I know you’re not thinking about this.
Your kids just went back to school from a long, or short, winter break and are preparing for mid-term exams.
But trust me. NOW is the time to...
and take action.
Move-out day is coming. And it will be here sooner than you think. (And for some college towns you're already too late.)
If your teen is in the dorms, they will likely have to remove everything. If they are in an apartment with a year lease, they will likely be able to leave everything (everything that they don’t worry about being stolen or broken by roommates and roommates' friends.)
So let’s talk about moving out.
How close are they to you?
If close enough, do you have enough vehicles and drivers to go pick up their stuff? Or will you need to rent a van or Uhaul?
Does your kid have a car on campus?
Will they drive all the way back home?
Nice idea, but then what to do with their dorm stuff?
Will they fly home?
How will they get from the dorm to the airport?
If they have a car on campus, will they leave it at the airport for 3 months? That’s gonna get pricey. Is there long-term storage near the airport that is really cheap? (We found one for $2/day! Then take an Uber to the airport less than 2 miles.)
Let’s talk about their stuff… if you’re not coming to get them, they may need a local storage unit. Is a climate-controlled unit necessary? Will your teen need a Uhaul van to get their stuff TO the storage unit?
Did they, or you, save the boxes all their stuff came to college in? What condition are those boxes? Do they have tape to secure the boxes?
Your teen will spend the last 2 weeks of this semester studying (cramming) for finals. And “technically,” most dorm rules say you have to vacate and check out of the dorm within so many hours (12-24) of your last final exam. They will have to check out with their RA.
How will your teen pack everything while they are studying for exams?? They will believe they can do it after finals. No, they can’t. Ain’t gonna happen. Too much crap was brought. And too much crap accumulated! Trust me! Have a plan! Have them bring home or pack up some stuff during Easter/Spring break to get a head start. Maybe as much as half of it.
And let’s not forget, the room has to be CLEAN! Not mop clean, but at least swept clean.
I’ve seen kids toss everything in a dumpster and start over filling their dorm room each year. That gets pricey too.
Do the math.
Figure out the logistics.
Because flights, car reservations and rentals, storage facilities, and Uhaul rentals WILL get booked up by March or earlier. There are 5000 to 35000 students from your kid’s college, and kids from every other local 4-year college in the same boat, having to get on a flight from the major airport (30 minutes to 2 hours away) and finding a place to put their stuff and stash their car.
Be the one who has their act together.
P.S. Some colleges offer a service to pick up and store your kid's dorm stuff for a fee. They don’t pack it though! And your kid still has to sweep up. So keep the broom.