So You’re Moving Away for College

College is often the first time a student moves away from home. The journey ahead will be challenging and exciting, so pack well. There are some steps you can take to make the transition easier, starting with a smooth move into your new dorm or apartment and at a great price with uShip.

The easiest way to get an accurate, binding quote for your college move is to create a listing on uShip.com with all the details of your move. You will need to have an accurate timeframe when the move will take place, so be sure you know when move-in dates are for your apartment, dormitory, house or residence hall. Remember that summer is moving season, so the earlier you post your listing, the better.

Get A Quote

When creating your listing, you will be asked to input all the details of your move. This accurate, detailed information will attract capable transporters to your listing. You can communicate with transporters using the Question and Answer forum on the listing. As you start to receive bids, field the transporters by checking out their uShip profiles, which contain information about their legal authority, experience, and feedback from previous customers. The transporter profile lends you a unique insight into the company. Your final decision should be based on your budget, criteria, time frame, and ability of the transporter to meet your needs.

What should I research before I choose a shipper?


In all likelihood, you will move several times during college. When choosing your college movers, it is important that you take these steps to ensure that you are working with a reputable company. Doing a little homework should keep you in the clear. You should do the following as homework:

  • Verify with the Transport Authority


All movers are required by the Department of Transportation to have USDOT or MC numbers. Your movers should readily provide you with these numbers, which you can verify on safersys.org. A simple search by company name or USDOT number should verify that your mover has the proper credentials to provide household moving services.

  • Confirm insurance coverage


Your carrier will offer a certain level of insurance on your move. If you choose to purchase additional insurance on your move, you can do so through a third party or through uShip Cargo Insurance after you choose the winning bid. You can also learn more about uShip cargo insurance here. Movers also must carry a minimum amount of liability and cargo insurance. The amount of coverage will vary, so be sure to inquire about the details of each company’s coverage.
A legal moving company will be able to provide you with a Certificate of Insurance. This can be confirmed either by looking them up on safersys.org or calling the insurance company directly. If you are moving anything of value, it is recommended that you purchase additional insurance, which should be available from the moving company.

  • Confirm payment terms


You should always make sure that you are on the same page as the movers with regards to payment. You may want to avoid companies that claim to only accept cash. You will usually have to pay a deposit up front and should expect to pay the balance at the time of the move. You can protect yourself by using a credit card so that there will be a record of any fraudulent charges. Keep in mind that any changes you need to make to the move may affect the price, so you should be sure to communicate with the moving company ahead of time.

Where should I look for the best recommendations on shippers?


This will be good practice for all those papers you will have to write! The best way to evaluate a moving company’s professionalism is to investigate previous customers’ experiences. If someone recommends a particular moving company, you should try to get the names of the actual movers assigned to that move since this personal service will likely be more important than which company you choose.

For recommendations and reviews, contact:

What should I consider before I pack for college?


Before you start packing for college, it is important that you figure out exactly what to bring to college. There are several factors that can play into this decision:

  • Size of your residence
    If you are moving into an on-campus dorm, you are likely going to have very limited space. Chances are you are not going to be able to fit that recliner that your mom has been trying to get rid of for years.
  • Items your roommate is bringing
    There is no point in having two microwaves. Well, that point is debatable, but you’ll have plenty of late nights to ponder it. Coordinate well and you will not waste space and money on unnecessary items.
  • Size of your items
    If you just have one large item that is keeping you from being able to fit everything you own in your car, it might be time to consider leaving your race car bed behind.

What are must haves for my college living space?

  • Cleaning supplies
    It’s important to clean your place before unpacking all of your stuff. You’ll need a broom, mop, disinfectant, paper towels and trash bags to get the job done. Even if you put these things under the sink and never touch them again, you’ll be happy to get a clean, fresh start on move in day. While you’re at it, grab some laundry detergent and dishwasher solution. You’ll need them eventually.
  • Bed
    If you only manage to get one thing set up on the first night, make it your bed. You don’t want to have to unpack or move the rest of your stuff in with an achy back. This way, you can crash out and leave the rest for tomorrow.
  • TV
    Any interior decorator will tell you that you don’t want your television to be the main focus of your living room… but you’re in college! You are going to get to know your television really well. Also, your new pad is probably not going to be huge, so a large television may dictate a lot about how your living room is set up.
  • Trash Cans
    OK, so you were excited about getting your new TV set up, but now you need some essentials. The demand for garbage receptacles will become readily apparent soon enough.
  • Couch
    The couch is a crucial element of any college apartment. Its strength lies in its versatility, with the potential to serve as a desk, dining area or extra bed. Don’t spend a fortune on your sofa, because it is going to take a lot of abuse. Really, that is a good rule for just about everything in college.
  • Shower Curtain
    Another less-than-exciting item that will become absolutely necessary. You’ll be glad you had your first apartment checklist when you can jump in the shower at the end of your move without flooding your bathroom. While you’re at it, why not grab some bathroom mats and new towels? Other bathroom essentials include a toilet brush, bathroom cleaner, hand soap, and your personal toiletries..

