7 Tips To Make Moving Out Of Your Dorm Room Less Stressful

THANK GOD THE SEMESTER IS OVER. I cannot tell you how many times I want to scream this from the rooftop and put it all over Twitter. It has been a wild semester and frankly I’m about ready to pack up and go home. Don’t worry, this post won’t be a rant about how dreadful these last five months have been. I promise, I’m going to tell you something useful. I’m actually going to talk about one of the most-stressful, most-hated, most-parents-yelling-at-you-because-your-stress-is-making-them-stressed times of the school year: move out day.

Move out day isn’t really a day, per se. You just move out of your dorm room after you take your last final exam, so this day is different for everyone. Move out day is usually less hectic than move-in day because on move-in day there are thousands of students moving in all at once. Last summer, I actually wrote a blog post on how to make move-in day less stressful and lots of people really liked it, so be sure to check that post out if you have the time and aren’t stressing about the end of the semester. And if you are reading this to procrastinate studying for any remaining final exams, I don’t want to take up too much of your time, so here are my tips for moving out of your dorm smoothly.

1. Have your parents pick up non-necessities.

Over the course of the semester, you probably accumulated a lot of unnecessary items because in January you convinced yourself that you just needed a Keurig to make hot chocolate (ahem, me) and in March you had to take advantage of the massive online shoe sale. If you live close enough to campus that your parents don’t have to take a plane to see you, arrange to have them pick up a few things from your room. The other day, I sent my TV, a couple of storage bins and a whole lot of shoes back home with my parents. Items like these make a huge difference when packing. This will relieve the stress of trying to get everything to fit in your car.

2. Arrange a designated time to move out.

Figure out a time that works for you and your parents, especially if they work. Moving out doesn’t take all day, but it can take up a significant amount of time. If your mom has to be at work by 5pm, don’t arrange to start moving your things at 3pm because chances are, you won’t have enough time, and that’ll stress everyone out.

3. Pack as much as you can the night before.

All your clothes should be in your suitcase. Your mini fridge should be de-frosted and cleaned. All your books and desk items should be packed. Don’t wait until your parents arrive to begin putting things in boxes. I like to have everything packed and ready and moved into the living room the night before just to get it all out of my way.

4. Communicate with your parents.

This is honestly one of the easiest ways to ensure nobody stresses out over moving out. Your parents may not understand the moving process as well as you do, so you need to get them up to speed so everyone’s informed and aware of the next steps. This is especially important if your school makes you follow strict move-out procedures. Make sure they understand everything that has to happen every step of the way. They can also help you better if they know what you need to do.

5. Have your parents bring a hand cart. 

I have been using my dad’s hand cart to move in and out of my dorm room since freshman year, and, let me tell you, I don’t know how things would’ve gone without it. Hand carts help you save on the number of trips to and from your car. I can usually stack a couple of things on the hand cart and roll them through the hallway — it’s just so much easier! You can probably borrow a hand cart from your residence hall, but they often have limited quantities, so be aware of this.

6. Toss anything that can be thrown out. 

I hate bringing a binder full of lecture notes home because 1) it’ll weigh my bags down and 2) I don’t have any room for them at home. If you know there’s a really good chance you won’t need notes for a certain class in the future, just throw them out. Save the pages you think are most important and burn the rest of it. I’m kidding, don’t burn anything, but feel free to fling them in the dumpster.

7. Donate any untouched, non-perishable items.

Lots of residence halls tell students that anything left over will either be thrown out or donated. My building leaves boxes in the lobby for students to donate anything they no longer want. This can include clothing, canned food items that weren’t eaten, and dorm items that were gently used. When I moved out last year, I dropped off a whole bunch of extra items that I knew I didn’t want to have to deal with when leaving campus. This year, I’m probably going to end up donating non-perishable mac and cheese cups that I haven’t touched and other items. It’s a good way to save space in the car while helping others.

What are your tips for making move out day run smoothly? 

Related: 13 Things Not Allowed In Your Dorm Room And What To Bring Instead