NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Moving day is right around the corner for college students everywhere, which can be both exciting and stressful at the same time. To help minimize the hassle, we talked to a few savings experts to get some tips on how college students can move into their new dorm rooms efficiently and affordably.
Find out what you will (and won’t) need.
Dorm rooms typically come furnished, but you should still double-check what exactly will be in yours come move-in day. You should also check out how big the room is so you know what else you’ll be able to fit in there.
“Find out what will be provided for you,” Ornella Grosz, Author of Moneylicious: A Financial Clue for Generation Y, says. “Will your room have a bed, desk, wardrobe/closet, dresser?”
Grosz says you should ask your school’s housing representatives what specifically is (and isn’t) included in your residence fee, a popular line item on many universities’ tuition bills. Find out from them where you can get the rest of your necessities locally.
Get set up beforehand.
Anyone moving into local houses or apartments instead of dorm rooms should also call their local electric, water and cable companies prior to move-in day to set up their accounts and arrange utilities.
“There's nothing more disappointing than moving in and finding the lights aren't working,” says Brandon Farestad-Rittel, a college savings expert for Kinoli, a group of savings websites.
Don't pay for packing materials.
Your possessions may be precious, but you don’t have to spend money on packing peanuts to protect them.
“Consider what you already have around,” Farestad-Rittel says. For instance, he suggests using dish towels, T-shirts and pillows to fill the spaces in between items. You can also stop by your local grocery store to get free cardboard boxes to transport your stuff or buy cheap blankets at a thrift store to cover more delicate furniture.