the bed itself. You will also need to find out if mattresses are provided or if you will need to purchase a new one.  You will also want to take note of the set up of your dorm hall – what floor are you on? How many staircases do you have to climb? Is there an elevator, and if so, is it in working condition? Something else to inquire about is if there will be anyone available to help you unload your vehicle and bring boxes up.  Some universities have their athletic teams offer to help move incoming freshmen as a fundraiser. Keep in mind when packing that because the rooms are small, it would be rude and ineffective to bring a bunch of boxes and then expect to keep them stacked up for even just a few days. Be courteous to your new roommate and unpack as quickly as possible.

This should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway – you have limited space, so no, do not plan on bringing every single thing that you own.  When deciding what to take to college, it is a time to really declutter and reevaluate what is a necessity. Try to bring clothing that can be used in several different ways, limit the amount of shoes and this is certainly not the time to be bringing along your entire book or dvd collection.  You will have minimal space, and you would be shocked at how little you need to live day by day happily.

You will want to be well versed on the items that will be prohibited in your dorm room.  Things like irons, candles, space heaters, live plants or flowers are all on the no-go list.  Something else that people may not know is that you are not allowed to hang shelves or posters using nails, so if you have posters or pictures that you were planning to hang up, be sure that you bring scotch tape.

Speaking of scotch tape, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty, the actual moving itself.  If you have access to a hand truck dolly, it would be worth using it to stack boxes and roll them in.  Using a hand truck will greatly speed up the process of moving everything from your vehicle to your dorm room.  Also, rather than just bringing things up one box at a time which is time consuming and requires heavy lifting, you will be able to bring three or four boxes at a time.  If you have a few friends that are also going to the same college, it may be worth hiring a local Tucson mover. Movers will be able to load everything into one truck and then unload it into your dorm rooms, leaving you free to meet all of your new dorm neighbors.  Hiring a moving company in Tucson whether you live locally, which would be within a 50 mile radius, or you are coming from New York, is wise because they will know the area and will not be charging you for the extra distance and fuel costs of getting lost on their way to your dorm.  You could also hire movers in Tucson to simply drive a truck that you plan on loading and unloading yourself. Either way, it is helpful not to have to load multiple vehicles because you will only get one pass for the loading zone.

On your moving day, make sure that you eat and stay hydrated throughout the day.   It would also be wise to use sunblock on your moving day, because it is likely that you will be too distracted to notice if you are starting to get burnt.  Depending on where you are moving, Tucson especially, it can be quite warm in August so you will want to wear loose, comfortable and breathable clothing and have a water bottle on you at all times.  You should also wear comfortable shoes that are not open-toed just in case anything drops.

With a lot of planning and the help of friends and family, you will be moved in to your new dorm room in no time!  Be sure to enjoy every minute of your freshman year, and remember that next year you will be making another move, this time off campus!

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