Stay Calm and Move on: Tips for Moving Stress-Free

Alyssa Evans

A tapestry is folded over a couch, with some moody lighting in the background.
Moving to a new place can be many things; stressful, exciting, tiring and most of all, a fresh start.

As college students, moving at the beginning and end of the school year is the norm. Whether you’re moving into a dorm for the first time or you’re moving into a home for your senior year, here are some tips to help you stay sane on moving day:

Start early.

Waiting until there are only a few days left (or worse, hours) until moving can be one of the worst moving decisions you make. Not only will you be scrambling to get everything put together, you’ll also likely have cleaning to do that can take longer than expected.

Every year, I’ve procrastinated on packing and cleaning. Because of this, I’ve rushed to pack and clean. Starting early has allowed me to feel less stressed when it’s closer to move-in time.


Whenever I move into a new place, I want to get everything done at once. While accomplishing all your to-do’s is likely possible, I suggest not attempting to get all your responsibilities done on move-in day. Cleaning and moving are time-consuming as is. With the addition of decorating and getting other tasks done, moving can become more stressful than necessary. If possible, break up your tasks into a realistic timeframe for not only you but also those helping you move.

Have a plan of action.

Before moving into my new apartment for senior year, I made a plan of how to get everything done that looked like this:

  • Pack up belongings
  • Get keys to new apartment
  • Check new apartment for maintenance/cleaning, take care of issues
  • Move in belongings
  • Clean old apartment
  • Turn in keys to old apartment
  • Unpack belongings
  • Decorate!

Ideally, this plan was supposed to take a day or two. Thanks to life happening, it didn’t work out as easily. Everything on my list took longer to do than I expected, which made me happy that I had created a list in the first place to help me not forget a responsibility.

While moving, I found labeling my belongings and moving them in near where they would be unpacked and kept was a helpful way to transition into my new apartment. I also found that keeping my necessities in a clearly labeled spot was helpful for when I got tired of unpacking later that day.

Plan your meals.

This might seem like a random tip, but can make moving much easier. By planning what meals you’ll have before, during and after moving, you can help yourself out when you feel fatigued from packing and don’t have the energy to cook. This also can help for when your kitchen belongings are still packed up.

Best of luck with your moving endeavors!