Last-minute do's and don't's for move-in day

Expect help – from an impressive group of about 300
student volunteers called HELPs – on move-in day.

Do get ready. Sunday, Sept. 24 is Western’s official move-in day. But about half of all residents move in early. Early check-in is managed through the University Residences “staggered arrival” program. Students are given a suggested arrival time and day; those who follow the suggested time may move in early at no charge. Check MyHousing to see what arrival time University Residences recommends for you.

Do follow suggested directions for successful arrival. Once you arrive in Bellingham, follow our directions to your building: these are included in the print edition of our Moving In guide, as well as on our website. There are staging areas for each building, which means that cars arriving from the wrong direction will be sent to the end of the staging area. Following our directions to buildings keeps arrival queues fair and orderly.

Do make sure you follow staff instructions for arriving and waiting in line, and only park in designated places. You’ll have about 20 minutes to park in a loading zone. After that, you’ll move your car to one of the free lots.

Do tour your hall if you haven’t already. Find the emergency exits, bathrooms, study areas and lounges.

Do leave your door open while you settle in. You’ll be able to meet your floormates more easily. Also go out and introduce yourself to other people on the floor.

Do pack for one season at a time, if possible. You won’t have a lot of space in the closet. Consider packing the clothes you think you’ll need and then cut that amount in half.

Things you should bring

Picture ID. You’ll need it to check in and get your keys.


Cleaning supplies. Residents are responsible for cleaning their own bathrooms, except in suites with eight or more residents (Edens North, Mathes, Nash and Ridgeway Alpha, Delta, Kappa, Omega and Sigma). Housing staff recommend environmentally friendly cleaning products.

Memory foam. A little extra cushion on the bed can ensure you are well rested.

Snacks. Western provides several, conveniently located dining halls with delicious food, but sometimes you’ll get hungry between dining hall hours.

Plastic storage bins. Small storage bins will help keep your things easy to find.

A small set of tools. Some halls offer tools to check out, but others don’t. Housing has a supply of them, but if you have one, bring your own half-inch socket wrench for bed set-up. (This is not necessary for residents of Buchanan Towers, Buchanan Towers East, Fairhaven stacks 9-12 and Ridgeway Beta and Gamma).

If you plan to job hunt, bring the right clothes for that job search. Consider packing an interview outfit, a resume and references.

Removable painter’s tape for decorations.It’s generally not allowed to put holes in the walls, so use removable adhesive products to hang posters and pictures. Some rooms have closet doors made out of corkboard, making it easy to be creative.

Emergency kit. Bellingham is prone to occasional severe weather, so make sure you have an emergency kit placed conveniently in your room. Your emergency kit should include three days’ worth of disaster supplies such as a flashlight, energy bars, bottled water, a thermal blanket and body warmers. Western’s AS Bookstore sells three-day emergency kits, too.

First-aid kit. Make sure you are able to take care of any small injuries to prevent infection and the spread of germs. Any serious injuries should be seen at Western’s Health Center.

Things you don’t need:

Furniture. Unless you know how big your room is and you coordinate with your roommate, you really don’t need extra chairs, couches or tables. You’ll have a lounge in which to mingle with hall-mates.

Toilet paper, unless you live in Birnam Wood. It’s provided in every other hall.

Umbrella.Washington is known for rainy weather but Bellingham is known for rainy and windy weather that will turn your umbrella inside out. Instead, invest in good rain boots and a rain jacket.

A car. The bus system in Bellingham is very reliable – and your Western Card acts as a bus pass.