The Best Tips for Moms on College Move-In Day

by Cortney Carroll on July 17, 2023

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How is it possible that summer is more than halfway over and we are already talking about football season and back-to-school?  With school starting just around the corner comes all of the lists you need to make sure nothing is forgotten as you prepare your student to move to college.  It is exciting, busy, stressful and chaotic all in one.  We want to make it easier with a few tips and products to help moms navigate the day they have been dreading and looking forward to all at the same time.

The actual move-in day for college freshman is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, chock-full of nerves, anticipation, excitement and stress.  Getting everything moved in and settled all while saying goodbye is hard for everyone. 

We have a few things we love (other than a bottle of wine) that can help make the day a huge success and a great memory to cherish.

College Dorm Move In Tips for Mom Best Products


Hands down the best way to pack and transport pretty much everything is with heavy duty Ikea Style Blue Bags No need to use bulky boxes ever again. These bags are super light, super strong and you can pack a ton of them in the car.

Unless you are lucky enough to be moving your college freshman into a school at the North Pole, chances are it is going to be a warm day in August when you are navigating move in day.  A portable neck fan may save your life or the lives of those around you.

There is no telling what you will need to set up furniture, put together decoration- or fix things that are wrong.  Definitely bring a tool kit along with a USB and power strip that has a long cord and surge protection.  Make sure it has an allen wrench, a hammer and screwdriver in it. Plan to just leave it behind as a moving day gift, they may need to use it after you leave.

A super cute water bottle repping your student's new favorite team that is full of moving day juice  (for you) or water (for them).

Our favorite secret weapon is a Rock-n-Roller cart.  This is a life altering cart.  It folds down to be super portable but extends to haul a ton of stuff all over the place.  Very heavy duty, it is the one item that everyone else will want to borrow or will be asking you where you got it.

Can you really ever have enough Velcro Strips or Command Hooks?  We don’t think so.

Aleve or Tylenol…because your whole body will ache afterwards.

A fab, soft sided and easy to carry Cooler with drinks for the entire move-in team.  Moving is hard work and you need to keep everyone hydrated.

We have found that it is easier to just take one car if at all possible.  A canvas car topper can really be a huge help in getting it all to campus.  So portable and easy to use, they are mostly water resistant but we definitely suggest not putting anything in the topper that can’t get wet.  If you need to, just put items that you are concerned about in a garbage bag or something similar to protect them from the elements.

We have tried everything from garment bags to luggage to move clothing but hands down the absolute best thing is trash construction bags.  They are a little more sturdy than normal garbage bags and you can easily just pull them up over the clothes while they are on the hangers and tie the ends around the hangers.  Easy-peezy and they are reusable as well.  Plus, you are going to need large trash bags for all the trash generated from the move anyway.

Kleenex…for crying as you say goodbye to your new college student.  And for all the tears on the way home.  Maybe also some handiwipes, because moving is so dirty.

Bring a change of clothes or at least another shirt.  You never know what will happen on move-in day!

Cute but comfy shoes. We love the Wendy by Hey Dudes because they are like walking on little clouds and they come in fabulous colors. But your favorite tennis shoes work great too.

Moving away to college is stressful and exciting for everyone involved.  We hope our list makes the actual move a breeze.