The challenges of moving as a single person, for example, can often prove to be more difficult in their own ways than what you would come to expect from a large family move—the latter, too, holds down many of its own unique challenges that can make it seem more difficult than the former for those in the midst of it.
However, what about the difficulties of moving that are involved when you’re a young adult student in the midst of college? Whether you’re a commuting student, live around campus, or otherwise, you can expect the act of moving between semesters (or even worse, in the midst of one) to be an arduous task when it first becomes presented to you. In general, college students will find that ensuring a safe and crisis free move along the way requires a considerable amount of planning—not an easy task for those already mired with a range of other responsibilities.
We know how hard it can be to fit a move into your tight student schedule more than anyone! Below, we’ve compiled a moving timeline that covers a range of key factors over the course of weeks leading up to your final moving date. If you make the effort to follow along as things from your move begin to kick off, you’ll be making marked, measurable amounts of progress towards your moving day before you even know it.
Six Weeks Prior to Moving:
- Confirm any needed moving services: This won’t come easy if you put it off. While there may be a range of tasks involved with your move that you can very well handle on your own, you will still need to account for those factors that you can’t. Have any large furniture or similar items that require an extra body or two? If it goes beyond getting the help of a friend, hiring a moving company is probably one of the best things you can do to get the job done stress free.
- Confirm your dorm/student lodging: You’ll want to begin confirming your near future living situation as soon as you kick things off. It’s recommended that you reach out to your university or college to confirm that you were approved (if you registered for a dorm) and what you’ll need to know for your check in process. Or…
- …alternately, decide an on off-campus housing option: If staying in a dorm isn’t quite your style, you will still want to look into any off campus options as soon as possible. If you’re strapped for possibilities, many schools tend to feature a variety of recommended off-campus apartment complexes and neighborhoods as guidance.
- Lighten your overall load: Whether it’s a dorm or a four room apartment, you’ll quickly find your share of junk or other unused items that are essentially just taking up valuable space in your current place. The beginnings of your moving timeline make for the perfect opportunity to focus on getting rid of much of these items. In addition, doing away with any unused items now will mean that you’ll have considerably less to worry about when accounting for moving expenses and space at your new place.
- Compile a moving binder: Getting started on the right foot with your move means staying organized right from the get go. If you hadn’t considered doing so yet, you will want to put together some sort of folder, binder, notebook or the like to track aspects of your move along the way. This can prove to be a highly effective way to keep from forgetting major steps along the way, losing track of certain items during the transition, and much more.
Four Weeks Prior to Moving:
- Know how much you can spend: Any moving services you may plan on needing and using won’t do any good if you can’t successfully factor them into your budget! This week is the perfect time to put together the beginnings of a personal budget to account for any amount of money you plan on investing.
- Plan for the very immediate future: How soon will you be moving? In the event that your new place isn’t move-in ready by the time that you leave your former place, you may need to arrange for temporary lodging accommodations while you wait. Whether it’s staying with a nearby friend or simply reserving a room somewhere, you’ll want to have a contingency plan once you’ve moved out.
- Decide on what stays and goes: Having a good feel for your upcoming living space is crucial. Like it or not, student living tends to be somewhat cramped, and it’s generally not possible to cram everything into a place and still have it be livable.
- Plan on a pickup time for your keys: College moves tend to be unique in that you’ll generally need to have the keys to your place ready upon arrival—a realtor won’t be waiting for you to get you set up. Whether it’s a dorm of an apartment’s maintenance department, you’ll need to set up a time in advance to go pick up your keys before you’ll be set to move in.
Three Weeks Prior to Moving:
- Take on baby steps for packing: Much of the difficulty in packing is simply getting started. At this point, you’ll want to begin by packing away some of the easier areas of your place—items you’re not using, spaces that are generally just used for storage, etc. The sooner you get these things into boxes, the more open your schedule will be for tackling the rooms and furniture that are truly important.
- Do a donation run: Do you have any items in good condition that you plan on throwing out? What about food items that won’t make it during a long distance move? If you end up with a considerable amount of anything, look into making a quick donation run along the way. It’s a painless way to lighten your load and will usually help a few people out.
- Update your address: A number of different offices and organizations may need to be informed of your change in address in order to ensure that the upcoming semester goes smoothly. Making sure to plan your upcoming change of address accordingly will ensure that nothing gets left behind.
- Do a supply run: Do you have the basics prepped by now? Duct tape, boxes, the list goes on—do what you can as early as possible to make things easier on yourself, and consider scouring local hot spots for cheap (or even free) boosts to your arsenal of packing supplies.
Two Weeks Prior to Moving:
- Confirm a moving date: Your move should be coming along at this point, and that means it needs a definitive end point to begin planning around. If you don’t have a set moving date, make confirming one your top priority.
- Start seriously packing: While it may seem too early at this point, we promise it’s far from it. Packing properly takes some serious time, and you’re going to want to get started as soon as you can to ensure that it doesn’t end up causing any massive all-nighters or similar difficulties.
- Roommate(s)? Meet and greet: Student living can often mean living with someone you barely know, or better yet, don’t even know at all. Breaking the ice early can make for an easier transition, especially when it comes to setting up your new place.
- Go in on shared supplies: From TVs to cleaning supplies, strategically splitting up whose things to use can be one of the most effective (and important) ways to make a living space as functional as it can be.
One Week Prior to Moving:
- Deactivate any utilities, etc.: Don’t underestimate the importance of this step. If there are any necessary arrangements to make to ensure that utilities and other functions are handled when you leave, you should focus on doing this now.
- Stay organized: If you haven’t already, now makes for the perfect time to remain consistent and organized through the meat of your move by devising a simple labeling or coloring system across your packed goods.
- Reach out to your movers: It will provide a good deal of peace of mind (and ensure nothing negative pops up last-minute) to reach out to your movers and ensure one last time that things are all set.
- Do a final sweep: You can never be too careful! Before you’re ready to wrap things up and roll out, you’ll want to review every single aspect of your move and ensure that nothing was forgotten during the rush.