Avoid Moving Day Surprises With These Tips Family / Parents Canada

First kid moving out to university or college? I see so many parents (and I presume their students) struggling with what’s happening – when to do it, how to do it, what to take. With my third moving into residence this Sunday, thought I’d share some advice. My main piece of advice is to throw out any advice based on what WE did, a million years ago.

The university or college will assign a specific move in date for your child. And a specific time window. This is mostly to balance the elevator times out. You MUST be in that window or get special exception to be outside of it.

At most universities, you have to pack everything into boxes or bins, labeled with your child’s last name, and room number. This is because you are mostly not allowed to touch the stuff being moved in. A friendly crowd of students will come and move all of your kid’s stuff, to their rooms. At my daughter’s university (and I suspect many), suitcases are not allowed, nor are garbage bags full of stuff. Boxes and bins only, which you can take away once they are moved in.

Most residences don’t let you bring in your own mini-fridge. For insurance purposes, they will only allow you to rent an approved one, through them. If your child has a roommate, they will charge one, and they can split it. Try not to order two fridges as they mostly won’t fit. Many small appliances are NOT allowed in residence rooms (toasters, etc) and they can usually find these in the residence floor kitchens anyway.

The university should publish a list of what they need – I was surprised to find toilet paper on the list, but not surprised to find bathroom cleaning products, detergent, hangers, etc.
Most residences have full WiFi available, but some still rely on ethernet – I know! Check to make sure. My daughter was told not to bring a printer, as they have those available.

The day of the move in, sit back and let the students move your student in. Don’t be surprised if they want you to leave as soon as you have put the last box back in your car. Most residences will have a dinner/meal/party lined up for the first night, so don’t expect to take them out for a teary goodbye ‘last meal’. Save your tears for walking past their empty bedroom that night – your choice if they are of joy or despair.

My daughter’s university has a week of Orientation Activities, so she moves in this weekend, not Labour Day – but each university can vary. She had to register for many of the activities she wants to do, and they will fill up, so look out for those.

My biggest piece of advice? All of this stuff above? Your KID should be doing it – getting the list together, checking the move in times, doing their laundry to pack all of their clothes, labeling their stuff (hey shout out to Mabel’s Labels you will never use more than when your kid goes to university) and following the guidelines. THEY get the emails from the university, not you.

Good luck! And remember they’ll be back in SIX weeks for Thanksgiving. And that first Reading Week. And Christmas break. They’re basically always home.


Kathy Buckworth is a writer, personality and host who lives in Toronto, Canada. She is a major press contributor, the author of 6 books, and is an international travel writer.

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