A few days ago my mom and I dropped my sister, Alicia, off at Penn State to start her freshman year of college. It was bitter-sweet because I’m so proud of her and excited for her to start the next chapter of her life, but sad because I miss her so much already!
Since Penn State is over 3 hours away from home, we left the day before the official move in day and got a hotel room so we’d be there early in the morning the next day. Her orientation started at 3pm on move in day so we wanted to make sure we had enough time to set everything up and say bye.
When we got to Penn State we figured we should go to the building where she picks up her keys even though it wasn’t “official” move in day yet. We asked if we could get her keys and move in that day, and they said yes! It never hurts to ask, because you never know what the answer will be. And that’s not just a tip for college move in day, it’s for life in general.
This was awesome because we were the only ones moving in so we had access to all the laundry carts, we didn’t have to wait for the elevators, and it went a lot faster having the whole room to ourselves.
Alicia lives in an older building so there isn’t an elevator that takes you straight up to her floor. We had to go up a few floors, get off the elevator, go to a different one and then it took us to her floor. Luckily, we found the humor in having to switch elevators. It made things a little bit more challenging, but that’s okay!
When we got to her room the first thing we did was unpack the fans and plug them in. Her dorm came with a fridge and a microwave (freshman me was jealous) so we filled up the Brita right away. If you don’t have air conditioning in your dorm then make sure you plug your fans in and fill up a Brita before you do anything else.
My most important move in day tip for you is to treat each section of your part of the room like a separate project. This makes moving in seamless and you won’t get overwhelmed.
We started with the bed. One of our family friends gave Alicia her daughter’s old tempurpedic mattress pad from when she lived in a dorm. This was so nice of her because mattress pads can be expensive.
Then we moved onto the closet area. A great tip for move in day is to leave all your clothes on hangers and just tie bags around them. It saves space in the car and a ton of time when you are unpacking. My sister’s roommate used one of these under the bed storage containers and layed all her clothes in there on the hangers. That’s another easy way to bring your clothes and you can keep the storage container for under your bed.
Once we finished unpacking and organizing the closet we started to unpack her desk things. We organized everything and made it really cute. A good tip if you don’t want to spend lots of money on desk organization things, you can use a utensil organizer. We had an extra one at home so she just took that to use for desk organization.
She packed her jewelry in an organizer which was the best way to bring jewelry. She wrapped it in saran wrap so nothing fell out. Then she easily just put it in one of her desk drawers.
You can kind of tell in the picture that Alicia put 2 burlap boards up against the back of the desk. There was a bulletin board that was stained behind it so this was a great way to cover that up. BTW, jean jacket DIY coming soon :).
Then came the fun part – all the decor! Alicia brought quite a bit of decor that we already had at home to save money. I did the same thing when I first went to college. All the things you “need” for a dorm room add up quick so bringing some stuff from home is a good way to stick to a budget. The hexagonal bulletin boards above her desk are from my freshman year of college, along with the file organizers, and burlap boards.
She got the map tapestry from Amazon, which I will link here. She ordered the prints on Etsy and printed them at Staples for only $2. Making a gallery wall with some prints is a good way to cover a lot of wall space for a decent price. Alicia only got 3 prints to start, but she plans on adding to it over time.
I’m in love with her nightstand set up. It’s so cute! The white nightstand is from my first apartment that I gave to her because the height is just perfect for a dorm bed. I found it at Marshall’s a few years ago, so I can’t link the exact one, but this one is similar.
The move in process went really well and her dorm is just so cute!
To recap a few tips for move in day are…
- plug in fans right away and make sure you have water
- take the room one part at a time – it’s a lot less overwhelming
- make the bed first
- pack your jewelry in an organizer and wrap it in saran wrap
- leave your clothes hanging and put a trash bag around them
- have fun and take lots of picture 🙂
I’m so happy we got to move her in the day before the “official” move in day because we got to spend time together the next day before we had to say our goodbyes! Alicia got us breakfast in bed, which was so thoughtful and yummy – haha!