Move-In Day Tips and Tricks

I’m moving back to campus tomorrow….ahhhhhhh. I totally should be packing and running errands right now. I absolutely hate going out to Target or the mall area around Neil/Prospect this time of year because it’s so uber crowded, so I’m trying to get stuff while I’m still at home.

If you’re reading this I’m presuming you’re either a freshman or will be a freshman next year, so here are my move-in tips for you first timers.

*Put everything you want to take in a pile and then cut it in half. (I always bring more stuff than what I ever need/use.)

*The earlier you come to move in, the better. (I know they tell you to move in during a certain time period…but it really doesn’t matter.)

*There should be students there to help you move in, called “I-guides”. (It can be a hot and exhausting job, so be sure to thank them!)

*Don’t expect to take the elevator…it will probably have a long line. Find one of the giant carts to help move your stuff.

*Make sure you keep your dorm room door open and meet as many people as you can.

*Even though you probably want your parents to leave, have them take you to the bookstore, Target, etc. to buy you any last minute stuff and an Illini hoodie…and then go out to eat for one last “free” meal.

*Don’t drive on Green Street if at all possible. (Last time I was in Champaign there was construction blocking parts of it.)

*If you decide to go to a restaurant anywhere within 15 minutes of campus, try to make reservations ahead of time or be prepared to wait.

*Fill up your gas tank away from the Chambana area. (I’ve never really investigated this, but it always seems like gas is more expensive in Champaign around move-in day with all the extra traffic.)

*While you’re parking around campus town be weary of illegal/private parking spots so you don’t get towed/ticketed. (I think they probably put extra parking staff on duty just to hand out more tickets during move-in weekend…punks.)

*For those of you moving in next year, if your family plans on staying overnight in a hotel to help you move in, they should book their hotel as soon as you get your acceptance letter because they book up fast.


Please note that comments close after 90 days.


January 24, 2008, 11:41 pm

In your opinion, what is the best dorm to request if you are an incoming freshman??



January 26, 2008, 11:52 am

Hey Amanda,

So that answer really depends on a lot of different things. All in all, pretty much everyone will say that the dorm they lived in their Freshman year is the best one on campus!

I’ll write a separate blog entry about it this week with more specifics about some of the dorms, promise.



January 31, 2008, 1:25 am

Just so you know, even though you can offer I-Guides a tip, they are not actually allowed to take it; they are volunteers. Don’t be offended if they reject your money =)… I had to refuse tips a couple of times last year as an I-Guide, and it’s always awkward.



January 31, 2008, 5:38 pm

Ha…thanks for the correction…I did I guides once and I didnt get money, but I was offered water/snacks and def. took it…ha…that’s probably against the rules too.



February 17, 2008, 7:09 am

I’m an international student.can i arrive there ahead of time and move into the dorm? like two weeks before the class opening day.



February 19, 2008, 2:03 am

Hey Nancy,
I’m not sure what the rules are with moving in early for international students, but I know the Admissions Office would know. You should contact them directly and speak to an international admissions counselor. The international admissions email is:



April 27, 2008, 9:04 pm

hey. do you know what the rules are about moving in early? or are there even any? i’ve heard that move in day in a huge headache..and that if you can get in early you should. by the way..your posts rock.



May 1, 2008, 3:04 pm

Hey Haley…sorry it took a while to get back to you…it’s been pretty hectic with final projects and stuff…

Really, move-in day isn’t that horrible at all. Later on, Housing will send you some info with the times you’re supposed to move in, but I just came early in the morning and it was really easy! Plus they have a lot people there to help you out.

I’m not exactly sure what the exceptions are about moving in early… I know some sports teams, Marching Illini members, or if you live in one of the special living learning communities allows you to move in early, but beyond that I’m not for sure.



May 31, 2008, 7:51 am

Hey Elana,

I have quite a few years to go before I apply for colleges but I’m just looking at some I might want to think about going to. Is the first day really scary? I am going to be so nervous. Those are some pretty nice tips for moving in. I’ll let those take into affect if I get accept to Illinois. Thanks!



June 2, 2008, 1:18 pm

Hey hey Lindsey!
That’s awesome that you’re so eager and already looking into colleges…enjoy high school tho!!

It was kinda nerve-wrecking…I had a random roommate and you always picture those horror stories from tv/movies that have people with horrible roommates in college…but we got to talk on the phone a few times before move in day and now we’re best friends! Elana:)