Fall dorm move-in vs. Spring move-out

@NorthernMom61 I would definitely send those parents a gift card for a dinner out, a bottle of wine, or something along those lines. They are very gracious to do that. And you are right to be sure your D is packed in advance. Maybe also suggest that she vacuum the room in advance (that is a help, trust me).

I’m following along too…first real move-out. And we will be on a time crunch.

I have been through it with all 3 of my kids. My daughter (oldest) always had SO MUCH STUFF, but most of the time she was organized and ready for move-out. Her freshman year she had to be out a couple hours after her last final so my husband and I went down (2 hours away) the weekend before and took most of her stuff home, and left a car. My middle son was a very light packer and extremely organized. He was always ready when I went to pick him up and it never too more than 2 trips up and down to get everything in the car. We drove 6 hours to pick up #3 (son). When we arrived his dorm was a disgusting mess and he had not packed a thing. We just threw everything in the car. There was a giant pile of stuff in the lobby that people were “donating”.

Moving out was much, much worse and took much longer than moving in.
After my son’s freshman year, because my husband was sick that day, I ended up driving the 4 hours to pick up my son, planning on being able to quickly pack the car, turn around, and make the return trip.
First, my son wasn’t ready and still doing some packing.
Second, many of the kids on his floor had early flights (my son had a later final project deadline), ditched stuff, and flew out. Signs had been posted that all refuse needed to be brought to the dumpsters, but the majority of his floor just dropped the garbage off by the elevators. If it was left there, residents of the floor would be billed for the personnel cost of moving it to the dumpsters. My son, his one remaining floormate, and I probably made two dozen trips with other people’s garbage/recycling in order to avoid the fees.
It was 85 degrees and humid; there was no AC in the dorm.
It was miserable.
A planned-on 9-hour day took 12.

The hardest part about moving out is that kids seem to underestimate the time it takes to clean up and to formally check out. I didn’t help my D1 move home any semester except when she graduated. D2 was in town and was almost harder since she thought she could just drop by with some stuff over exams. So she never really packed anything and ended up with lots of little bags and boxes and waited til the bitter end to leave for good and then underestimated how much was left and clean up time for the campus apartment- and had to work around other girls leaving. Thankfully they were all good kids, and there were usually extra guys around to haul stuff down from 3rd story walkup.

^^^ I may have opted for the fees in that situation. Depends how much they were.

Move in: Well organized. Set move in times. Upperclass students set up to help freshmen move into dorms. Everyone is excited, scared, sad but mostly it’s exciting and new. We go home and house seems kind of empty.

Move out: Kid has been studying for finals. Last final is the day of move out. Everyone is trying to get out at the same time. Very rudimentary packing so we have to pack things up before we can load. We can’t find the RA and D wants to meet with some friends before we leave and some friends are unavailable so she is a little surly. When we get home the house explodes with all of the stuff brought home from the dorm.

It’s still great to get them home:)

Move-in was really easy because D’s university had volunteers who helped. You pulled up your car and then didn’t have to lift a finger until everything was already in the dorm room. Some cleaning was required (the dorm room was clean but not “mom clean”), but not much. For move-out, you have to do it all on your own, and there is 9 months of accumulated stuff and mess to deal with and clean up. How much that amounts to, of course, varies by student. And the kids don’t have a lot of time to spend packing and cleaning because finals are right before move-out.

All of that said, I helped my daughter move in, but she has always moved herself out, so while move-out was much more difficult and time consuming for her, it was easier for me. When she lived in the dorms, she rented a storage unit for summer for things she wouldn’t need until she returned to school. That helped with things fitting in the car, but involved an extra step on each end of the process. Once she moved off-campus, she stayed in the same off-campus apartment for two years, so no move-out/storage was required after the first year. There’s a lot to be said for choosing your off-campus apartment wisely and staying there for the duration.

Not to unduly anger anyone here, but this is just one of the realities you live with when your kid is at a LAC w/ the majority of it paid by scholarship and other students are able to pay full fare (and apparently rather easily, at that). My son was blunt: “I don’t want to pay through the nose for rich kids’ garbage.”

Mine is going to manage the move out on her own because we live on the opposite coast from her school. She is staying on campus after her finals are done so she will have time to pack up. She needs to coordinate earlier with the school’s storage facilities to confirm that everything will fit where it needs to.

Wow, after reading all this I’m very inclined to call in a favor and bring an extra pair of hands with us, my sister (who is very organized and efficient with packing) It doesn’t help that we have a big family wedding the day before and won’t be getting home from it until at least midnight. We’re a 3 hour drive from the school and if we leave at 10, get there at 1, take 4 hours for the move-out, and then leave at 5 PM that gets us home by 8 and ready to collapse. Yes, I think I do need the extra pair of hands! And I was thinking of not bringing S’18 but he’s our “pack mule” (a big strong 15 year old) so maybe we do need him.

