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Moving Into a Dorm Room Can Be a Breeze

Updated: Feb 14, 2023

I have to smile when I think back to the time we helped our daughter move into her college dorm room. I still remember leaving for the 5-hour ride home, waving one last time, before she disappeared behind a group of freshmen, ready to start on her new adventure.

Something else I won’t forget is the time leading up to her departure, which was spent planning every detail, making list after list. We started shopping several weeks ahead of time; picking up items along the way. It created wonderful moments together and gave her a feeling of relief, knowing that she would have everything she needed in plenty of time.

Being a professional organizer, I constantly stress the importance of being organized. Going through this process, I was once again reminded of how much easier it makes our lives. I felt confident that move-in day would be easy. What I was not prepared for was how quickly and effortlessly we pulled it off. Afterward, when walking past other open dorm rooms, we saw both parents and students looking overwhelmed at the mountain of “stuff” that needed to find a home. I had to fight the urge to offer advice (and embarrass my daughter in the process).

Here is what we did to make the move-in process a breeze

1. Hang all clothing on slimline hangers, grouped by style (sweatshirts, short-sleeved shirts/blouses, long-sleeved shirts/blouses, pants, dresses). We covered each group of clothing with a large garbage bag, tieing each bag at the neck of the hanger. We filled a hanging shoe organizer with her shoes, then rolled it up and stored it in a large garbage bag for easy transport. Once we got to the room, we simply hung the groups of bags into the closet and removed the garbage bags. Done! The clothes and shoes hung neatly side by side.

2. Store items, such as towels and bedding in under-bed storage boxes. We used cubbies with individual drawers that hold her nail care items, a first aid kit, personal hygiene items, etc.

3. Fold items like shorts, tanks, jeans, etc. into piles of like items in plastic storage bags. Once in the room, we transferred the piles to the dresser drawers. I lined the dresser drawers with nonstick liners just to make sure that nothing got snagged or dirty.

4. Use collapsible drawer organizers for socks and underwear, which fit nicely into the deep dresser drawers.

5. Sort small school supplies into drawer organizers and simply transfer them to her desk.

All we had left was to make up the bed, unroll the rug, and hang a few posters. I think it may have taken us longer to carry her belongings in from the car than to organize them into her room.

Moving to college can be an emotional time for both parent and child–I was glad I could lessen the stress and anxiety of the day for all of us.

For more tips and a list of products check out Dorm Room Organizing Essentials or Planning Your College Packing List.

Need accountability or hands-on assistance with any of your organizing projects? Call or email, I’m here to help, whether in person or virtually. Call 585-201-6009 or write to

Disclosure statement: Some of the blogs on this site occasionally contain affiliate links that may provide a small commission to OrganizingbyYve at no additional cost to you. I write about the things I love and have recommended or used myself throughout my years as a professional organizer.


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