Tips for Moving to University or College

Tips for Moving to University or College

Heading off to school is always an extremely exciting time for students, especially for those who are leaving home for the first time. This time can also be a stressful one as students and parents try to navigate the transition. We know that students are probably at least a little anxious about leaving the familiar behind and starting a new school year. We also know that parents are equally concerned about doing everything they can to help their kids adapt and become more independent. With all of this worrying, move-in day will creep up on you sooner than you think! We’re here to make sure you know how best to prepare for your kid’s move into university or college. In today’s blog, we wanted to provide some moving day packing tips for those families helping a student move away from home for the first time. Remember that preparing yourself in advance of the big move will help you get through it hiccup-free so you are not overwhelmed and can actually focus on the experience of moving your kid to school. 

Research Campus Packing List and Policies

If your son or daughter is moving into residence, the university or college should provide you or them with information leading up to moving day. Make sure you read any emails or bulletins about campus move-in day so you can ease any worry about not knowing what to expect. Since a good start to any type of move is to be prepared and organized, we highly recommend doing your research well in advance of moving day. In light of COVID-19, we know most on-campus tours were not happening this year but some campuses have virtual tours of their residences instead! Look into anything and everything that will help you and your student feel comfortable come move-in day. Make sure you know if there are a certain date and time for you to make the move and follow any guidelines about specific parking lots or areas that you can use throughout the day. A huge tip is to ensure that you look up and familiarize yourself with any campus rules about what items are prohibited before you start packing.

Create a Checklist

Most universities and colleges will provide sample packing checklists on their websites that are great starting points that you can customize for your kid’s needs. These checklists are also sometimes specific to each room or residence style as well because different room types will require different packing lists. Your student may have gotten to select a preference between (or was otherwise assigned to) a single, double, triple, quad, or suite-style rooms. Here are some links to examples in the Cambridge and surrounding area: University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Guelph, McMaster University, and Conestoga College. If your son or daughter is going to a school outside of the Cambridge area, just do a quick google search of “*school name* packing list” to see what is available. Use these as starting points and add or delete any items to suit your child’s specific needs or wants. Plan a shopping trip with your son or daughter to make sure they have everything they will need to get them through the first few weeks of school.

Gather Packing Supplies

Student move-in day is normally a bit chaotic both in terms of packing and unpacking so do your best to make the process as smooth as possible. With any university or college move, it’s a given that you’ll need storage of various sizes that are sturdy enough to get through the busy day. If you aren’t renting a moving truck or using a larger vehicle, things can get a bit cramped. We recommend packing the essentials first to see how much room you will have for any other less necessary or decorative items. It’s also helpful to think about what carrying bags or storage containers you will be leaving behind. Bringing a laundry hamper? Pack some clothes in it. Does your student need a backpack? Perfect spot for school supplies. Are you packing some type of container for food or bathroom essentials? Put everything it will need to store in it for the move. Essentially, make use of any container, bags, or boxes that you plan to leave behind for your student to keep their belongings throughout the year and to travel to and from home with. Leaving these storage items behind will also help your son or daughter keep their room clean and organized throughout the year.

Pack to Unpack

We often are reminding clients of this golden rule. Do yourself a favour and pack everything in a way that your future self can easily unpack. The chaotic and emotional atmosphere of move-in day is overwhelming enough without the added stress of unorganized unpacking. Try not to overpack boxes to the point where they are too heavy or awkward to lift. Always make sure you pack similar items together so that you can unpack boxes one at a time without moving around too much. We also recommend packing some tools (like scissors, tape, screwdriver, and hammer) to make some adjustments to your students’ new space if you need to. Try to pack your vehicle so that the heavier and more important items will be unpacked first, while the more decorative items can be unpacked last. Hopefully your son or daughter chose a campus with a helpful orientation team full of upper-year students that can help you carry things and guide you in the right direction to make the unpacking process even less stressful.

We hope these tips come in handy for any parents helping a student move into college or university this fall. Want more moving tips and advice? Never hesitate to contact our team with any questions you might have about the moving process. Whether you’re moving a student, an office space, or your family home, choosing Deluxe Moving & Storage for your next move is the best thing you can do to ensure a safe and healthy moving experience for you and your loved ones. Learn more about our moving services and packing services that will give you peace of mind when moving. To start your stress-free moving process, give us a call at 519-212-3023, send us a message at, or fill out our FREE, no-obligation quote form. We can help make your move easier and safer, leave the work to us!

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