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UNF Spinnaker

How to handle move-in like an Olympian

Graphic by Ben Cross
Graphic by Ben Cross

You registered for classes and ordered your books on Amazon. Now you just have to buy a Twin XL sheet set, figure out move-in day logistics and avoid getting a parking ticket without having a break down. Spinnaker compiled a list of move-in day tips to help keep you sane on one of the most stressful and exciting days of your college career.


Know your move-in date and time

Some dormitories have more residents than others resulting, in various move-in times that can last anywhere from an hour and 30 minutes to seven hours. My roommate had to change her work schedule so she’d be able to move within the limited time frame. Click here for this week’s move-in schedule.

Organize your boxes/bags

Even that little space you’ll soon call your home has different sections you should pack for: bed, closet, desk, bathroom and kitchen — if you’re lucky. If you label everything as you pack, unpacking will be a breeze.

The easiest way to transport clothes is to put trash bags over the clothes on hangers and label them with sticky notes that read jackets, tanks, dress clothes and the like. Toss folded clothes and shoes into luggage so you can roll them into your new closet. Don’t spend money on boxes for decor — stop by Publix and Walgreens and ask for used boxes.

Keep move-in supplies somewhere with easy access

Don’t forget to bring tools you may need for unpacking such as scissors, duct tape, trash bags, a doorstop, etc. Also make sure to bring cleaning supplies so you can wipe down everything before unpacking (you’ll especially want this for the dorms).

Connect with your roomie on social media

I did not receive a letter informing me of who my roommate was last fall. My roommate thankfully did and reached out to me promptly. This helped us coordinate who is responsible for the vacuum cleaner, who is bringing the shower curtain and who has trash cans. Don’t expect your roommate to be your best friend, but it’s easier if you don’t treat them like a stranger.

Boxes-duringTHE DAY OF

Consider renting a U-Haul van

If you have a compact car, chances are you won’t be able to transport everything in one trip. Students in the Jacksonville area can rent a U-Haul van for just $20 per day.

If you are moving from out of town, ask one of your hometown friends with a pickup truck or van if they can drive up with you to help you move — you can repay them with a meal and a place to stay (so long as you don’t break housing rules for you dormitory).

Plan on arriving at least an hour early

Whether you like it or not, families are going to illegally park in the fire lanes at the entrance of dormitories, so you might as well be one of them. Just don’t take up space for more than 15 minutes.

My mom helped me unload the back of the truck on the sidewalk and then parked in a parking space to allow others to drive up. Because we arrived to Crossings early, we were also able to get a cart. If you have at least two people helping you move, you can stand in the line for check-in and keys while the others keep an eye on your boxes.

Don’t dress to impress

First impressions matter, which is why you should dress like you have some common sense. My move-in day outfit consists of thin cargo pants, an oversized tee shirt and a ponytail. You are guaranteed to break a sweat today, so don’t stress over looking nice.

Hold off on buying groceries until you get there

Groceries will either get squished or warm up in the time it takes you to move in. You also won’t know how much space you’ll have for groceries until you see your dorm room. If the ‘rents stick around, take them to the grocery store with you. They may feel inclined to help pay for your first load, but don’t expect them to.

Check your room for damage/leaky faucets

Resident Assistants give Ospreys a sheet of paper when they check in so they can mark down existing damage. Hold on to this delicate sheet of paper until you return it to your RA because if you don’t mark down damage, you can bet you’ll be charged for it. Contact maintenance about leaky faucets or any other problems you’re having with the room.

Figure out the most ideal layout before unpacking

Moving desks and beds around after you unpack is very laborious. Think about your needs and arrange the room accordingly. If you don’t want to waste a study session walking to the cafe, consider placing the microwave on your mini fridge beside your desk. That way you can use a desk drawer as a pantry and heat up those pizza bites while studying — just remember to hit the gym later.

Boxes-afterAFTER MOVE-IN

Let your parents hang around

Move-in day will probably be the last time you see your parents for some time, even if you’re from Jacksonville. You may feel inclined to shove them off and start or continue living your independent life, but the more you show you care, the more they will be willing to help you out (even if you are paying your own way through college). And trust me — you’re going to miss them when they’re gone, especially if this is your first time moving into the dorm.

No matter what kind of parents you have, they will probably want to do something like clean the bathroom, unpack some boxes or give you advice. Take advantage of this while you can.

Keep one of your bigger boxes for trash

Keep your boxes in your room until you are finished unpacking. This will save trash bags and multiple trips to the dumpster. You may feel inclined to use your comforter bag for trash, but you’ll want to save this one until you move out.

Take advantage of on-campus events

Campus Life has plans to celebrate fall before the semester even begins. Party on the Green kicks off Week of Welcome on Friday allowing new students to mingle with fellow Ospreys and skip on buying dinner.


For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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