When it comes to college, there’s a lot to be excited for. It’s one of those first really big steps into independence that people look forward to for their whole lives. While it may not be for everyone, a college education is expected for a great deal of careers, and helps individuals grow as people. When in comes to moving during college, though,there are a lot of factors that come into play. Keep these factors in mind and you can work for a much more stress-free move!
First, there are a lot of location options for students. Living on campus comes with some great benefits. Proximity to class, dining hall plans, and campus events are just a few. However, there are many reasons not to opt for campus housing. Sometimes it’s cheaper to room off campus, sometimes you’d rather be closer to work or family, and sometimes you just would rather live with (just) your friends. All of these are valid options.
If you’re interested in looking for off campus housing, there should be various resources at your disposal. At my university, there were dorms in a more apartment style on campus, and later they built an apartment complex with very strong affiliations with the school. This provided an option for students who wanted to live in an area with a lot of other students but didn’t want to necessarily live right on campus (it was close instead to a campus parking lot that shuttled to the school). Ultimately, I myself spent one year in campus housing and moved to apartments directly afterwards because it was much cheaper in our area, but in cities like DC this is not always the case!
When moving, things can get tricky. I understand the concerns of movers being expensive–trust me, I really, really do. I moved maybe 10 times during college due to many strange circumstances. At the time, I never hired a mover. Having seen smooth, professional moves while growing up a military brat, I knew moves could be quick and efficient. I just never had the experience myself. Moving requires a lot of organizational skills that I as a young student did not have. Once, a roommate told me the wrong move out date and called me at 6 pm to say that I had to have everything (including her things) out by that night. I was really upset with her for a long time, but really, I clearly should have known our lease myself! Definitely know your lease, and plan as far in advance as you can!
If you have that one friend with the big car or truck, lucky you! This could be instrumental in your move, because moving large furniture isn’t easy. However, if you do have this friend, be aware: they know you’re using them for their car. Everyone else who knows this person is asking for moving help in exchange for pizza and beer. Sometimes this is ok, if you’re close to them! Sometimes, they get really upset. I was lucky enough once or twice to have someone like this volunteer to help without prompting. The same guys who offered to help me would complain whenever someone else insisted–or worse, demanded–that they help with some never before mentioned move. If a friend does help, really do appreciate it and thank them the best you can. Don’t forget to pitch in for gas!
If your friends are flakes like mine often were, it may be time to just bite the bullet and hiring a moving company. If you’re worried about cost, there are ways you can bring down the price. Most moving companies, like ours, offer lower rates for a weekday move. Similarly, moving in the middle of the month would be less expensive than moving at the beginning or end of the month, when moving companies are busiest. If it’s possible to move smaller items on your own, this could also cut the costs. However, most companies do have minimums, so often you will have to pay for a set number of hours no matter how small your move. Splitting the cost with a roommate is often a good idea. If you’re particularly charismatic, you may be able to impress your parents enough with your organizational skills that they may help as well!
Another option is to consider a labor only move–get help loading or unloading a truck that you rent yourself. Depending on the date and the cost of the truck rental, this could also be a great way to save time and money. You may love your friends, but chances are they aren’t the most efficient at packing a truck. Hiring movers (especially to load!) will save you time, which, when renting a truck, saves you money.
Whether or not you choose to go to college, live on on off campus, or move with or without movers, getting organized is a big part of your 20s. Trials like these, as frustrating as they can be, will help you prepare for the (equally frustrating) future. Just remember that it’s ok to ask for help, either from your friends or from companies like ours. You’re going to do great! And if not, you’ll have a few fantastic stories.