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Dorm Move-in Day

dvandvan Registered User Posts: 65 Junior Member
edited August 2006 in Parents Forum
Having a D who just survived her freshman year in a dorm, I would like to pass along a few tips, particularly to parents who have not had the pleasure of moving one of their offspring into a college dormitory. There are a few things that one can do to ease the trials of that day:

Bring a small tool kit--Something that has at least a hammer, slotted and Phillips screwdrivers and a pliers. It is useful to leave this kit with the student after you have departed. Ikea has a nice one for about five dollars.

Bring a rubber mallet-- We found that in bunking beds, a rubber mallet would have been useful in that the beds had to be "coaxed" into their bunking position. This is a tool that you do not have to leave with the student--no telling how it may be used.

Invest in an inexpensive hand truck-- These are available at many home centers and hardware stores. No need to get a big one with pneumatic tires. Your back will thank you many times over the years.

Think about buying bed risers--If the beds aren't bunked, these provide extra height for much needed storage room under the bed. Some college bookstores sell them and you can find them in many places like Target. Be aware that some stores only stock these "seasonally". I don't know how much extra inventory they carry, so it may not be best to wait until the last minute on this.

Clean up tools--Things such as a broom and dustpan. You would be surprised how much debris accumulates on move-in day. No need to leave these with the students as they probably will not use them during the year anyway.

Consider saving (bringing home) appliance boxes and packing materials--Particularly for things such as dorm refrigerators, TV's and printers. When Spring comes and these items have to be moved out and stored, they are moved easier and are less apt to be damaged in their original packing boxes.

Assume that the electrical outlets in the room will not be where the things that will be plugged into them are--the college's safety/fire requirements govern here--but assume that you will need some multiple outlet surge protectors or extension cords of the proper wire guage--if allowed.

TV coaxial cable-- to connect the TV into whatever cable TV outlet is provided--if it is provided. This is not usually supplied with new TV sets.

Duct Tape--this almost goes without saying.

Toilet Paper--both of my daughters were happy to have spare rolls of this vital commodity handy.

Roll of Paper Towels--even though you are moving into a clean room, things get dirty, things spill. Good to leave with the student.--

Bottled water--depending on what part of the country you are in, it can be hot in Aug/Sept and moving can work up a sweat. Dorm vending maching may not have what you want to drink or may be expensive.

I tried to stay away from furnishings and supplies, but the above items should help expedite the move in process and eliminate at least one trip to a local store on move-in day.

Good luck and enjoy, it really is a fun day.
Post edited by dvan on

Replies to: Dorm Move-in Day

  • brookesmombrookesmom Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    What an awesome and informative post. My daughter will be getting an apartment when she moves to go to school but I am sure it will be helpful. How sweet that you took the time to map out a survival guide for parents dropping off their little chickadees, an already stressful event made a bit easier thanks to you!
  • soproudofkidssoproudofkids Registered User Posts: 410 Member
    you rock Dvan, thanks so much from us frosh parents.

    Lowe's has one of those tool kits too, looked quite nice. Was on their campus pullout this week here in Boston.
  • ejr1ejr1 Registered User Posts: 1,128 Senior Member
    Because of your post, I bought a folding dolly at Lowe's and it has to be the best thing I ever purchased! Not only did everyone on her floor want to borrow it, making sure she met more people on that first day, but it folds up flat and goes in the back of the closet or on the floor under the bed.
  • ADREW5449ADREW5449 Registered User Posts: 163 Junior Member
    The dolly/handtruck is great. We had one for many years. We took it with us to move D from elevator building to 4th floor walkup. DH put it on the sidewalk to move a small box to the door to be carried up by someone else. When he got back to the car only seconds later, the handtruck was gone! (definition of a New York minute: the time it takes for someone to take your stuff off the sidewalk!) I only hope someone is making a few bucks moving stuff!
    NYU has big bins (like hospital laundry) for move in days. Pile the stuff in and take it to the room.
  • dvandvan Registered User Posts: 65 Junior Member
    After we lent our handtruck to someone, it "walked away" from that person. We thought it was a goner. But mysteriously, it showed up at 10 PM on move-in day outside my daughter's room. So all ended well.
  • gymenigymeni Registered User Posts: 203 Junior Member
    Also, be sure to check with your school in advance of moving day for special information. For example, handtrucks are made readily available by our school's housing office for those who need them. Also, for those who wish to raise their beds at D's school you call a telephone number and maintenance sends people to do this while you're moving in (most beds at her school are already elevated anyway). They have special bed add-ons they use that are actually even better than a typical bed riser that you buy in the store. It also may be school policy that this is the only allowable way to raise the dorm beds, so it's just wise to check with your housing office before you go.
  • flgirl04flgirl04 Registered User Posts: 477 Member
    Definately bring a tool kit and leave it with your child! I'm now a junior and have used it so often. All my guy friends keep borrowing my tools and knowing how to use them gives on a sense of being independent!
  • fendergirlfendergirl Registered User Posts: 4,694 Senior Member
    having lived at an apartment during school, i can second that list of things listed.

    and, you can never have enough TP. I used to keep a pack in my room for when you don't realize you're running low and all the sudden you're out.

