An insider's guide to moving in at Western
Moving in on Opening Day is easier, thanks to volunteers.
By Geri Massengale and Stephanie Lonzak
WWU University Communications Interns
Doís and Donítís for move-in day:
Do make sure you park your car in designated places. Parking your car nearest your residence hall could cause inconveniences to other students and families moving in as well. You might need to take more trips to your car, but there are always volunteers to help out.
Do tour your hall if you havenít already. Being familiar with where the exits are will be helpful in emergencies. Itís also beneficial to know where alternative bathrooms, study areas and lounges are.
Do get your bed parts first, and put them where you want in your room; then situate your belongings. Placing your belongings in the hallway could be a fire hazard and could inconvenience other students moving in.
Move-in day stories
More Opening Day information
Read Western's "Moving In" brochure.
Leave your door open. There will be a lot of people going through the hall; sometimes neighbors will stop by when taking a break from unpacking. If your door is open, youíll be able to meet your floor-mates more easily. Also go out and explore, introduce yourself to other people on the floor. Be sure you close your door when you leave, though.
Pack seasonally if possible. Keep in mind you wonít have a large amount of space in the closet. I was told once to pack clothes that I thought I would need and then cut that amount in half.
Things you should bring
Memory foam. The beds arenít always comfortable so invest in memory foam to ensure you are well rested during your academic year.
Snacks. Western provides several, conveniently located dining halls with delicious food, but sometimes youíll get hungry between dining hall hours.
Plastic storage bins. Most rooms will provide closets, but if you want to organize your things, having small storage bins will help you keep your things neat and easy to find.
Small cleaning amenities such as Clorox Wipes or 409. Itís nice to have some on hand just in case thereís a mess.
A small set of tools. Things might happen throughout your stay that require some sort of fixing. Some halls offer tool checkouts, but others donít. Having your own half-inch socket wrench to set up your bed instead of having to wait and check one out is nice, too.
Proper tools for decorations. Itís generally policy not to put holes in the walls; to hang up posters and pictures, use putty or painterís tape. The rooms have closet doors made out of cork board making it easy to be creative with your space.
Something that reminds you of home. If you are easily homesick, having something that reminds you of being home will ease your mind.
Emergency kit. Bellingham is prone to severe weather from time to time, so make sure you have an emergency kit placed conveniently in your dorm. Your emergency kit should include three daysí worth of disaster supplies such as a flashlight, canned goods, bottled water, thermal blanket and body warmers.
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 Westernís Health Center.
Things you donít need:
Toilet paper, trash bags and cleaning supplies Ė unless you live in Birnam Wood, where these items are not provided. A vacuum may also be provided, but check with your RA for sure.
Furniture. Unless you know how big your room is and you coordinate with your roommate, you really donít need extra furniture such as chairs, couches or tables. Remember, there likely will be a lounge in your hall where you can mingle with dorm mates.
Umbrella. Washington is known for rainy weather but Bellingham is known for rainy and windy weather. Your umbrella will be no use up here unless you want to look silly when it turns inside out. Itís best to invest in good rain boots and a rain jacket.
A car. The bus system in Bellingham is very reliable Ė and your Western Card acts as a bus pass.