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The 5 Most Important Tips for College Students Moving Out of State

Written by CB Community

Moving out of state for college can be both exciting and overwhelming—especially if this is your first time doing it.

You’ll be meeting new people and trying new things, but at the same time, you’ll also be faced with massive changes that you may not be mentally or physically prepared for.

To help you adjust quickly, here are the five most important tips for college students moving out of state.

1. Visit Ahead of Your Move

A great way to get a proper feel of your new environment is to visit it at least once before your move. This reduces the number of surprises you’ll have to deal with once you relocate. Plus, it’ll help you adjust much faster to the place.

It’s the perfect time to go around the state since you won’t be distracted by all the hustle and bustle that happens right during moves.

You can look up tourist spots and activities online; see if you can book tickets so you can enjoy them during your visit.

Or you could go the more traditional route and carry a guidebook to see the state’s most popular areas and pastimes.

2. Create a List of Things to Bring

Once you know what you’re dealing with, you can start creating a list of things to bring on your move.

The last thing you want to do is overpack—especially if you’re getting school housing.

School dorms typically have limited living spaces for students. Overpacking could mean you’ll later have to deal with a cramped room and possibly an angry roommate to boot.

Creating a list of things to bring will help you stay organized. For some people, it may even be a great way to overcome anxiety related to leaving home. A list will help you feel like you’re in control of the situation.

If you’re unsure of what to bring during your move, here’s a list of common items you’ll need in a college dorm room:

  • Room and storage needs (e.g., trash bin, fan, desk lamp, etc.)
  • Linen and laundry supplies (e.g., a laundry basket, blankets, towels, etc.)
  • Desk supplies (e.g., pens, paper, notebooks, etc.)
  • Important electronics (e.g., a printer, laptop, extension cords, camera, etc.)
  • Toiletries and medicine
  • Clothes (climate-appropriate clothing)
  • Household appliances (e.g., a coffeemaker, silverware, paper towels, etc.)

3. Buy the Right Packing Materials

It would be much easier to stay organized and tidy if you used the right packing materials during your move.

For instance, moving boxes can be easily labeled using a permanent marker so you can keep track of what’s inside them.

Packing tape will do a much better job of keeping your boxes closed and secured during the whole trip to your new school dorm.

If you’re unsure what packing materials to get, here’s a quick list:

  • Packing paper (you can use this to wrap items like pots, pans, glasses, and mugs)
  • Styrofoam peanuts, bubble wrap, or packing foam (to keep your things from getting jostled around during your move)
  • Shrink film
  • Garbage bags
  • Wardrobe boxes
  • Furniture bags
  • Permanent markers (for labeling)

To make things a lot easier for you, consider grouping similar items inside one box. Label the boxes immediately after sealing them. That way, you don’t lose track of what you’ve packed and where.

4. Get Professional Movers

If this is your first time transferring to a different state, hiring professional movers can help improve your moving experience.

Professional movers have had extensive training to help ensure the safety and security of a client’s possessions. They ensure that no delays happen during your move that could jeopardize your schedule.

For those who own a car and are planning to drive to their new school campus, there are much better ways to transport your car without putting it at risk of damage.

Driving your car to a new location can add unnecessary mileage to its lifespan. In other words, it may start to deteriorate much faster and may require more maintenance checks from your local mechanic.

The great thing about professional moving companies is that they can help you move just about anything, from automobiles to furniture.

So instead of driving your car from Nashville to New York, consider hiring an auto shipping company to transfer your automobile for you.

5. The Earlier, the Better

You don’t have to be an entire month early to your new school dorm. Arriving a week or a few days before the first day of school is fine.

This gives you all the time you need to unpack your things and relax before the stress of an entirely new semester pushes in.

After all, you’re not moving to a vacation destination—you’re moving to go to school.

Expect to encounter all sorts of complications on your first day, e.g., not knowing where certain lectures are held or forgetting to bring your textbooks to class.

The Bottom Line

Moving away from home can feel like riding an emotional roller coaster of excitement, grief, and anxiety. Things won’t always go as planned, and you’re bound to encounter a few challenges here and there.

Preparing yourself for what might come is one of the best ways you can effectively cope with your changing situation.

The tips above should set you on the right path to a stress-free move. Remember to enjoy every bit of college and take every experience as an opportunity to develop further!

About the author

CB Community

Passionate members of the College Basics community that include students, essay writers, consultants and beyond. Please note, while community content has passed our editorial guidelines, we do not endorse any product or service contained in these articles which may also include links for which College Basics is compensated.