UI parents share advice for move-in day

Moving a child to college is a big transition for everyone. To help ease what’s sure to a busy and emotional day, we asked seasoned UI parents to offer words of wisdom to the parents of this year’s incoming class. Here is what they had to say:

Instead of packing the countless odds and ends in plastic containers that consume so much car space, pack items separately and you will get more items packed into the same space. Also, bring a stack of several laundry baskets with the top one filled. When it’s time to unpack the car, fill the laundry baskets for as many trips from car to dorm as needed. The baskets contain items very well on a moving cart.

Bob Peroutka, Milwaukee
Parent of student Allison Peroutka


  • Don’t bring a trailer; try to bring everything in one vehicle (preferably a van or larger vehicle), but not a large moving truck, unless you are moving multiple students.
  • If you’re moving into Hillcrest, try not to bring any big items that would require an elevator. The elevators are small, and you will wait much longer for the elevator vs. using stairs.
  • Don’t forget tools if you need to assemble anything (if you do forget, though, the front desk is very helpful and accommodating in loaning them).
  • Try to coordinate with your student’s roommate so you move in at different times. This helps reduce the chaos.
  • Try to convince your student to be realistic about the quantity of items they bring. You can always bring more stuff later.

Bryan Lamos, Snoqualmie, Washington
Parent of student Sara Lamos


I would suggest bringing extra power strips and an extra-long TV cable, because sometimes the cable hookup is across the room from where the kids want to set up their TV. We also used 3M adhesives to attach the cable to the walls—very easy to remove when they move out. We also put large 3M hooks on the sides of the closet walls. This is where kids could hang towels or jackets. 

Jodi Nemmers, Dubuque, Iowa
Parent of student Jacob Nemmers


Make the departure short and sweet. The longer you stick around, the harder it is on the student and the parent. We said goodbye to our daughter and took off. My wife cried a little in the dorm room, and she and our daughter’s siblings cried in the car on the way home. It was much easier on our daughter not having to see everyone in tears when they left. We told her goodbye and gave her a hug and smiled at her through the window as we left. We didn’t call for one whole day so she could get settled in and enjoy her new roommate.

Chris Crutchfield, Story City, Iowa
Parent of student Lexi Crutchfield


Everything is easier if you give a little grace to everyone you meet. It’s all new, exciting, chaotic, crowded, hot, and sad. And just like childhood, it’s over in a blink of an eye.

Christie Carter, Sycamore, Illinois
Parent of student Travis Carter