For years you will schedule your life around moving your student into and out of the residence halls. It can be a stressful time. For first-time students, it's a big adjustment, figuring out their place in a sea of people. And it'll be an adjustment for you and your family, not having your student at home anymore. Move in day is just the start.

Move-in day

Here are some tips to help make move-in day as stress-free as possible:

  • Watch the mail for move-in information. This will tell you when to arrive, so you can plan accordingly. You'll receive a map telling you where to park and unload. Be prepared, you may need to move your car once you've unloaded it.
  • Before moving in, make sure your student talks to their roommate. That way they can share the big ticket items for the room. Rooms may not be big enough for duplicates of these items.
  • Give yourself time. You'll want to have enough time to unpack and help your student arrange a little. Leave the final decorating to your student and his roommate. They are the ones who have to live in the room, after all. Take time to get to know your student's roommate and their family.
  • Invest in a small handcart. This will make the whole process a little easier (plus it helps when it's time to move out, too).
  • Be patient. Lots of people will be trying to do the same thing all at once. A little patience goes a long way in this situation.
  • Stay hydrated throughout the day, especially if the sun is beating down. Bring along your own water in case campus vending machines run dry.

If you are traveling along distance, you might want to book a room at a local hotel. Move-in day is a long one and you want to be well rested for the drive home.

Move-out day

Moving out is not quite as stressful since not everyone leaves at the same time. However, remember it will be an adjustment for your student to leave his friends for the entire summer. And then there's all that stuff to pack.

  • Find out when your student needs to move out. Many schools require students to leave within 24 hours of their last final.
  • Encourage them to bring home things at the Spring or Easter break that they no longer need, such as heavy sweaters and blankets, old books and more.
  • Leave enough time to clean the room adequately. Otherwise, your student could incur a room cleaning charge.
  • Invest in a few plastic containers for last minute packing. These can easily be re-used for next year's move-in process. Plus they will stack and store easily at home over the summer.

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