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MIT student blogger Anelise N. '19

Labor Day, literally by Anelise N. '19

Moving back into my dorm room

Today was moving-in day, where I moved all of my stuff out of storage and back into my dorm room. Moving-in day is my second-least-favorite day of the year, after moving-out day (which additionally involves cramming all of your things into a bunch of tiny boxes).

Me driving my stuff back to my dorm in a giant U-Haul truck

I always dread having to move my stuff. I’m not entirely sure why. I always think that moving is going to take much longer than it does (usually I split a storage unit with a friend and it takes around 3 hours). I think it’s because there are so many steps to the process, and all of them are inconvenient and involve lots of sweating. It’s also pretty sad to think about all the effort you’re expending to move an entire dorm room’s worth of stuff back and forth, back and forth along a one-mile stretch of road every summer for four years.

But regardless, moving is a perennial part of my back-to-school experience, so this year I decided to document the process.

Since I’m from LA, I do not have a car nor family in the area. So the way I usually handle my summer storage is by renting a storage space at U-Haul for the summer and then renting a truck at the beginning and ends of the school year to transport stuff from my dorm to the facility and vice versa. But different students choose to store their stuff in a lot of different ways. Some people have friends or family nearby that can store their boxes or help them move, which simplifies the process. Some people hire moving companies to transfer and store the boxes for them. MIT dorms also offer a storage plan that covers up to 6 boxes of storage in the dorm itself (usually in basements or suite closets), but unfortunately I have waaaay more than 6 boxes of stuff. So let this be a warning to all pre-frosh deciding how much junk to bring to college. ;)

My amazing friends Yida and Sarah agreed to help me move my things. Yida and I moved out together at the beginning of the summer and shared a storage locker, but she got back to school earlier to particpate in sorority recruitment, so by the time I showed up she had already moved her things out. I typically move into my dorm on Labor Day, the day before Reg Day, which is when you meet with your advisor to choose your classes. A lot of people are already moved in at this point, but I always try to maximize my time at home with my family.

Us at dinner a couple of hours ago!

Yida and I had stored our stuff in a storage locker at the U-Haul in Central Square, which is about a 15-minute walk from my dorm. I think this location is the most convenient for students living on campus. I tried a different storage company last summer farther away from MIT because it was cheaper, but ultimately the lower rate was not worth the extra hassle of driving over there and dealing with their policies.

The inside of the U-Haul.
Our storage locker.

Yesterday, I tried to reserve a 9-foot covered cargo van from their website, but there were none available at that location (presumably because of the hundreds of thousands of college students flooding into Boston right now), so I reserved a 10-foot truck instead. Fortunately when I walked into the location today they had one of the cargo vans available.

If I ever need a 10-foot truck to fit my dorm room stuff, I’m going to need an intervention.

First we moved my stuff out of the storage unit into the back of the truck using the dollies they have in the storage facility.

Then we drove over to MIT! Turns out it’s exactly one mile between MacGregor and the U-Haul.

So much packing for so little displacement :(
Our truck!

Then we had to get the stuff from the truck to my room. Most of the dorms have either dollies or carts available that students can use to wheel their luggage in. I was able to use one of MacGregor’s carts to get my boxes up the elevator.

Unfortunately, the way MacGregor is set up, the elevator only stops on every third floor. So Yida and Sarah helped me carry my boxes from the elevator down a flight of stairs and down the hallway to my room.

My boxes…home at last :D

In total, the whole process took less than two hours, and was probably the least stressful moving day I’ve had so far. That is 100% thanks to my amazing friends who were willing to lend their time and biceps to give me a hand.

In total, renting the truck came out to be about $35 (U-Haul advertises a price of $19.95, but they kind of nickel-and-dime you on insurance, equipment, etc. The good part is that you pay by the mile, not by the hour, so you can keep the truck all day if you need to or want the flexibility). We paid $84.95/month for the storage unit for four months (U-Haul doesn’t prorate and summer is approximately 14 weeks), so that comes out to ~$340/2 = $170/person.

That said, I feel like after doing this 3 times I should share some of the valuable wisdom I’ve learned about moving and storing my stuff.

Anelise’s Tips for Summer Storage

  1. Bring less stuff. I am being a total hypocrite in saying this because in case you couldn’t tell from the picture above, I have a ton of stuff. A lot of it is clothes. I really like clothes so I feel like it’s worth hauling my wardrobe around in order to have fashion diversity on a day-to-day basis. But that is definitely a calculation you should make before bringing everything you own to college.
  2. Put the stuff that you do have in smaller boxes. From someone who has tried to move with both A) a handful of really big, heavy boxes and B) a plethora of small, manageable boxes, the latter goes faster and is much less exhausting. I promise.
  3. Find friends, if you can. Moving really works out better when you have multiple hands and can split labor, a storage space, and a truck. Plus, friends are friends :D

There was one good thing about moving in…

I got to move back into my entry from last year! This is actually the first year I have moved back into the same place I lived the year before. I am currently living in D-Entry in MacGregor and I really like it. Today, we went to lunch at Yamato, a sushi place in Back Bay with an all-you-can-eat buffet, in order to welcome the new freshmen.


I’m glad to be back in D Entry, and here’s to a great year!