Prep Work 101

To do

First things first, communicate with your new landlord. Set the move-in-date. In most cases, you can expect to pay the first month's rent, last month's rent and security deposit up front. Ask when and in what form the landlord wants the money. Try to get this out of the way before move-in-day. Your goal is to make moving day the least chaotic as possible.

Beware the Negligent Landlord

Landlords do not take college students seriously. They are likely hand you the keys to a dirty house with a leaky roof and charge you for the damage by from the former tenant. They get away with this because most students don't know any better. Be the exception. Before your lease is set in stone, walk through your new house with the landlord. Check thoroughly for holes in the walls, windows and test every appliance. Take pictures of any damage you find. List the items that need to be fixed and the condition you expect the house to be in when you move there. If you miss something that is broken you are at risk for losing your security deposit over someone else's mistake. Have your landlord sign the list and keep a copy for yourself. It is very important to get this agreement in writing!

Procrastinating is your enemy

Start looking for boxes ahead of time. As a college student you have fantastic procrastinating skills, but resist the urge.

UHAUL's Web site sells a Student Mover kit for $94.44. The kit includes medium and small boxes, bubble wrap and moving tape. This could be an quick solution depending on your budget.

There is no need to spend your beer money just yet. Certain businesses, like restaurants and grocery stores, throw away boxes daily. Call around and find out which places will give you their boxes. If a friend or roommate works at a restaurant, see if they can help you snag a few.

QUICK TIP: Cut corners where you can. Instead of packing your clothes in boxes, fit as many folded clothes into your hamper as you can. It's coming with you anyways. Another option is to leave the clothes in your closet on hangers. Cover them in trash bags and transport them as is. It will save packing and unpacking time and boxes. Your clothes could fall off the hangers, so be careful.