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Moving Out Of Dorms: A Survival Guide

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UVA chapter.

As we enter the last month of classes, you are likely bogged down with exams, papers, and projects — not to mention the looming threat of final exams. Something that may not be on your radar, however, is moving out of your dorm. If your first-year dorm is anything like mine was, the thought of moving everything out of your shoe-box sized room makes you feel physically ill. Here are a few tips to make it less treacherous. 

  1. Start as soon as possible! 

While this might seem both obvious and irritating — who wants to pack up their dorm when there are a million other things to do? — I promise that it is so helpful. Start by packing up some things you never use. I found it helpful to take down my posters, wall art, and other decorations early to avoid ripping them down in a rush on the morning I was moving out. Doing this has allowed me to keep using some of my favorite posters year after year. 

  1. If you have the ability, send some things home early.

If you live close enough to U.Va. that you can drive home for the weekend — or have your parents visit you for the day — consider sending some things home early. My parents visited me during April of my first-year, and I was able to send some items home with them that I had already packed up to lighten the load on my actual move out day. While I know this option is not available to everyone, it is still something to consider. 

  1. Consider a storage unit in Charlottesville. 

I don’t have a storage unit, but I think this would be a huge help not only for moving out of your dorm, but it would also be a huge help for moving into your new apartment or dorm in the fall. This is especially a great idea if you are out-of-state and fly back and forth from home to U.Va.

  1. Ikea bags are the way to go. 

I live and die by Ikea bags. Boxes are far too clunky and awkward to carry, and Ikea bags can expand to fit a wider variety of items — and you can even turn the handles into a backpack-style bag, increasing the number of bags you can carry at once. Minimizing the number of trips you need to take from your dorm room down to your car is always a win. 

Here’s to surviving your first-year! I have my fingers crossed for a smooth finals season and a seamless move out process. 

Elizabeth Parsons is a staff writer at the University of Virginia’s HerCampus chapter. She joined the team during the 2022-2023 academic year. Elizabeth is from Virginia Beach, VA, where she has lived for her whole life. As a third-year student with a passion for reading and writing, she is studying both English and French. She is also the Senior Associate of The Cavalier Daily’s Life Desk, which focuses on content specific to student life at UVA — including features of student events and organizations, food-related articles, student columns, and top 10 lists. Beyond HerCampus, Elizabeth loves sipping oat milk lattes, strolling through bookstores, reading the latest issue of The New Yorker, playing Wordle, swimming, going to the beach, and watching reality TV— especially Below Deck Down Under. She is always looking for book recommendations, and she loves talking about her latest reads. After spending last summer in London, she is eager to return — and plans to move to London eventually. She is looking forward to another year with HerCampus and to sharing a mix of all her passions with readers. From the best lip gloss to her tips for studying abroad, Elizabeth is excited to share about all the things that matter to her.