Ultimate Moving to College Checklist

Ultimate Moving to College Checklist

Young girl moving to college with the help of her father

Moving away from home for the first time can be an overwhelming task. How will you maximize storage space? What kind of furniture is needed? How will you fit everything in your car? Use this college moving checklist for students to ensure you don’t forget anything essential in giving you the best possible experience!

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Tips For Moving To College

It may be hard to figure out a place to start when packing up your whole life and moving towards a fresh start. You may not need everything you think you will. You may want to start over and get a brand new wardrobe! There may be little things that you didn’t even think were necessary. This guide will help you plan and stay organized before making the move!

Packing Supplies

Begin gathering your moving boxes/containers, packing tape, and other materials ahead of time. Getting reusable moving containers could come in handy throughout college. You won’t always be in a dorm room and will most likely be moving back and forth each year! Having reusable packing supplies will help you later on from having to buy the same materials again. Check out The Ultimate List Of Moving And Packing Materials You Need to help you gather your supplies!

Important Documents

This may be a given but could be easily forgotten. Make sure to bring all of your important files and documents such as your state ID, birth certificate, social security card, passport, transcripts, medical records, etc. You’ll never know when you will need these documents! Remembering these items before your move will help save time and money from having to travel back to grab them or have them mailed. Add important documents to your college moving checklist!

Leave Things Behind

Overpacking is a new college student’s biggest mistake. There is no need to pack your entire closet. Only pick your absolute favorites! If you have small closet space, you could switch out your clothes each season to save room. If you have to second guess bringing an item, then you probably will not need it.

Get In Touch With Your Roommates

Communicate with your roommates about any common spaces you may have. This will prevent an overload of furniture or any duplicates in your living room. Build a connection with your roommates beforehand and make sure that everyone is on the same page about boundaries and rules!

Label Your Boxes

Be sure to label your boxes to save time during unpacking. This will also ensure all of your things don’t get mixed up with someone else’s or go missing. Label your boxes or containers with waterproof markers. The best time to label your box is right after you have packed it so you do not forget what is inside. You should label your boxes on the sides so you can see what is in each box even when stacked.

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Double Check, Triple Check

Packing is not a simple task. It is tedious and sometimes mind-numbing. There will be things you will probably forget here and there. Make sure to double-check multiple times before you leave for the move. Starting early in your packing will allow you time to go through everything slowly, in more detail. Go through this college moving checklist to help you remember everything!

Look Through Floor Plan

It is common for colleges to have a floor plan up on their website. These floor plans will include measurements of the room and furniture included. Using an easy design website can help you visualize how you want your room set up. This will also aid you in buying the right-sized furniture.

Choose A Moving Option

Options for moving your belongings can consist of your own vehicle, van/truck rentals, or hiring a rental service. Most colleges provide large furniture in their dorms. It would be easiest to pack up one SUV vehicle and make the move. The most a new college student will need is a small hook-up trailer. You can attach these trailers to your own vehicle. It would save money from renting a whole truck. If moving out of state or country, you probably want to ship your items.

If you are moving off-campus, you will have larger pieces of furniture to buy and move. Waiting to buy these larger pieces near your college area would help save the stress of fitting more in your vehicle, alongside other boxes.

Check Documentation

Confirm that all of your student account bills are paid on time before you leave. Imagine you get to your new dorm and they say you can’t move in yet because a document wasn’t filled out. Add this to your moving checklist of things to get done. Save yourself the hassle and verify all of your documents long before your move-in date!

Set Time

Have a set time to move in and get your housing keys. Most colleges require students to sign up for a time slot. This prevents an overflow of people trying to move in at the same time. Make sure to plan a time, weeks in advance. Doing this will allow whoever is helping you to clear their schedule ahead of time.

What to Bring

Figuring out what to bring is an immense challenge. You could not possibly know what you may or may not need before living somewhere. Before you bring anything, make sure to read over the list of prohibited items to avoid any trouble with your college. Here are a few items in our college moving checklist that you might find useful during your move to a new living space:

Your Printable College Moving Checklist

printable college moving checklist
Be sure to print out our college moving checklist and save it to Pinterest!


