How to Help Your First Year College Student Child Move Out of Their Dorm for the Summer
The summer is the peak moving season. If you’re the parent of a college student, this means you probably have one more trip to a dorm before your child heads off for summer break.
However, most students don’t move out because they love their dorm so much. Instead, it’s a challenge to get them out of there and into an apartment or house for the summer.
Here are some tips on how you can help your student make this transition as painless as possible.
Know What to Expect and Set Clear Expectations
Your student will likely have many questions and may feel a bit overwhelmed. Help them set clear expectations as to when and how this transition will happen.
This will help you avoid conflict and ensure everyone is on the same page.
For example, your student may expect you to come to clean their room, or they may want to do it themselves.
They may want you to go and pack up their stuff, or they may expect to take it with them. Whatever expectations you set, make sure they are clear and everyone is on the same page.
Have a Packing Plan
Your student may want to pack up their room themselves, but hiring a professional for many is a good idea. Employing a professional means you can get their room cleaned and packed up in a day.
This will give them a chance to finish any finals and then have some time to unpack their dorm before they have to leave for the summer.
If your student is packing up the space themselves, they’ll need help organizing everything.
Make sure all their clothes are folded and that they’re putting them in plastic bags. Make sure any electronics are correctly packed.
Most importantly, make certain clothes that smell like food or pets are washed or put in a bag.
Set Up Transportation and Communication
Your child may have been taking the bus to and from school all year, but that won’t work now that they’re moving out.
Make sure you have a way to get them to and from their new place.
You may need to help with gas money, or maybe your student has a car or has found a ride.
Discuss these things ahead of time. You may also want to set up a communication plan. If your student doesn’t have a cell phone, find out how they plan to communicate with you.
Will they get a phone and a plan? If so, when? If not, is there an email address or a messaging app they can use?
Help Them Find the Right Place for the Summer
You’ve probably gotten a feel for what your student is like as a roommate and what they’re looking for in a roommate.
However, you may not know what their roommate is like or what they’re looking for. So, talk to your student about what they’re looking for in a roommate.
Once you find someone you both like, make sure you do a background check. You can do this online or with a service like SafeWise.
You can also ask the student for references and do a call or text them.
Have a Storage Option
Some students will have a garage or room that they can use as storage. However, many won’t. Make sure you’re prepared for this by hiring a storage unit ahead of time.
If you don’t want to account for the storage unit cost, you can also look into renting a garage or renting a guest room.
You can also look into borrowing space from a friend or family member near your child. Just make sure you have a plan B if something doesn’t work out.
Are You Ready?
Your child may not love their dorm. They may have roommates they don’t like or have a school they don’t like.
Whatever the reason, they likely don’t want to stay in the dorm for another summer.
However, they may feel like they don’t have a choice. If this is the case, you can help them make this transition as smooth as possible.
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Help them find a place to live, lock in essentials for the summer such as internet and health insurance, and make sure you have a packing plan.
This will help them transition from a dorm to an apartment as smoothly as possible.
Do you have any tips on how to help your child move out of their dorm for the summer?
Let me know, til then—cheers m’deres!
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Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela and partner and best friend to Darasak. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.