There are two main components in preparing for a move to college: getting the student ready and getting the stuff ready. Here we will try to help you with both.
For many students, the move to college will be the first time that they will be living on their own. The summer before the student will be starting college, try as a family to start shifting into college mode. Students, show your parents, and yourself, how capable you are of earning and achieving independence. It will make moving away in August that much easier!
- Chores. Dig in, do some housework. It only hurts at first.
- Stay away from home for 2-3 nights, at a minimum, if you haven’t before.
- Start doing your laundry. Wash, dry, fold. Repeat.
- Cook. Get comfortable in the kitchen. Then, for the kicker, clean up after yourself.
- Wake up on your own. If no one is honking the car horn, are you going to get to class on time?
- Take charge of your own time. Budget your time and give yourself reasonable expectations for both work and relaxation. Both are important.
- Manage your money. Better yet, make it, too! Get a checking account, a debit card, and learn to balance them. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but it’s a crucial skill!
- Go grocery shopping. Find out what you need and how much it is going to cost.
- Insurance. You should have health and renters insurance, as well as auto if you drive. Make the calls yourself to the insurance agents yourself if you can; this is the way to learn.
- Manage your health. Make sure you have your vaccinations up-to-date and on file with your college. Have a list of all medications you take and any health issues available for your school’s health department. The same goes for your roommate’s conditions, too. If you have conditions that might require intervention, such as severe allergies, asthma, diabetes and epilepsy, someone should know.
Let’s talk about the actual move itself into the college dormitory or apartment. Not many schools offer any real help in this department and it can be a very stressful time for everyone.
- Is the student moving close by or far away? If airline trips are involved, check with your airline to see baggage allowances. A student leaving for a semester in a moderate climate will probably need a minimum of two large suitcases. This may increase if they are a fashionista, in which case the US Post Office is usually the most affordable shipping option. Schools with a lot of out-of-state students usually have inexpensive furnishings, including bedding, available.
- Is the dorm/apartment furnished, and if so, are lamps and bedding provided? If there will be roommates, they should communicate ahead of time to coordinate who will be bringing what. Apartments will also need kitchen utensils and the like. Here’s a good packing list for a guideline: http://www.dormsmart.com/Dorm-Room-Checklist.html
- Is there parking near the entrance to the dorm/apt? Are there ramps or elevators or any moving dollies?
- If your student is moving into an unfurnished apartment, it can be more challenging. A truck is a must, as there just isn’t enough room in cars to store beds, desks, couches, chairs, etc. You can borrow a truck, rent a truck or hire a moving company that accommodates college moves. Not all movers do, and some will only do sorority or fraternity affiliated moves.
- Inquire ahead of time about utilities and arrange for them to be turned on for move-in day. This can take a week or more to process, so it pays to do this well ahead of time.
- Label everything. Sharpies come in all colors now, and the metallic ones can personalize dark colored electronics and cords. If it moves, label it. Keep records of serial numbers of laptops, tablets, phones and the like.
- Arrange for apartment or renters insurance. It can be purchased separately or sometimes added on to your auto policy.
- Colleges almost always require parking passes for student vehicles. Find out before school starts to avoid parking fines.
- Make sure all parents leave within a reasonable time. It’s great if they came to help with the moving in, but they need to say goodbye to let the college experience begin!
Contact us now and get started.