Moving to College with U-Pack


College Moving 101

Moving to campus is a big transition. You’re relocating to a new town, saying goodbye to family and friends, and navigating the responsibilities of living on your own. That’s a lot to handle — and you may even wonder where to begin — but don’t worry, we’ve got it covered. You worked hard to get to this point, so skip the stress and savor the experience. Use these tips to ace moving day and glide smoothly into your next chapter.

Questions to Ask before Moving to Campus

Before making plans, talk to the residence life office about their policies and procedures. Some questions to ask are:

  • How big is the dorm room?
  • Can I connect with my roommate beforehand?
  • Are there items I can’t bring with me?
  • Am I allowed to hang things on the walls?
  • When am I allowed to move in?
  • Will there be someone available to help me unload?
  • What about elevators, carts or dollies for moving in?
  • What type of moving equipment can I use (moving truck, moving container, multiple vehicles)?
  • Where can I park the moving equipment? Can I park it overnight?

With these questions answered, you can begin gathering things to take with you. If you’ll have a roommate, talk with them ahead of time about what you’re both bringing. This helps prevent doubling up on large items. Use this printable college packing list to make sure you don’t forget anything. Of course, buying things when you get there is an option — just keep in mind that stores can be busy. And, it’s common to see increased prices during college move-in week.

How to Pack Your College Essentials

You’re packing everything needed for at least one semester, so be strategic. Dorm rooms are notoriously small, which means there’s not much room to stack a lot of boxes for long. So, you’ll want to unpack quickly. The easiest way to do that is to think about unpacking as you pack. Group items together as you’ll need them, then pack and load in order of “last in, first out.” For example, pack things like décor first (since it’s not needed right away). Then pack things that go in drawers and storage areas, and finally, essentials like bedding and cleaning supplies. 

If you’ll be storing things in storage containers in your dorm, pack stuff into them for your move. Under-the-bed storage bins are great for moving shoes and bags. And plastic storage drawers are great for linens and school supplies. It’s also a good idea to pack your clothing into luggage (tip: use luggage pieces that nest together for optimal space saving). Think about saving space by bringing things that are compact or collapsible — like a smaller fan, a pop-up laundry basket and a mini ironing board.

Move-In Day Tips

Each university handles student moving differently. Some give a week-long spread date and allow you to move in whenever.  Others have specific days and times. Some even have upperclassmen help freshmen move in! Once you know what your campus has planned, use these tips to make the day go as smoothly as possible:

  • Find out the check-in procedure. Before you get to your room, you may need to collect keys and ID cards from the student services office.
  • Dress for the weather. If it’s warm outside, it will be even warmer inside, as doors will be open and air conditioning may be off.
  • Wear comfortable clothing. It’s not a time when you’ll have to think about dressing to impress.
  • Bring a doorstop and fan. These will  keep the room open as you carry things in and keep the air circulating.
  • Don’t bring lots of people. While you’ll definitely need (and want) help, try limiting to two. Invite others for a weekend visit once you’re settled.
  • Eat and stay hydrated. This can be a long day, and you want to keep your energy up!
  • Consider buying a cart or dolly. If the school doesn’t provide one, bring your own to cut trips from the parking lot to the room. You’ll be moving out and back in over and over during the next several years, so it can come in handy.
  • Don’t leave items unattended. While you’re back-and-forth between the car or moving equipment and your dorm, either lock everything up or have someone stay behind. Especially if you have things like a TV or computer equipment.
  • Stick to the schedule! If your school has welcome day activities, don’t skip them. It’s a great time to meet other students and get useful information.
  • Visit the bookstore. This a great time to stock up on supplies or wearable college gear, but wait to buy books. You’ll get a syllabus on the first day of class that will tell you what book(s) to buy. The professor may have extra books to purchase, or they may not require all the recommended books.

Tip: If there’s no set move-in day, choose a mid-week day, if possible. It will be less busy, and you’ll get closer parking.

Finding College Moving Companies

It’s not unusual for students to need help moving to college — especially if it’s a long-distance move. While truck rental is an option, there are some drawbacks, like paying for fuel and parking a big truck on a busy campus.

Many students choose U-Pack® for moving out of state for college. It’s an easy, affordable option whether you’re moving to (or from) a dorm, apartment complex or other off-campus housing.

Here’s how it works:

  • We deliver a ReloCube container to your home
  • You load it
  • We pick it up and drive to campus or any other housing
  • You unload
  • We pick up the empty equipment

The ReloCube is perfect for moving your stuff to college. It’s easy to load, fits into a standard parking space, and can hold the contents of a studio-size apartment. Need to move more? No problem. Reserve as many Cubes as you think you need, and pay only for the ones you use. Flexibility is just one way that U-Pack helps make student moving affordable. Find out how to move to college cheap here.

U-Pack Student Moving Options 

No matter where you’re moving from or to, U-Pack can help:

Shipping to College Dorms

Get your belongings to school without paying airline baggage fees or driving in a fully-packed vehicle. With U-Pack, you’re free to travel as you wish while your items are safely transported to campus. If your college doesn’t allow overnight moving container parking, ask about unloading at a nearby service center.

Moving to Off-Campus Housing

Need to get furniture and boxes to an apartment or rental house? We can help! In addition to the ReloCube containers, U-Pack offers a moving trailer option, where you pay only for the space you use. This lets you move as much as you need to college, while still getting an affordable price.

Moving after College

Whether you’re heading back home or going to a new city after graduation, U-Pack can get your stuff where it needs to be. With service in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico, we can help.

Adding Storage or Moving Labor

U-Pack offers storage right in the moving equipment — no need to unload into a storage unit and then reload it again. And if you need help loading or unloading, we can refer you to a network of experienced movers. Customize a move to meet your needs!

Get a College Moving Quote

Explore the options with a free moving quote. Get an instant quote online or by calling 844-362-5303844-594-3077.