@CADREAMIN thanks for the upside-down bag tip, we brought a U-haul wardrobe box for move-in but they take up loads of space! Even in a minivan with the 3rd row folded flat it was crowded.

At least D’s dorm has an elevator and a sizable parking lot right outside. It’s not a very big building and around 1/4 of the students are international so don’t have loads and loads of stuff.

@twoinanddone I asked her to check about scheduling move-out time with the RA but she says that’s not a thing at her school. I hope she’s right!

@Bekp2018 what a miserable story, stinks that you got left holding the bag and doing everyone else’s cleanup.

Reading all the heat stories makes me relieved that the forecast for her college town on move-out day is a high of 67 and cloudy. It’s only 43 there right now!

One wrinkle in this is that D is actually staying for Monday and Tuesday after we take almost all her stuff. She’s coming home on Friday for the big wedding on Saturday but still has her last finals on Monday and Tuesday. So she has to take a break and come home in the middle of finals! But she has only 3 finals and can do her own last vacuuming before she leaves.

It was my SIL who is the mother of the groom at the big wedding we’re attending who first alerted me to the difficulty of move-out. We were originally planning to do it on Friday but she told me not to think of doing it the day before the wedding. She has 3 grown kids and moans about the 12 times they went through it.

I going out four days early to help D pack. She and a couple of friends want to share a summer storage unit - I hear that the stepfather of one friend is helping with the search. Hopefully she will have a storage unit ready by the time I get out there but if not, well, that’s why I’m going out so early. Then we fly back. One way or another, all she’s taking back home is a suitcase, computer in a backpack.

First move-out experience will be in the next few weeks - due to his dad’s Nat’l Guard obligations, we are driving the 12+ hours to get his stuff the weekend before finals. A gazillion hours driving with my ex, my teenager daughter, AND the hassle of move out - wow, dream weekend :wink: I am having a really hard time remembering my own college move-out experiences - I suspect this may be due to the same factors that make us block out enough of the experience of giving birth to be willing to do the whole thing more than once.

Move in was great, though.

My ex and I did move-in together, and it went OK…but I’m kind of glad I am doing move-out just with her, though it sounds like an extra pair of hands would come in handy…

I forgot last year’s move out where my daughter was the last one out of a 6 person apartment and the other girls left everything in the common kitchen and just bailed. The RA was nice enough to bring my daughter and I giant garbage bags and we just chucked everything out - food in the fridge, cabinets, freezer, pots, pans, dishes, etc. What a disaster.

We just went to kid 1 to start moving her stuff out. We will be up there in another two weeks to finish moving her out. We went up there with a bunch of duffle bags. We drove several hours, warned her in advance that she should pack as much as possible, and when we got there…she hands us one bag and says that’s it. Um…no. We went back in and brought home several bags. We use a combination of duffle bags and large garbage bags. She is going to have to clean the apartment (they are off campus). Last year her house mate left a mess and everybody got billed for it.

Kid 2 moves out next week. She is too far to make a trip ahead of time. Kid 2 is a slob and I anticipate a lot of stress. Once again we will be using duffle bags, large garbage bags, and possibly some other type of bag that she has there now. The school sent home some information about storage. Evidently you can pay to store your stuff there for the summer. We did not do that- but she can store some stuff at her friend’s house if she wants to. I doubt she will, which means she and dad will be packing up. He is getting there just as finals are ending- there will be no time to pack before he arrives. She has a shelf really high up- we got her a step ladder. Not quite sure what they are going to do with it. I am finding kid 2’s move to be much harder just because of the distance. They have to remember to clean the suite and shut off the AC. When they came home for Thanksgiving they were written up because they forgot to turn it off.

It is frustrating that in many cases the college requires kids to move out 24 hours or so after their last exam. So who can really expect them to do much organization and packing before they’re done, and they are usually in desperate need of sleep during some fraction of that time.

I go tomorrow to help my freshman D move out. She has to be out 24 hours after last final and she brought WAY too much stuff in August. AND has acquired more stuff during the year. She is so stressed about sorting what will be stored and what we need to take home for summer. She keeps texting with questions. When I called, she said she has studying to do. I stopped her in her tracks - “Studying is #1 priority!” I’ll be there for 48 hours. I’m hoping that’s enough time to pack up and clean. I’m also hoping she’ll purge and we can donate some stuff. Should be a fun 48 hours after traveling across the country. I’m expecting a total mess! Bonding, right?

I’m having a hard time understanding how it can take more than 2-3 hours to move stuff from a dorm room into a car, assuming the car can be parked within a block or two of the dorm. Well, ok I guess if you have to move a fridge and there’s no elevator, but the rest of it?

Amazon should have a storage business for their customers because my daughter got a LOT of stuff from them during her freshman year. They made it way too easy for D to get stuff in the middle of cornfields of the midwest.