Move-in weekend is one of the most stressful times of year for an RA. If this is your first one, prepare yourself now for a lot to go wrong. You’re sure to find a surprise around every corner and there’s no way to know what student disaster will be waiting around the hallway or in the next student room. So how do you keep the world from falling apart during move-in weekend? You prepare for everything! Here’s a move-in weekend toolkit list to help prepare.
Extra Name Tags
It’s inevitable that your roster is going to change the day of move-in. Whether it is because a student doesn’t show up, there is a roommate conflict , or an unforeseen facilities issue, it’s going to happen. Just count on it.
Some of those beautiful, carefully constructed door decorations / name tags you’ve spent hours creating may need to change – and in a hurry! There’s nothing worse than a student entering their room for the first time to find they either don’t have a door tag or that it’s got someone else’s name on it. To prevent this from happening, it’s best to make a few extras and keep them in your move-in weekend toolkit. That way, you can quickly and easily add a name tag or door decoration for a newly added resident.
Another must have for your move-in weekend toolkit is a printed roster of your current residents. You may be asking, “Wait, why do I need a printed roster if it’s just going to change?” Well, that’s actually exactly why you need it. As names are added and removed and as residents shift to different rooms, you can make the adjustments right away.
If your hall director or community coordinator has not yet provided with you a roster for your floor, make sure you ask for one at least a couple days before move-in. I also highly suggest keeping a clipboard handy. This gives you a hard surface to write on while on the move so you can keep up with changes on the go!
A Water Bottle
Move-in always happens in August…and it’s hot in August. Another key item you should include in your move-in weekend toolkit is a reusable water bottle. I’m a big fan of nalgene bottles or the Zulu glass water bottles; both are very sturdy and easily refillable. You can also customize nalgene water bottles with stickers – I put a ton on mine! – it’s a really great way to show off your personality and the things you love. Zulu bottles are also incredibly unique and a great option if you prefer glass to plastic.
Staying hydrated is so, so, so, so, SO important because it’s going to be hot and it’s likely you’re going to be very active during move-in weekend. You don’t want to get dehydrated!
A key piece of attire for your move-in weekend toolkit is a comfortable pair of shoes. You’re going to be going up and down stairs, running errands for your supervisor, going door-to-door to introduce yourself, tracking down residents for your occupancy reports, and potentially assisting residents carrying belongings to their rooms. That’s a lot of movement, so definitely don’t plan on wearing sandals or high heels!
Your Cell Phone (and a Portable Charger!)
Something else you’ll need for your move-in weekend toolkit is your cell phone. It’s likely you were planning to have it with you anyway, but I want to mention it just in case. You need you phone readily available during move-in weekend, so make sure you don’t leave your room with it.
It’s also a good idea to have a portable charger. If you don’t have one already, these babies are absolutely fantastic! Consider picking one up, especially if you know the battery on your phone doesn’t last particularly long. You’re going to be using your cell phone throughout the day to speak with your supervisor (and possibly your residents), so you need to have it charged. Being able to plug it in on the go makes this much easier.
I’m a big backpack person. They are functional, keep your belongings secure, and allow you to carry a ton of stuff around. Because of this, backpacks are another must-have addition to your move-in weekend toolkit.
I’ve been listing a number of things you should plan to keep on hand and a backpack is the perfect way to do it! Not only will using a backpack ensure you have everything you need easily on hand, it’ll provide a good way for you to remain organized.
Don’t have one? Check out Swiss Gear backpacks. I’ve had a number of them throughout the years (the first one being back in high school!) and they’ve always held up well.
A Good Attitude
Lastly, the number one thing you need to have in your move-in weekend toolkit is a good attitude. Move-in day is going to be a busy, hectic, and stressful event. Don’t get discouraged or frustrated by anything you encounter. Use each experience as an opportunity to learn and grow. Start the day strong; end the day strong. And when the residence hall starts falling apart, “just keep swimming!”
A Move-In Weekend Toolkit Keeps Your Prepared for Anything!
You’re probably already familiar with Murphy’s Law? Basically, if it can happen, it will happen. This couldn’t be truer for move-in weekend. The most important thing is to stay calm and positive, and to have a well thought out and put together move-in weekend toolkit.
Have additional move-in weekend toolkit suggestions? Share them in the comment section!