Are you nervous about moving into your dorm or apartment for the fall semester? Moving out of your parents’ house and into a new, unfamiliar environment can be stressful for anyone. Here are some simple tips you can use to help ease the transition from home life to dorm/apartment life.
DO try to find out the floor plan of your new place ahead of time. Often, both dorms and apartments will allow you to take a tour of a room before you move in, and there will almost always be a picture or description listed on the website (or brochure, flyer, etc) of the place you’ll be living. Knowing how much space you have to work with ahead of time will make you more prepared for when you have to start packing.
DON’T be afraid to decorate! It’s easy to express yourself and showcase your individuality by decorating your space (check out Debra’s article on pretty plants for your dorm room!). This is where you’ll be living for the next year so why not make it a place where you WANT to live? I did a lot of decorating in my dorm freshman year, and it really helped me to pick a color scheme (for my bedding, curtains, etc) and stick with it.
DON’T forget to bring appliances. Things like microwaves, coffee pots and mini fridges are definitely things that you will want to have in your dorm room but they usually aren’t provided for you. Check with your dorm to see what you can and cannot bring. Before I moved into my dorm, I talked with my roommate and we decided to split up the things we needed to buy (she bought the microwave, I bought the mini fridge).
DO bring enough storage bins/shelves to hold all of your things. It may sound silly now, but it’s a very common mistake people make. I had a problem where I didn’t have enough shelf space for my books, and that could have easily been fixed by buying a small, portable shelving unit like this one from Target. Also, your closet may seem big when you move in, but keep in mind that you will be sharing it with someone else. Closet organizers can be huge space savers (check out this one, also from Target!)
DON’T stress out too much. A little stress can be a good motivator (especially when it comes to packing), but it can easily get out of hand. If you start to feel like it’s all too much, take a deep breath and remember 2 things: 1) everyone else who will be living in the dorms with you is in the same boat, and 2) move-in day is going to come whether you’re ready or not, so why not be ready?
No matter what year in school you are or where you’re planning on moving, it can be a little scary! Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and ask your friends or floor-mates for organizing advice. Who knows, maybe you can help eachother unpack!
Alli is a Biomedical Laboratory Diagnostics junior at Michigan State University. When she isn’t spending time with friends and family or on the sidelines of an MSU football game, she can always be found playing with her dogs!