The wait is over; it's time to move to college. Leaving behind the comforts of home in favor of a cramped dorm room might seem exciting, but it's also can be challenging. The small space in your dorm room and the hectic pace of the traditional college move-in day means you need a strategy for the move. With efficient packing and a support team to help with the move, you'll be ready to set up your new living space with minimal stress and hassles.

Find Out What's Available

The key to packing for college is keeping it simple. With such a small living space, you can't bring everything you own. Before you prepare to move, find out what's waiting for you in your new home. In a dorm, you'll probably have a bed, dresser and desk waiting for you. If you have a roommate, check with her to coordinate what you're bringing. You won't likely have room for two couches in the space, for example. Start with the basics on move-in day. You can always bring more items the next time you visit home.

Know the Rules

College move-in day is hectic and crowded, so you want to know what to do. Read through the material provided by the college so you know when and where you should go. You'll likely need to check in at your dorm before you start unloading your belongings. Check on parking restrictions and rules for move-in day so you know what to expect. Many colleges offer move-in help from volunteers if you don't have a lot of muscle helping you.

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Pull Double Duty With Containers

Putting your belongings inside containers protects them during the move. You also decrease the chance of losing something when it's all packed away neatly. Plastic tubs with lids or plastic drawer sets are inexpensive and are reusable for storage in the dorm. Reusable moving containers also mean you won't have a bunch of cardboard boxes to throw away after you move. Pack the containers with similar items together to make unpacking easier. Label the containers with a piece of tape or label sticker for better organization.

Be Prepared

Having the comforts of home is likely your priority, but being prepared with tools and other helpful extras smooths the move-in process. A screwdriver, hammer, wrench, nails and screws come in handy for assembling a loft for your bed or fixing wobbly furniture. Get your own set of tools you can keep at college in case you need to make other repairs during the school year. The clothes you wear on move-in day are also an important part of being prepared. You'll likely get dirty and sweaty before the end of the day. Wear cool, sweat-wicking clothes and comfortable shoes with closed toes. Pack snacks for energy and water for hydration in case you can't break away at meal time.

About the Author

Based in the Midwest, Shelley Frost has been writing parenting and education articles since 2007. Her experience comes from teaching, tutoring and managing educational after school programs. Frost worked in insurance and software testing before becoming a writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education with a reading endorsement.