For many of us, college graduation is RIGHT. AROUND. THE. CORNER. There may be a few things to stress about (finishing finals, saying “bye for now” to close friends, doing a deep clean of your dorm before heading out, planning a graduation party…) but moving doesn’t have to be one of them!
Here are a few tips to ensure your move FROM college TO your new first apartment goes as smoothly as possible!
Start the deep-clean now
Personally, my least favorite part about a move is the deep-clean that needs to occur for you to retain your security deposit! University housing can be especially strict on cleanliness. Instead of waiting until moving day to do a massive deep clean of your current apartment/dorm, get started now! With about a month to go, you can tackle some of the nastier areas early, leaving you with a simple wipe-down and vacuum on moving day. Trust me, this one is worth it!
Pack in manageable segments
Another great way to be prepared and limit stress is by packing in waves! After class or between the gym and dinner, choose one area of your room to pack up. For instance, focus on one thing at a time, like: Wall decor, Desk, Closet knick-knacks (everything other than the clothes you need), Dresser, TV Stand, Kitchen, Living room. Purchase some plastic bins (or use garbage bags, no judgement!) to gather up your belongings little by little. Then, during the week before you move, you can pack up clothes and bedding. This way, everything gets done over time and you don’t have to spend hours-upon-hours on your last few days of school.
Everything must (NOT) go
If you were frugal like me when moving to college, lots of your items are probably cheap and falling apart after four (plus or minus) years of use. Consider donating or throwing away items that you won’t need, don’t like, or are broken. There’s no need to schlep junk into your new place!
Solicit moving help from friends and family
For the actual moving day, solicit help from friends and family. This is especially pertinent if lots of family is coming to town to watch your graduation. Ask them (nicely) to stick around to help you load up your car (and possibly their cars, depending on how much stuff you bring home!). The absolute key here is that you. must. be. packed. before this occurs. Friends and family are generally willing to help you “move”…but no one (repeat, NO ONE) likes helping others pack up their junk. Especially when you could have packed in the weeks prior to the move!
Coordinate the move with your new apartment
The ideal situation is to move out of college and into your new apartment within a day or so. That way, you can simply drive all of your stuff directly to your new place without worrying about storage units or moving multiple times. Try to coordinate your moving schedule and the start of your lease with your new apartment so you can simply drive from school to your new place and move in. Keep in mind that if you are moving to a large city apartment building, you may need to reserve the use of a service elevator beforehand for your move-in. There may also be some fees involved. Don’t get caught having to keep your stuff in a parked even overnight. It is never a good idea.
Try to secure a job before graduation
Now, I’m not laying on any pressure here, but try to secure a job or location before graduation. This will help you decide where to lease your first apartment (which city, which area in the city, what price range) to ensure you make a smart decision. If you don’t yet have a job, choose a temporary sublet situation in an inexpensive (but safe!) area while you look or consider moving in with family until you know for sure where you’ll be working.
Congratulations on your (almost) degree. It’s a huge accomplishment! What other tips do you have for college grads?