As the oldest public university in the state of Illinois, Illinois State University has spent decades refining the move-in process to make it as efficient and manageable as possible. But the process can only remain smooth if students and those assisting them during move-in help by following these tips:

Pack lightly. We joke during Preview about students bringing everything they own and expecting it to fit in a room the size of a shoe box, but it is a true statement. The more you pack the more you have to carry with you when you move in and move out. Warm weather clothes will usually suffice until the first visit home. The rooms do come furnished, so the leather sofa can stay home. At the end of the year we find boxes of ramen noodles, cases of water, and other food items thrown away because students bring an “apocalyptic-size” food stockpile from their local warehouse stores. Again, bring only what you need!

Use your appointed time to move-in. Weather, traffic, and other conflicts happen that may force you to miss your move-in time. But, the times are not just a mere suggestion, they represent the hours in which police, housing staff, and volunteers are available to assist you. Arriving during off hours could lead to parking farther away, congested elevators, and an overall more painful experience.

Use the maps provided by the University. GPS devices and smart phones may be helpful in finding the town of Normal or the University, but road closures and detours are in place throughout move-in week to facilitate the move-in process. The provided maps indicate the best route for a given residence hall and will help reduce your waiting time. Directional street signs with residence hall names are posted throughout the town to assist as well.

Be prepared. It may be hot; it may be rainy; and there may be some lines and a lot of walking. Be mentally and physically prepared for it. Bringing your own handcart can reduce the amount of time you have to wait for a loaner cart. Additionally, some students have also found it useful to bring plastic wrap to increase the amount of items that can be safely loaded onto a moving cart.

Parking is limited. There is no designated time limit we allow you for leaving a car parked in front of a residence hall during move-in. Once it is unloaded it must be moved immediately so the next family can park and unload. Due to their size, large moving trucks, and vehicles with trailers will be located farther away (another reason to follow tip No. 1). After you unload, free parking is available in several locations throughout campus, but it may require a short walk. Nearby parking decks are also available, but there may be a charge for their services, so please read the signs before entering. Parking maps and volunteers will be available at the move-in desks at each residence hall to assist you.

Watch your stuff. Do not leave your property unattended. Our police officers, housing staff, and volunteers are extremely busy and will not be able to watch your items for you. Having an extra helper reduces the chance of your property going missing whether accidentally or intentionally.

Finally, we wish everyone a safe and effortless move-in. If you encounter any issues or have any concerns, please feel free to contact the ISU Police Department at (309) 438-8631.