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Four college students prepare to move into a dorm building with their belongings from home.

Tips to Earn an A+ on Your College Move-In

It doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman in a shared dorm or a senior living off-campus with your own space – Penske has you covered with tips to ace your college move-in this year.

You’ve booked your Penske truck, so it’s time to prepare for the move to start or go back to life at college. Whether you’re driving in state or hours across the country, prepare in advance so your move-in day goes as seamlessly as possible.


To make unloading the truck easier and save time once you arrive at school, ensure you gather all the proper packing supplies. Invest in these supplies beforehand: boxes to store all your items during the drive, packing tape to seal the boxes and markers to label the boxes. Check out our full list of recommended truck rental packing items here.

Pack It Up

The task of packing away your room at home for college can appear daunting, but take it step by step for the least amount of hassle.

Make a list of items you can pack in the truck, what you plan to keep at home and things you will buy once you arrive at school. This way, you’ll feel organized from the start of packing through the set-up of your new living space at college.

Set aside boxes for items you’re bringing to school. Start another bag for items you can donate – major seasonal packing is always a good time to sort through your room to donate clothing, books, décor and more to a local shelter, donation center or consignment shop.

If you need any items that you aren’t packing from home, be sure to order them ahead of time for delivery to stores near your college or to your college’s mail room.

Set a Date

Look ahead on the calendar for your first day of classes, orientation if you’re a first-year or new student, and any other beginning-of-the-school-year commitments on the horizon. Some schools have set move-in dates for students, particularly freshmen or transfer students. Sticking to a date will help keep your packing on schedule and reduce stress for the drive and move-in day.

Once You Arrive

The day is here – it’s time to begin a new chapter of your life or start another exciting year of college. But first, unpacking and moving in!

For some returning students, if you utilized self-storage over the summer, make sure to stop at the facility and load the belongings in your truck to bring back to school.

Spend time sorting through your boxes and organizing your room just how you envisioned it in your head – it’ll be your main living space for the next nine months. Be sure to take a break to rest, eat, drink water and spend the last few moments with your family if they have come with you to say goodbye until the next visit. You only do college move-in so many times!

Other Considerations:

Still looking to rent a truck for your upcoming college move-in?Instead of taking multiple trips with multiple vehicles, consider a Penske Truck Rental to help streamline the moving process. Penske offers college students a 10% discount on all truck rentals – use promo code STUDENT to receive 10% off your next truck rental.

By Catie Mannato, Communications & Events Intern