Moving to Off-Campus HousingWhen you are a college student moving from your dorm room or your parents’ house to off-campus housing for the first time, the process can be daunting, to say the least. There are many different logistical aspects to consider, and in the past you probably have had someone make arrangements on your behalf. So here are some important steps in the process that you should focus on to make you move run smoothly:

  • Use a moving checklist. Making a checklist will help you to organize your time better. When you are running on a tight schedule it is very important not to miss anything.
    Make yourself a checklist in which you describe in details everything that needs to be done before, and after, your move. Put a time frame for every single job and then follow it precisely.
  • Start hunting for off-campus housing before the beginning of the school year – many students save their housing search for the weeks that proceed the first day of college classes. Big mistake. Leaving this hunt to the last minute means there is far more competition to find a place to live. Instead, find a rental property when summer begins, and store your items somewhere like Texas storage. If you cannot afford to pay for the property before the beginning of the school year, or you don’t intended to live there, you have the option of finding someone to sublet the property.
  • Inspect the property – unfortunately, college students have to fight against the stigma that they’re young, immature, and oblivious to life’s tricks (and in this case, when moving into a new house). Inspecting a house before you move in is crucial to a manageable year, and we’re not talking about “is the carpet clean” or “does the laundry machine work.” Inspect how cold it is at night, how warm it is during the day. Pay close attention to broken or damaged items like appliances, windows, even the structure of the house. The savvy resident will make a documented list of everything in disrepair so that they’re not left with a $1000 dollar repair bill on their last day.
  • Decide what you need to bring – once you move to your off-campus housing location, decide whether that will be your permanent home base or if you will use it as your secondary residence. That will help you determine what you should take with you. If your new residence has limited storage, you can rent a storage space to store the things that you don’t need on a day-to-day basis. If you plan to return to your parents’ house often, then you can also leave some things there.
  • Leave any unnecessary items. Avoid moving anything that you don’t really need. Give items you don’t need to a friend or sell them, but avoid moving them if they are useless. Probably if you don’t need them now, you most likely won’t use them later either. Plus, if you have some old clothes or books you can give them to charity. This way you will save a lot of your valuable time and most importantly, you will do something good.
  • Packing Supplies. Get proper packing supplies from your mover. Most of the movers offer packing supplies at additional cost, but get the proper packing supplies. Yes, it will cost extra, but you will have the proper boxes and supplies and you will save a lot of time and further troubles. Take good care of all your belongings. The most important is to transport them safely.
  • Pack your belongings room by room. Pack on a room-by-room basis will eliminate a confusion and save a lot of time when you’re unpacking. When you have to pack yourself everything packing room by room will significantly ease the whole job. Start with belongings that you use rarely and leave the most often used items for last.
  • Use the A-B-C system. You don’t need to unpack everything right away after you have moved, so it’s a good idea to use the a-b-c system to label your moving boxes. Simply write “a” on the boxes that you need to unpack immediately after you’ve moved and “c” on the boxes that can wait. Using that simple system will help you to unpack much quickly after you have moved to your new apartment or house.
  • Label you boxes carefully. It’s essential to label all of your boxes the right way. Be sure to write on each box what exactly you have put in it. It will be quite hard for you to find out everything when you have 50 boxes that look like pretty much the same. Felt pens are superb solution for labeling boxes. Write information such as their contents, destination room, fragile or this side up. It is a good idea to make a master list, so you’ll know what is in each box.
  • Start packing early. Of course the best way to avoid problems and stress is to start packing early. Moving is a very stressful time, so start packing two or three weeks earlier if you can.
  • Use a portable storage container to move large items – a portable storage container is convenient for moving large items that cannot be transported using a traditional-sized car. A lot of companies offer these portable containers, which are also convenient since items can be gradually packed away – something that cannot be accomplished when using a moving truck. Ideal for students with sedans and smaller cars.
  • Ask friends for help – even if you have a low moving budget as a college student, you can make the process affordable by asking friends or family to help with the physical moving process. You probably have a friend with a truck – call them up! Moving into an off-campus house is great because everyone else is doing it, and you’ll have a better chance of finding help because people are expecting it. Don’t be afraid to gather some friends for some move-in assistance (that TV isn’t going to move itself) – just be sure to buy your friends lunch for they hard work.

Whether you are moving belongings directly to your new off-campus home or into self storage units, you can save on the cost of hiring a professional mover. Instead, order a pizza, get some cold drinks, and offer your services to friends who need moving help in the future as well. Remember: what goes around comes around.