10 Best Tips for College Move-In Day

Advice for a successful move to campus 

Moving to college is a big event whether you're a first-time freshman or a returning student. With so many people moving in at the same time it's easy to get overwhelmed. But don’t stress! U-Pack® moving experts have gathered the best tips for move-in day. 

Still need to pack? Check out our ultimate college packing list

A college student carries a plastic bin into the dorm on college move-in day.


Top 10 tips for college move-in day 

Here’s what to do to keep everything going smoothly: 

Enlist some helpers 

If the university doesn’t offer other students or staff to help with moving in, try to get some help on your own. Hire movers, ask your parents or other family members, or offer to help other students in exchange for their help.  

Pro tip: Having a rolling cart or a folding dolly with bungee cords or straps is helpful for larger loads. 

Dress for the day 

Wear comfortable, older clothing and shoes appropriate for the weather conditions since there will be many trips to and from the car or moving equipment. The last thing you want is to snag or stain a favorite outfit or trip in new shoes. 

Follow check-in procedures  

Most colleges set moving times to keep down traffic jams. Arrive on time for check-in — showing up too early or late will just cause longer wait times for everyone. Make sure you understand where to collect keys or pay any deposits. If you’re not sure, ask someone! Colleges typically have staff on-hand to answer questions on move-in day. 

Be considerate 

A little kindness goes a long way. Hold open doors and don’t hog the elevator. Avoid blocking stairs, doorways and parking lot exits while unloading. 

Stay hydrated 

Even in cooler weather, it’s possible to overheat. Make sure you and any helpers drink plenty of water to keep from getting dehydrated. And don’t forget to eat! You’ll need energy to get through the day. 

Choose the shortest route 

The shortest route to your room might not be the front door. Once you’ve found the room, look for closer exits, elevators or stairwells to shorten trips. Many dorms open all doors while students are moving in to limit congestion in the hallways. 

Use a fan and doorstop 

Fans and doorstops are super important for move-in day. With outside doors constantly opening (or staying propped open), the inside of the building can get uncomfortable quickly. Set up a box fan in the room right away to keep the air flowing and use a doorstop under the room door to make it easier to drop off things. 

Protect valuables 

Make sure to keep an eye on things like appliances, laptops, phones and other valuable items while unloading to keep them safe.  

Unpack last 

It’s best to unpack after everything is in the room so you’re not taking too much time to complete the unloading process.  


You’ve earned it! You’re moved in and ready for a new adventure. Honor the occasion by going out to eat or touring campus with family or friends. If you’re alone, reach out to other students or attend any welcome activities to get ready for the year. 

Need help with your move? 

U-Pack® is a self-moving company that specializes in long-distance moves. Request a free quote online or give us a call at 844-362-5303844-594-3077 to speak to one of our helpful moving consultants. 

Learn more about student moving with U-Pack