    paper towels are also key.

    also, along with a dust pan and brush, a wet swiffer thing works really well, especially if your floor isn't all covered in carpet. I don't know how many times that came in handy. also, i'd suggest investing in a small vacumn cleaner. my college had them available to borrow, but they always seemed to be loaned out when you wanted to borrow it. just a little 20 dollar one works nicely.

    i also suggest the tool kit.. make sure it has a hammer, pliers, both types of screw drivers, and maybe even a tape measure. my roommates and i used to like to move our furniture around and we never had a tape measure to see if it would fit and it ended up taking like 5 times longer than if we would have measured.

    also, don't forget the power cord to your computer. I know it's a simple thing, but you'd be amazed by the number of people who forget it. people have their computers set up at home, disconnect the power at the back, pack up the computer, and leave the cord plugged into the surge protector. I did it myself sophmore year.

    also, i'd suggest picking up some of the 3m command strips for poster hanging. I believe you can get a pack of 12 at walmart for like 2 bucks. they work so much better than the putty, and don't gunk up the back of your posters or the walls.

    another thing... hangers. i know a bunch of people who completely forgot them. (my roommate being one of which...)

    and yeah, a hand truck works wonders. my parents always brought a hand truck and it was such a hit, everyone on my floor ended up using it.. and of course my dad being the social butterfly that he is would even carry the stuff in for the people while carrying out a conversation and meeting new people.

    definately get a nice sized coaxil cable for a tv if you are bringing one. don't forget the cables to hook the dvd player up to the tv either. also, extension cords come in handy so often... as well as surge protectors. you can never have enough. my roommates and i invested in a 25 foot coaxil cable during soph year and everyone laughed at us for getting such a huge cable. when we moved into our apartment the next year, the place we wanted to put our tv was on the complete opp. side of the room as the tv jack.. so it came in handy because we could just run the cable right under neath the carpet while everyone else was stuck having their tv at the same spot :)

    oh another thing, if your kids are hanging curtains, i'd suggest getting the springy curtain rodes.. because you normally can't drill into the walls to use regular ones. make sure you know the width of the window prior to purchasing.
  • UMDADUMDAD Registered User Posts: 1,447 Senior Member
    The helpful hordes that helped your 1st year student move into his/her dorm room tend not to be there for 2nd year and above students on their move-in day.

    If you think back, those helpful hordes were composed of 2nd year and above students.
  • dvandvan Registered User Posts: 65 Junior Member
    Also....one more item for the benefit of move-in day only.....bring one or two large lawn and leaf trash bags to haul all of the packaging material and misc. trash generated that day to the dumpster. The dumpsters are usually located in some inconvenient location....and....elevators get very busy that day...so you will usually end up using the stairs more than you ordinarily would. A large bag eliminates many runs up and down stairs.
  • flounderingfreeflounderingfree User Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 159 Junior Member
    we are traveling from Texas to NJ and was told by a friend who is moving up to ND that we should invest in the space bags that you vaccumm the air out of to save on storage area. We got some and stuffed linens in them and sucked them down to next to nothing. it is going to help so much on packing space. we are also going to use them for comforter and come clothing to save pacing space. we bought hem at walmart in the luggage area. when you are through unpacking just take them home with you. thanks for the info on the hand truck we called and the school has carts with upperclassmen to unload stuff and help carry it up. so that was fantastic info. thank you for your time and efforts helping us new parents to college experience
  • blucrooblucroo Registered User Posts: 829 Member
    All of these are great ideas for those who are driving their kids to college. But what about those of us who fly in..... I am flying our freshman D across country from Southern California to Tufts U. in Boston. So far I have decided to order most everything I can from Bed, Bath and Beyond and will pick up at the local store. I will find a local Target and some office supply store and purchase some of things when I arrive. Obviously, I won't have a dolly or hand truck!

    Any advice from parents who did the same?
  • calicali Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    Blucroo: We are also from SoCal with a daughter at Tufts. Definitely do the BB&B thing. Unfortunately our order was forwarded to a BB&B that was not particularly close to campus (and there is one). But it was a great way to do things. We also shipped boxes and picked them up at the Tufts mailroom which
    worked well. We did the rest of the shopping at Target and Costco once we arrived. My D was there early for a preorientation program so she was the only one moving into her dorm and we had to do it all ourselves. It is usually extremely hot and humid at that time of year so make sure and have plenty of water. They did have a couple of carts for moving big things which we used but if you are moving in at the same time as everyone else, might be hard to come by. Tool kit is a must.
  • tanmantanman Registered User Posts: 2,645 Senior Member
    Just another thing to add: Get there early on move-in day. When I moved in last year, I was housed in a temporary triple (3 people in a double room until they could move the 3rd person out). I got there first thing in the morning, so I got to move the furniture around a bit and pick the best bed (I didn't want a bunked bed), desk (one by the window) and closet space.
  • celloguycelloguy Registered User Posts: 661 Member
    tanman, that's an interesting approach, but I wonder if it's the best one. Isn't it conventional to wait for the roommates, discuss preferences, and then decide cooperatively on room arrangement? That's how it seems to be done among the women I've known.
This discussion has been closed.