Printable Checklist for College Students

Christa Baxter
Researcher & Writer
Read More
October 29, 2015
3 min read

Download Our College Moving Checklist Printable

Now that you’ve made all of the tough decisions -- whether to go to college, which one, and where to live -- it’s time to get ready for the big move.

There’s a lot that goes into moving, whether you’re headed across town or across the country to your new campus. We want to make your move a bit easier.

At, we know a thing or two about getting from A to B. Follow along with this checklist and together we’ll get your move started right.

Printable moving checklist

Two months before

  • Find a good packing list. Moving out of home means losing access to all the little things that make life easier, so don’t forget to stock up on the essentials. There are tons of printable lists online, or download an app.
  • Start packing your first (small) box. This box will not be packed or shipped with the others, but will stay with you throughout the move. It will contain your important documents — birth certificate, social security card, school transcripts, etc. Begin gathering these documents early so you can identify any missing items.
  • Back up your files. Before you pack your computer and its peripherals, make a backup of important files and photos on a disk or flash drive that you can carry with you (maybe in that box mentioned above) during the move.
  • Decide what to sell or donate. You’re young, but you’ve accumulated a lot of stuff. Don’t be afraid to get rid of some of it. Sell items online or through a garage sale, or donate them.

One month before

  • Decide on a truck rental or moving company. If you have enough stuff that loading up the back of the car won’t cut it, make sure to decide pretty early which service you’ll use to get you and your stuff to campus. Schedule pickup for as early as possible the morning of moving day.
  • Buy packing supplies. Boxes, tape, packing paper, etc. Cover your bases with our list of packing essentials.
  • Care for your car. Take it into a mechanic and consider what services might be needed for a long-distance drive or a move to a new climate.
  • Research TV and Internet providers. If these services are not included in your rent, decide which providers you’ll use at your destination and schedule connection of your services.
  • Obtain copies of your medical records. Also, make sure you will have enough required medication in case you don’t locate a new pharmacist/doctor immediately. (Prescriptions and medical records are good candidates for that box mentioned above.)
  • Make travel arrangements. If necessary, book your flight, hotel, rental car, etc. If you’re driving long-distance, plan your route and stops.
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Two weeks before

  • Change your address. Head to the post office website. Be sure to have your mail forwarded from the old place to the new. Cancel scheduled deliveries or update your address there, too.
  • Open a bank account. If you already have one, be sure to update your address with the bank. Be sure your chosen bank has a branch nearby.
  • Confirm dates with relevant parties:

Real estate agent(s) or landlord for move-in/move-out

Moving company or truck rental

Storage unit

  • Get in touch with your new roommates. If you know who’s moving into the new place with you, reach out to them. It will make move-in day a bit smoother, and since space will be at a premium, you can collaborate on what to pack so that you both don’t bring the same game console.

One week before

  • Begin packing! Schedule enough time to have the packing done at least 2 days before your move date. Find a packing list online to make sure you’ve got the essentials.
  • Clean your room. In case you parents haven’t already required this, be sure you leave home on a high note by cleaning your bedroom and bathroom like you’ve never done before.
  • Pack a day bag. Unpacking may take some time, and having the essentials for a day or two will help keep the move stress-free.

Moving day

  • Pick up the truck. If you rented a moving truck for the occasion, pick it up as early as possible to allow for plenty of loading time.
  • Load up and go! If you’ve followed the checklist to this point, you should have a very simple (but busy!) moving day.

After you've arrived

  • Return the truck. If you rented a moving truck, make sure you don’t get charged an extra day! Get the truck back on time.
  • Check your utilities. Make sure everything is working properly.
  • Take plenty of pictures. If there is damage anywhere, these pictures will come in handy when you have to prove the damage didn’t come from you.
  • Hit up the welcome festivities on campus. If day one in your off-campus place is also day one of your college experience, be sure to take part in as many of the welcome activities as you can. It could be a chance to get to know some new people, or it could be a chance for you and your roommate to do your first thing together.

Download our printable college moving checklist.

See also: The 25 Most Affordable College Towns in America

Christa Baxter
Written by
Christa Baxter
Christa Baxter has worked as an editor for more than eight years and specialized in moving content for the last three. She leads the content team in producing whip-smart moving tips and recs. After relocating four times in the last calendar year, she’s got strong opinions about moving best practices. (Just don’t ever pull a Marie Kondo and suggest she whittle down her personal library.) She earned a BA and MA in English with a minor in editing.