Move-in week at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is one of the craziest weeks of the year. There are people everywhere, the traffic is horrible and students and parents are running around stressed out of their minds.
Trying to decide what you do and don’t need for your dorm is hard work in itself, but trying to move all that stuff into your tiny room in only an hour proves to be a challenge of its own. I’m here to share with you some lessons I learned from my own experience moving into the dorm with the hope that it can make things a little easier for you!
First, choose an early move-in time. I know this can be hard without having to wake up at the crack of dawn if you live far away, but trust me. Everybody wants the afternoon move-in time slots, so if you choose an earlier one there will be fewer people trying to move in all at once. There will be more carts available, and the elevator won’t take an eternity to come to your floor. If you show up 10-15 minutes early for your time slot, they often let you start to move in anyway. This gives you more time to bring everything to the room and get settled.
Second, ask your family members for help with specific jobs if they come with you to move in. Most people will move all their items up to their rooms and then wonder, “Now what?” If multiple people move everything up to your room at once, you may trip over each other putting belongings away all willy-nilly. When I moved in, we gave my sister the job of putting away my clothes. My mom put my bed together so we could put things on top of it and my dad and I got the rest of my items from the car. Separating move-in responsibilities helped us fully unpack in only 30 minutes. The decorating was left to me later.
Third, do not unhang your clothes on hangers. You may have heard this tip before, but I cannot stress how much it helps with organization. Simply put a garbage bag over your clothes on hangers and tie the bottom. This will save you so much time when moving in, and you save packing space as well. I have used this trick every time I’ve moved. It truly is a lifesaver!
Although these are only a few tips intended for specific move-in scenarios, any suggestion that can make the hectic day a little easier for you and your family helps. They may even boost morale or stop the potential arguments that can happen under heightened stress … After all, you're moving into college! It is a truly exciting experience — let’s try to keep it that way.