Freshman 15: Tips for Moving Out


Moving out at the end of the semester can be an overwhelming task. There’s much to be done and a looming deadline, and how on earth is everything going to fit in the car?! Whether you’re about to move out of your living space for the school year or maybe your done, but you wish it had gone better, thinking through the process can help make it a more streamlined experience.

I shared my tips for move in day in the fall. Now, after two years of move outs and learning a few strategies along the way to help ease the process and stress of moving out, I am sharing a few move out tips. As always, I’d love to hear any tips you have, too!

Do not cart home what you know you do not want.
Before getting in full study mode for finals, check the university website and see if there is some place to donate items. Selling items is another option. I knew my desk hutch was too big for my desk the next year so I put it on a student resale Facebook page and arranged for pick up in front of my dorm.

If your school has a food pantry, it is a great place to drop off unused pantry items and toiletries. If not, try to find someone staying on campus during the summer. They would most likely be thrilled to have your surplus items.

Be considerate.
If you are the first to leave, make sure you take everything. Pretty self-explanatory, but once your car is full, it is easy to lose any enthusiasm for dealing with the odds and ends remaining in the room. I recommend you don’t assume someone else will want it just because you don’t. Communication is key and can save your roommate from work when they close the room.

Think strategically.
If you have fragile items that need a little protection, use your sheets or towels to wrap them. It serves a purpose and gets an item home without adding bulk. I packed my laundry hamper full of clothes, and storage cubbies filled to the brim with random items. Make sure to maximize your space in the car so that everything can fit.

Be prepared that moving out is an individual event.
Unlike the scheduled event of move in, everyone moves out at their own pace. If you have a Friday final, be prepared to see people moving out early in the week. Don’t lose your motivation because others are done early.  There will be plenty of time for packing after focusing on finals.

Be aware of deadlines.
If you need to be out by 10 a.m. Saturday, be out by 9. You most likely will require a room check and could have to wait for an RA’s or building manager's availability. Plus, this gives you a little buffer should any issues arise.

Make sure summer items are accessible.
Think about where your items will be during the summer. Will it be accessible? What clothes will you want to wear when you get home? Try to think and pack based on what you will need and how frequently you’ll need it once you get home.

If you have enough space, start packing early.
Whether it’s starting to box up date party costumes or throwing away the last of the snacks, try to prep for move out by making little efforts leading up to move out. By doing small tasks here and there, it will not take up too much time and help you feel like you’re making progress bit by bit.

What are your tips for a successful and smooth move out?

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