What living options do I have for college?


College is one of the best times of your life to meet new people and broaden your horizons. Finding a good roommate can be crucial because, for better or for worse, they are going to be someone you get to know really well. Some people like to take their chances. Some will always live with friends. Decide how much of a risk-taker you are and hop into the roommate pool. Just know you have options like:

  • Potluck
    This is a common option when moving into an on-campus dorm. You may be asked to answer a few basic questions (i.e. Are you a smoker? Are you a morning person?), but for the most part, you are leaving your roommate pairing up to random chance. You may find a lifelong friend that you never would have met otherwise, or you could end up with someone who never seems to be around, but still manages to trash the place and eat all your food.
  • Live with friends
    Many see this as the safest bet when choosing a roommate. You have already known your roommate for a while, and already having a friend can be a huge comfort when entering a new stage in your life. Keep in mind, however, that there is a big difference between being friends with someone and living with them. Just because someone was your friend in high school does not mean they are going to be a great roommate, as it is difficult to gauge how they will adjust to living on their own.
  • Search online
    There is a multitude of online roommate-finders. These sites will usually allow you to create a profile with some information about yourself and let you browse through those of others in your area. This gives you a little background on your potential roomies, but it is important to remember that all the information in someone’s profile is their perception of themselves, so it should be taken with a grain of salt.
  • Live at home
    If you are not itching to get out of your parents’ house (and they will let you stay), this can be a comfortable and economic solution. College is expensive, and living at home is a good way to ease some of the financial burden. It may not be the “coolest” way to go, but at least the food is good!
  • Live alone
    This sounds lonely, and it can be, but it is also a fantastic opportunity to learn about yourself. Living alone forces you to take accountability for everything you do, so you can see where you drift when left to your own devices.

What steps should I take to plan my college move?


When it comes time to start planning your move to college, going through this college moving checklist will ensure that you have everything you need for a seamless move.

1. Pat yourself on the back


You got into school! That’s the hard part! It’s never too early to start planning, but you deserve a little time to relax after all that hard work. Have a little fun and then start thinking about the next steps.

2. Visit campus


If you have never actually seen the campus, making a visit can give you a better idea of where you might want to live, as well as giving you a level of comfort with the area. Stop by the dorms and talk to residents and staff about what it is like to live there.

3. Research


If visiting the school is not an option, visit the school’s website. Most schools will have a page dedicated to student housing. This will often include links to resources for finding off-campus housing as well. If you do not see what you are looking for, give the student housing department a call. They are there to help you.

4. Find a roommate


You might have a friend going off to college with you, but many will head to school not knowing anybody. Dorms will usually offer to pair you with someone based on basic preferences. There are also online roommate-finders that allow you to create profiles and place classified ads.

5. Take inventory


You might have a friend going off to college with you, but many will head to school not knowing anybody. Dorms will usually offer to pair you with someone based on basic preferences. There are also online roommate-finders that allow you to create profiles and place classified ads.

6. Figure out logistics


If you can fit all of your worldly possessions into your car, then you are good to go. Otherwise, you will need to find yourself some college movers. Summer is a busy season for moving, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time.

7. Pack


You can hire movers that will pack for you, but this will take longer and be more expensive. Round up some boxes and be sure to label everything so you can find it upon arrival.

8. Move


If you have planned well, moving day should go off without at hitch. Make sure to get a good night’s sleep if you are driving a long distance. Be especially nice to your mom, because she is probably going to cry. Show her your completed college checklist to assure her you will be fine.

9. Start learning


Unpack your things, buy your books, sharpen your pencils, and get ready to start filling your head with knowledge.