Pillows on college move in day
  • Bed Sheets (check sizing)
  • Mattress Topper
  • Mattress Protector
  • Pillows
  • Blankets
  • Comforter

Clothing and Laundry Supplies

  • Shirts/Blouses
  • Pants
  • Business Casual Attire
  • Light and Heavy Jackets
  • Sweats
  • Underwear and Socks
  • Shoes
  • Hats
  • Sunglasses
  • Swimwear
  • Laundry Detergent and Dryer Sheets
  • Laundry Basket
  • Stain Stick


  • Mini Fridge
  • Microwave
  • Paper Towels
  • To Go Containers
  • Utensils
  • Plates
  • Bowls
  • Water Filter
  • Baggies

Office/Desk Supplies

Supplies for college move in day
  • Lamp
  • Notebooks
  • Loose Leaf Paper
  • Pencils/Pens
  • Highlighters
  • Fan
  • Backpack
  • Index Cards
  • Planner
  • Trash Bins
  • Printer
  • Stapler
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Paper Clips
  • Flash Drive
  • Ruler
  • Calculator

Toiletries/Cleaning Supplies

  • Towels
  • Shower Caddy
  • Shower Shoes
  • Toilet Paper
  • Shampoo/Body Wash
  • Toothpaste/Toothbrush
  • Floss
  • Lotion
  • Hairbrush
  • Hair Dryer
  • Clorox Wipes
  • Plunger
  • Sponges
  • Small Vacuum


  • Laptop/Computer
  • T.V.
  • Chargers
  • Speaker
  • Extension Cord
  • Surge Protector
  • Camera
  • Ethernet Cord


  • Storage Totes and Bins
  • Drawer Trays
  • Command Hooks
  • Door Stopper
  • Reusable Water Bottle
  • First Aid Kit
  • Tool Set
  • Medicine (Pain relievers, vitamins, allergy pills, etc.)
  • Bicycle and Lock
  • Humidifier
  • Aroma Diffuser

The Day Before

Get plenty of sleep before the day you move in. Renting a place nearby, the night before would be convenient so you don’t have to drive all morning before having to lift heavy objects. Before move-in day, you should have your vehicle packed and ready to go for the morning. If you are shipping items, double-check that those items are on their way. Check in with any moving companies you are using to verify everything is in place. Finish any last-minute packing that you may have put off such as toiletries. Pack some snacks and water for the long day you are about to have ahead of you!

Move In Day

The long-awaited day has finally come! By this time, this college moving checklist should have you in an organized position for you to have an easy move. All you need to do is stick to the plan and the day should go smoothly!

Save Time

To save time, grab a cart or hand truck. A lot of colleges will provide these free rental carts. This will save time and energy from having to make unnecessary trips back to your vehicle.

Coming with help will cut down the amount of time you would spend moving in alone. If you have heavy furniture, definitely call someone to help you out! Create a system with whoever is with you. Someone could be transporting items from the vehicle to your place, while someone else could start unpacking. If you unpack while moving boxes, it will help save space so you are not overloaded once everything is in one room.

Check for Damages

Before you unpack, check around your room and the common area for damages. Take pictures of any sight of destruction. You will not want to be fined for something that you did not damage. Create a folder with all of the pictures you take on your phone or camera. This will allow you to access everything easily when it is time to move out.

Clean Before You Unpack

Want to make sure your move ends in pristine condition? Deep clean your room before unpacking your things! Vacuum and mop up your floors. Wipe down your desks and countertops. Dust the corners to prevent buildup later on. Cleaning before you unpack will have you feeling more settled in a brand new place.


Once everything is in its place, all you have left to do is relax! The stress and anticipation of starting fresh are finally over. You are now immersed in your new room and college life. Go have fun with your new roommates and dorm friends! Moving in is only the first step to the best years of your life! Be sure to share this college moving checklist with your friends and family to help make their move easier!