How to Prepare for Move-In Day

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Come next week, thousands of Yellow Jackets, both new and returning, will move into residence halls or apartments, on and off campus. With cars lining the streets and people scrambling to get everything inside as efficiently as possible, move-in day can be stressful. The more prepared you are, though, the easier it will be. Here are some tips to make the transition into your new living space as smooth as possible.

Make a checklist.

The Department of Housing has an online list of items to bring depending on the type of residence hall you’re living in. It helps to print a physical copy of the list and check things off as you pack them, minimizing the chance that anything will fall through the cracks. This list also includes prohibited items, so make sure you read it carefully.

If you won’t get to go home easily, other items you may want to bring are semi-formal and professional clothing. Bring at least one business casual and business formal outfit for presentations, interviews, and any campus organizations that may require them for meetings or events, including the biannual, all-majors Career Fair. Semi-formal and formal social attire can also come in handy for banquets, award presentations, and various organizations’ formals and semi-formals.

Reach out to your roommates and coordinate what you’re bringing.

Some of your things will be kept in your personal living area, while others will be part of shared spaces with your roommates. This is especially true for those living in apartment-style residence halls or off-campus apartments with their own kitchen and living room. If you’re not already in contact with your roommates, find a way to get in touch with them before you start buying things for your living space. (If you’re living on campus, your StarRez Housing Portal will give you the option to view the contact information provided by your assigned roommates.) Shareable documents and spreadsheets through sites like OneDrive or Google Drive are a great way to coordinate from afar and ensure that your apartment won’t have three Crockpots and zero rolls of toilet paper.

If you’re living off campus, make sure you know how much furniture – if any – is already in your new place. If the space is unfurnished, you can rent furniture if you don’t want to buy it outright.

The internet is your friend.

It’s best to make at least one big trip to a store such as Target or Walmart before you move in, but online shopping can help if you strike out on anything in-store. Even things like bed sheets can be bought online; AmazonBasics has items that are usually cheaper than name brands and are all Prime eligible, and there is an Amazon pickup location in Tech Square. No matter what you’re buying, consider reading the reviews and ensuring that items will arrive when you need them.

If you can, find a cart or hand truck.

Trying to move several boxes at once is never easy, especially if you don’t live on the ground floor or are parked far away from your building. Most move-in locations on campus will have large rolling bins to borrow, but there’s always a chance that they’ll all be in use when you get there. If you can come equipped with a cart or hand truck, it can be a huge help in getting things inside quickly and safely.

Don’t unpack everything with your parents.

Your room isn’t just new to you; it’s new to your parents, too. They’ll want to look around and maybe hang up a few decorations before leaving you on your own. But as hard as that initial goodbye can be, it may be better to unpack most of your things yourself. This will give you a chance to familiarize yourself with your living space and, depending on when they move in, let you spend time with your roommate(s) as they do the same. Plus, depending on where they park, your parents’ spot could have a time limit on it. With thousands of people trying to get in on move-in day, it’s polite not to hold up other newcomers.

Don’t stay in your room all of move-in day.

It can be equal parts exciting to look around at your new home and terrifying to venture out into a (for some, new) campus, but it’s worth exploring once you’re there. Check out what dining options are open near you or spend some time discovering where your classroom buildings are located. For incoming first-years, there will always be someone on campus who is feeling just as intimidated by those first few days as you are — so there’s always an opportunity to meet someone new, even before classes start. Look out for Peer Leaders and Resident Assistants to help ease your transition to your new living space.

You’ll probably realize you don’t, in fact, have everything. That’s OK.

No matter how well you prepare for move-in, there’s still a chance you’ll forget something or realize that you did, in fact, need an item or two you thought you didn’t. Luckily, there are plenty of places near campus to pick up these items, including a Target and an IKEA in Atlantic Station. New Student and Transition Programs also puts on GT Night @ Target, where the store is closed to everyone except students, from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. on the Saturday before classes start. For those still looking to shop online, you can ship your items to your new Georgia Tech address (which you’ll receive upon move-in) and collect them at the post office in the Student Center. Those living off campus (including in Greek housing) can rent a mailbox in the post office for $30 per year.



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