Undergraduate Programs

Tips For Move-In Day

New Clarkson students move their personal items in to their residence halls during move in weekend

Move-In Day can be full of chaos, stress, and emotions. Planning for this day with the appropriate tips can reduce the stress and amp up the excitement! Here is a list of what to do before and during Move-In Day!

Before Move-In Day:

  • Write a list of things you need to bring. Make sure to do your research and read Clarkson’s list of What to Bring With You and what to leave at home to know what items are banned and what is suggested. It is super easy to buy everything from a list you found online… don’t! Chances are you don’t need half of it. Do some research, talk to other college students and, remember, if you need something later, you can just buy it then.
Two Clarkson students relax in their beds in their Cubley House residence hall room while holding laptops.
Students relax in their Cubley House Residence Hall
  • Talk to your roommate. Living with another person can seem daunting if you’ve never done it before. Talk to your roommate beforehand and break the ice. Find out their likes and dislikes and keep those in mind when preparing for the move in. If there’s an item you would want to share, talk about splitting the cost or seeing who can bring what. Examples of common items can be coffee makers, microwaves and trash cans.
  • Store pickup can be super helpful if Clarkson is far from home. This can aid in reducing some of the costs and save some much-needed space in your car! Keep in mind that the closest Walmart is three minutes away from campus.
  • Have a plan for how you want to organize and decorate your room. Obviously, these plans may change once you are in the space, but it is good to have an idea of how you want your dorm to look. This will make buying things easier and setting up your room a breeze. Need some ideas? Check out Clarkson’s dorm decor Pinterest board.
  • Pack your things in storage bins rather than suitcases (unless you’re flying of course). Storage bins are usually easier to organize, have handles and can be used after unpacking! Make sure to tape storage drawers shut if you put things in them.
A group of Clarkson Honors students helps a new first year student move in to their residence hall by carrying various items
Honors freshman student moving in
  • Don’t pack too much! Only pack the essentials; if you end up needing something, you can either buy it or have your parents ship it to you. Remember, you will have to move out everything that you move into your dorm (most likely by yourself). 
  • Pack in categories. Again, organization is key in this process. Packing in categories helps create the order in which you unpack.
  • Have a safe place for your important documents. Birth certificate, passport, social security card, bank account information, etc. You’ll want a safe place to put these items in case you need them.
  • Wash sheets and other items before you get to campus. The last thing you want to do on Move-In Day is laundry.
  • Do not buy any groceries…yet! It’s a lot easier to buy snacks and little meals after you have unpacked everything. If you buy food beforehand, it will just take up space in the car that you might need for something else!
  • Label everything with your name and room number and its category. This will not only help you stay organized but also give those helping you an idea of what they are handling.
  • Bring refreshments! Moving in can be a long process; make sure you get to eat and stay hydrated.
  • Go over the logistics. Make sure you know where to go, where to park, where to get your key or your ID. Print out a map! Collect everything that you will need during the move-in process.

Making Move-In Day a Breeze:

  • Load the car the night before. It makes the morning less chaotic. If you can’t fit everything in the car, it might be a sign you’re taking too much. 
  • Dress comfortably; you will most likely be trekking up and down the stairs with heavy items in your hands. 
  • Come early if you can! Arriving early on Move-In Day will provide you with the coolest temperature of the day and allow you more time to settle in. Plan with your roommate to come at different times. Moving two people in at once will be crowded and much harder. 
  • Let people help you move in. Clarkson usually has a bunch of people floating around to help you move in! Let them help!!
Former Clarkson President Tony Collins helps new students and families move in to their residence halls during move in weekend.
Freshmen students, with the help of volunteers and President Tony Collins, move their belongings into their Residence Halls on Move-In Day.
  • Disinfect your dorm. The rooms have been cleaned, but it might be a good idea to wipe down various surfaces to have a fresh, clean start when moving in.
  • Organize right away. If you wait to organize, chances are you never will. The first couple of days are packed full of orientation events, and, when you aren’t doing those, you will want to either relax or spend time with new friends!
  • Bring a trash bag; a lot of the items you are bringing will be new and have packaging. I forgot to bring a trash bag when I moved in and there was plastic and cardboard everywhere!
  • Have your fan accessible. Move-in days can be hot, and you can certainly work up a sweat. Have your fan accessible so you can keep your room cool during the process.
  • Stock up on groceries. Even if you’re on a meal plan, it’s likely you will get hungry at random times. Having snacks, or whatever else you might want, may be helpful later on. If you need to purchase perishable items I would suggest doing it after you settle in so you have access to your fridge (if you have one). Walmart is a three-minute drive from campus, and you can even walk to Kinney Drugs!
  • Pick up extras while you’re at the store – something you may have forgotten or realize you need. I know someone who forgot their toothbrush! It’s easy to make little mistakes amidst the chaos.
Clarkson student Katie Derouchie and her mom set up her first year residence hall room during move in.
Helped by her mom, Patty, freshman, Kate Derouchie, sets up her dorm room.
  • Say see you later! Cherish your last moments with your parents if they are there. It’ll be awhile before you see them again, so it’s totally okay to be emotional!
  • Be friendly! Making friends is a really essential way to enjoy your first few days here. Remember, the people on your floor (including your roommate) probably have interests in common with you.
A large group of first year Clarkson students pose together for a photo during orientation weekend
Freshman students participate in Orientation
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Author: Katie Berry

Hi, my name is Katie Berry! I am a senior in Biology and Communication. Media & Design. I am currently a member of Kappa Delta Chi, the American Cancer Society on Campus, and a student worker in the Marketing and External Relations Department. In my free time, I enjoy photography, reading, and coffee dates with my sorority sisters.


  1. Where does my son find this information?

    Make sure you know where to go, where to park, where to get your key or your ID. Print out a map! Collect everything that you will need during the move-in process.

    Also, are there specific move-in times?

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