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College Life | Undergraduate

9 Essential College Move-In Day Tips

Move-in day at South Dakota State University is fast approaching. Are your bags and boxes packed? Incoming freshmen move into the residence halls Aug. 23, so you still have a little bit of time to prep for the journey.

Here are nine tips to keep in mind when planning your move to campus.

Know what's provided

Looking for some spare room in the back of the pickup for moving day? Consult your residence hall policies for rules on appliances and for a list of items the university provides upfront. All SDSU rooms are furnished with lofts, mattresses, desks, chairs and dressers for each roommate, along with a mirror and wastebasket—so there's no need to waste precious cargo space on those items.

Check out this handy tutorial on smaller items to remember to pack! A good rule of thumb when packing is to try to avoid too many loose items—pack in totes and baskets.

Sketch your floor plan

Sometimes the best way to tell if you should or shouldn't bring certain items to college with you is to sketch out a floor plan of your new residence hall space. Plot out furniture placement and rug sizes—even get in touch with your future roommate on what he or she is bringing and dimensions of said belongings. Plan for the optimum setup between the two of you. (Or do a little more homework and check out provided furniture and room dimensions at the SDSU residence halls here.)

Drive safely

When you arrive on campus, make sure your designated driver—whether it's you, a friend or a family member—knows how to get around. Keep your university-provided information handy—it will keep you informed on best routes to campus, check-in times for the various locations, where to park (and not to park) and where to stop and unload (and where to avoid). All of this information is meant to keep move-in day as organized and easy as possible for all involved. (Check out this link for some additional information on finding your way to your assigned campus residence hall.)

(Pro tip: If your moving party includes multiple vehicles, make sure you arrive to unload at the same time to simplify the process!)

Accept help

When move-in day comes, you're not alone. SDSU actually provides a fleet of helpers to keep you from straining yourself too much. The Meet State team will be outfitted in light blue Meet State t-shirts, so they're easily identifiable. In fact, the Meet State team assists you in unloading your belongings, traffic direction and hauling your things to your room.

(Pro tip: Stickers with your name and room number will be mailed to you prior to move-in day. Use them to mark your belongings, and it'll make it easier for Meet State team members to get your boxes and furniture to your room. If you run out of stickers, keep some masking tape handy!)

Added bonus? It's a great way to get to know your upperclassman neighbors and connect with a great first resource for questions about classes, upcoming campus events, etc.

Keep your door open

Prop your res hall room door open during move-in day. An open door signifies a welcoming neighbor. It makes introductions to your new residence hall friends much smoother and more likely to happen if you show your (literal) openness.

Have tools handy

Take stock of the furniture you're bringing—are you bringing any items unassembled? Make sure you have a toolbox handy with the specific items you'll need to assemble your boxed items. This may include a screwdriver or Allen wrench (make sure to check your screw heads for style of driver or wrench), hammer or level. (And if you're short of anything come move-in day, don't be afraid to ask your new neighbors or the front desk of your hall to lend a tool!)

Use your vertical space

There's a lot more to a residence hall room than meets the eye. (Especially if your eyes are looking downward.) Take advantage of the added vertical space your new room offers—both above and below your furniture. Vertical space below furniture, like beds or couches on platforms or feet, is prime room for storage of items you may only use seasonally, while vertical space above furniture can be useful for lofted beds or decorative touches to make the place feel more like home.

Designate a store-runner

No move is ever perfect. You're bound to have forgotten something, so plan ahead for this by designating a "store-runner" in your moving party. Pick the parent, guardian or friend who is tagging along that you can send to the store to pick up any necessary items so that the remaining movers can continue unpacking. Plus, this saves you the trouble of embarking out later and picking up stray items when you should be on campus getting acclimated and meeting new people!

Take part

Move-in weekend includes a bunch of exciting activities that you should take part in—make sure to take the time to look through the schedule of planned events and hit as many as possible to get totally immersed in the SDSU experience!