With September around the corner, it’s high season for young adults to return to college in the fall in Chicago. Here are some tips for moving your child into the dorms, whether it be for the first time or the last time.

  • Pack seasonally. In order to save space, you’re going to want to pack seasonally instead of for the entire two semesters. For the first semester, only bring summer/warm weather clothes. They can bring back their summer clothes and switch them out for winter clothes over the Thanksgiving break, that way hopefully only taking up half the closet space.
  • Don’t overpack. One good rule of thumb is, “If it doesn’t fit in the car, it won’t fit in the dorm.” Again, these rooms are usually pretty small, and won’t house tons of furniture. Try to bring only the essentials. Do your research and find out what is provided with the room, whether that be a microwave, seating arrangements, or a mini-fridge, and plan accordingly.
  • Clean the room first. Though the dorm room can get cleaned between semesters, it’s still good practice to take a good sweeping and wiping-down to the room before your kid moves in. That way, you know you’re moving your child into a clean space.
  • Ditch the suitcases (unless you’re flying). The truth is, there’s just not room for big suitcases in a dorm room. These rooms are usually small, with limited storage space. Instead, try bringing collapsible duffle bags or even trash bags to store things like clothes and linens. For other items, simply bring boxes that you can throw away or recycle after use.
  • Keep clothes that go on hangers on the hangers. That said, try packing the clothes that usually go on hangers on the hangers. Instead of taking the clothes off the hangers and packing them away separately from the hangers, put a plastic trash bag around the clothes and tie it up. That way, you can hang the clothes as soon as you get to the dorm
  • Folding tutorials are your friend. Popular folding methods like the KonMari Fold Method can make for extra space if you’re low on closet space but have a wardrobe.
  • Make space under the bed, and any other place you can get extra storage. Use bed risers to make extra storage space, and use closet/desk/drawer organizers to keep everything in their place.
  • Stay hydrated and bring refreshments. The day is likely to be hot and feel long, with emotions running high. You’re going to want to avoid getting “hangry” during this time if you want to work efficiently with your child, so beat the hunger by bringing snacks. Bring lots of water to beat the heat, too.
  • Relish the moment. This is a fleeting moment in your and your young adult’s life. Through all the moving and storing madness, try to relish this moment with your kid. It’s a memory both of you will have for the rest of your lives.


With these tips, you’re sure to keep your sanity amidst the moving process.

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