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Tips For Moving Into Your Dorm Amid The Coronavirus Pandemic

The time has finally come, folks. Our six-month spring break is on its way out and move-in season is upon us once more.

Due to the many restrictions put in place to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, it can be tougher than usual to navigate the move-in process.

Once you manage to grab your stuff from storage and are heading out to buy more, here are a few tips that should make your move-in safe, speedy, and as exciting as ever.

Before You Arrive…

Pack A Mask

Mask-wearing is still mandated in all dorms on campus (and most apartment buildings and all stores downtown). I don’t know about you, but it would really suck to get all of your stuff to your apartment or dorm and not be allowed in because you forgot a mask. Don’t be that person. By wearing your mask, you’ll help keep both yourself and the people around you safe.

Stock Up On The Essentials

Although your apartment or dorm has probably (hopefully) been cleaned since their previous occupants moved out, it never hurts to be on the safe side. Before you leave, grab some disinfectants, like hand sanitizer, wipes, and Lysol spray. They’ll work wonders to clean those grimy surfaces and get your new living space in tip-top shape. We’ve compiled a list of essential items to make your living experience a little bit easier this semester.

Don’t Wait Until Last Minute To Pack

Getting everything organized in advance helps alleviate the stress of actually moving all your stuff into your dorm. Leaving everything for the last minute will guarantee you forgetting at least one thing. A good way to beat the clock is gradually piling up your packed belongings in your garage or living room to avoid that last-minute crunch.

Get To Know The Guides

Amid a global pandemic, Dear Old State doesn’t look quite the same as it used to. Luckily, Penn State has published a bunch of guidelines to help keep folks safe and get you up to speed on the new rules. Being familiar with the guidelines will help make your transition much easier and prevent you from potentially causing harm during your move-in. Check out our guide to all of Penn State’s guides here.

When You Arrive…

Follow Instructions

When you get to campus, follow all of the signs and instructions posted. They’re there for a reason! Not only will they help to keep you safe, but they will also help to keep the process as streamlined and efficient as possible. Remember: you are not the only person moving in, so be considerate!

Wipe Down Moving Carts

If you are lucky enough to have access to those classic red moving carts for all of your stuff, be sure to wipe them down or at least spray them with disinfectant. A lot of people will be using them before you! Who knows where those carts have been before you came around?

Use The Stairs For The Small Stuff

Elevator trips are likely going to be inevitable unless you’re moving onto the first floor of your dorm or apartment. In a place where social distancing is impossible, try to limit your number of trips up and down. Using the stairs for carrying your smaller items will not only limit the time you spend in the elevator, but it will also reduce the amount of time standing around waiting for an open car since most elevators in dorms and apartments have capacity limits to enforce social distancing.

If you do need to use the elevator, try pressing buttons using your elbow, or really anything other than your fingers.

Wave, But Don’t Hug

Although you’ll be eager to see your friends for the first time in months (and are even more excited to meet more people!), try not to hug the folks you haven’t seen in a while. People are coming from all across the country, and greeting each other from 6 feet apart might just keep you from getting sick or potentially spreading the virus to anyone else.

Go Shopping During Off Hours

Forgot to bring a light for your room? Need to stock up on your favorite snacks? Whether you’re headed downtown or up North Atherton to grab all the goodies you waited to get, you certainly won’t be alone. Beat the crowds and promote social distancing by going to the stores during off hours. Instead of heading to Trader Joe’s with the rest of State College in the middle of the day, go first thing in the morning, and avoid waiting when you could be decorating.

Skip The Restaurant And Opt For Delivery Or Takeout

Don’t get me wrong: Now more than ever, it’s important to support local State College businesses. However, restaurant capacity levels are smaller than ever before, and wait times are going to be astronomical. Families traveling from all over the country are going to be crowding here, so it’s safer to avoid sit-down meals. A better option is to order delivery straight to your apartment or dorm to enjoy your last meal with your parents in a controlled environment.

Wear A Mask!

Remember the mask you should have packed? In case you thought you could get away with not wearing one since move-in is pretty spread out already, I call bullshit. I lugged all of my stuff up 12 floors. If I can do it while wearing a mask, I bet you can move in and wear one too. I promise it’s not hard!

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About the Author

Alysa Rubin

Alysa was Onward State's visual editor. She's one of many "just outside of Philly" folks at Penn State and yes, she's an obnoxious Philly sports fan. Alysa loves her camera, hiking, a good soft pretzel, and eating her way through Wawa. She's also a proud mom to a cat named Comet. Follow @arubin241 on Twitter to keep up with what she sees through her lens (and for a funny retweet or two).

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