6 tips for moving out of your college pad

By Aaron Graff, @Graffintosh

Whether you walked out of your finals with an A, or you slept through it, you made it. Another school year is completed and you probably have to unpack your apartment or dorm room. Here’s how to do so efficiently:

1. Shop conservatively

Remember at the beginning of the school year when grocery stores and restaurants were filled with teary-eyed parents and students who could not get enough distance from their parents? Hectic times.


Black Friday has no comparison to the many buying their first futon and a month worth of ramen noodles.

The end of the school year comes faster than many anticipate. There is no reason to overstock, and you might realize you still have half a month of ramen from the beginning of the year anyway.  

2. Sell first, donate second, dispose of last

They say one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Plus, there are costs of moving. Not every item makes the cut of things you take back home or into your next chapter of life. Someone in the area may need or want the mini-fridge that does not fit. 

Post it on social media and garage sale websites first, and you might make a quick buck. If it’s a little worn out, someone might take it off your hands for free. 

You shouldn’t waste something unless you run out of time to do anything else or you really cannot find any takers.

3. Consider what you have beforehand


You probably don’t want your residential assistant or parent knowing about everything you have in your room. Whether it’s empty booze bottles, something kinky, or the ol’ ramen your parents bought and you wasted. There are arguments you don’t want to have and trouble not worth getting in.

Take inventory before it is too late.

4. Respect your helpers 

If you live in the residence halls, you have help available. Use it. Multiple trips are tiring.

But show respect. Use your manners, offer them the ramen you once loved before it made you sick.

Most importantly respect their time. If your folks tell you to be ready at a time, be ready before then. Those old timers show up early all the time.

When your residential assistant asks you to open a dresser drawer, it’s embarrassing when there are still clothes in there.

Papa Bear was pretty aggravated after my freshman year when I did that. I had just finished my first year of college and made that simple mistake. It made it harder for him to believe I performed well academically.

5. Take one last nostalgic lap

Chances are you’ve changed a little since you first moved in your place.

Whether you’re the straight-edge kid who finally turned up, the shy kid who became the loud one, or the kid who “would never survive sharing a room or having home cooked meals at precisely 6:30 p.m.” turned into a version of Bear Grylls, the environment around you hardly changed. Appreciate that.

Even if you are dying to get out, it’s somewhere you never may get to go again.

6. Give your friends a big hug 

Southern Illinois has been your home for the better part of the year, and you’ve probably grown close to many people in that time. Within a few weeks of being home or away on an internship, you’ll probably miss the city and your college friends.

But you also don’t know the next time you’ll see them. People decide to transfer at random times. People find jobs around the world. Even if you know you’re coming back, your friend might not. So show your love while you can.

Aaron Graff can be reached at [email protected] or at 618-536-3334