Getting Ahead of Move-Out Day: 4 Tips for Moving Out of Your College Dorms

Two students utilize tips for college move-out day by successfully moving out of their dorm.

Moving out of college can be a daunting process. So much emphasis is put on college move-in day that many students find themselves underestimating the work and preparation necessary to move out of school. Students must pack boxes, sort their belongings and throw out trash to ensure their dorm room looks the way it did when they moved in at the start of the semester. To make matters worse, move-out day typically falls right after finals week, a time when students are already stressed about exams. 

Move-out day can sneak up on you if you aren’t prepared for it or are preoccupied with your busy schedule. Since there is already so much studying and preparation needed for finals week, how can you successfully plan ahead and be ready for move-out day?

Here are four ways you can be ready for your college move-out day once your last tests are over.

1. Start planning early.

Think of move-out day as another school project. Mark it on your calendar and confirm your check out time with the housing department. This will give you a definite time, or a deadline, for moving out so you can plan accordingly.

Consider making a move-out to-do list to keep track of what needs to be done and check off what has been completed. This list will help you know how many moving boxes you need, which storage bins still need to be labeled, and what food items need to be used up or thrown away. Make sure to keep track of the items in your fridge by limiting what you’re buying and using up what you have so you don’t have to waste your cold items when it’s time to move out. 

2. Begin packing before finals.

Since finals week requires hours of studying and working on projects, try to pack before your tests begin. Studying should come first, but try to take a few minutes of your break time every day to start the move-out process.

Begin moving things out of your room and into your car that you won’t need during your last days on campus. Items that can be packed up early include dorm rugs, wall decorations, and extra towels and toiletries. Consider making a move-out section in your closet or in the corner of your room. You can even put on some of your favorite music or listen to a podcast to help the time go by. Simply choosing to start packing early will make life so much easier after you’re done test-taking.

3. Lighten the load.

You often accumulate more school supplies and food once you’ve settled in your dorm. Between new classes and store trips, new belongings can feel like clutter and easily make you feel overwhelmed. Whether you’re driving or flying home, consider ways that you can make the trip easier for yourself.

You can keep, sell or donate items you find in your dorm. If you’re graduating or returning to school, keep items that you can use at home or over summer break. Consider selling your textbooks or donating them to other students who need them. Make sure to throw out old food that will spoil on your trip, and donate clothes you no longer wear. You can also put your dorm essentials in storage if you won’t use them at home. Throwing out old food or sharing snacks with your friends will help to ensure that you have less items to pack and allow you to unplug your fridge early.

4. Seek help.

Exams are the biggest assignments in your semester, holding the most weight for your final grade. These final tests are enough to take up all of your attention toward the end of the school year. Since exam week can be stressful on its own, don’t worry about getting all of your things moved out of your dorm by yourself.

Your roommates and friends would likely love to help you if you ask them. Don’t be afraid to ask for help moving things to your car or sorting through your closet. If you have family in town, consider calling them to see if they have time to help. You can even grab some snacks and call your roommates to have a move-out party so you can all help each other organize.

While your college move-out day may seem daunting at first, you don’t have to face it alone. Stay calm and try not to panic or stress, and take small, daily steps toward your move-out goal. Then, you can enjoy the last weeks of your semester without having to rush through them. With thoughtful preparation and help from family and friends, you can move out with confidence knowing you finished your school year strong.