Screen readers: Three navigational links to follow.Skip to main navigation.Skip to page content.Skip to navigation for this issue.
The University of Iowa

Summer 2014


A little help from your friends

Your student has moved what?

Meet this year's University Housing & Dining scholarship winners

Move-in schedule


Volunteers and helping students move into residence halls

A little help from your friends

UI parents, staff share their advice for move-in day

Moving a child to college is a big transition for everyone. To help ease what’s sure to a busy and emotional day, we asked parents and UI staff members to offer words of wisdom to the parents of this year’s incoming class. Here is what they had to say:

Give yourself plenty of time. We could have squeezed it all in one very full day, but instead we chose to arrive a day early and spent a relaxing evening together with no deadlines. We also chose to leave the siblings at home, so we could focus solely on Ben, our oldest.

We made our parting words very positive and made every attempt to convey to Ben, once again, that we were excited for him and for all the fun and new experiences he was about to begin. We did not dwell on the obvious. He already knew how much would were going to miss him. The last thing you want is to leave your student feeling bad about how sad his or her parents are.

That final goodbye is very hard, especially with a first child. Ben did not turn back and watch us drive away. I guess that was symbolic of his first year at Iowa—he never did look back. He just kept moving forward in the most positive way, starting a new life as a Hawkeye and loving his new experience.

Bev and Bill Koehler, Leawood, Kansas
Parents of junior Ben Koehler

Everything goes into a tote! We purchased 10 27-gallon heavy-duty totes (black with yellow lids, of course). Each one is labeled with a sheet of paper that states the general contents (closet/laundry, bedding, clothes, kitchen, office supplies, books, etc.), student name, student dorm and room number, and student phone number. Most totes are fully filled, but only those things that belong in a particular tote go into that tote—makes it easy to find what you are looking for as you prioritize your unpacking and room setup.

Lisa-Marie Rohlf, West Des Moines, Iowa
Parent of sophomore Alex Holder

Encourage your student to only bring items he or she
really would need/use, whether that’s clothes, shoes, or school supplies. My daughter found that she and her roommates brought a lot of items that sat around the whole year, just to be packed and brought home at the end of the year.

Jeff Aaberg, Coralville, Iowa
Parent of sophomore Anna Aaberg
Director of Facilities and Operations,
University Housing & Dining

  • Don’t bring clothes for the entire school year at once. It’s usually warm during move-in and for the first month of school; colder weather clothes can come later.
  • Futons work great in the rooms; just be sure the one you purchase is the correct size. The residence halls offer one for sale that is sure to fit. They also offer refrigerators, microwaves, and now TVs for rent as well.
  • No need to bring a printer; the residence halls have nice printers and you’re already paying for a number of copies. Many of the classes do much of their work online, so printing papers is much less than back when we were in college.
  • Tension rods and simple curtains work well to cover the closets in the rooms.
  • Send along some basic tools (screw drivers, pliers, hammer), a flashlight, duct tape, etc. These have come in handy more than once for our daughter and several of her friends.
  • Take advantage of the volunteer students and staff who will be at the residence halls to help you move in—it will go much faster and you’ll meet some great people right away.

John Laverty, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Parent of sophomore Megan Laverty
Senior associate director, Outreach & Recruitment,
Office of Admissions

Instead of using boxes or suitcases, purchase stackable tubs with lids and then take advantage of the carts provided by Housing & Dining. Doing this, we were able to load and unload quickly, and take our time to unpack. I brought the tubs back home, stored them—they didn’t take up much space—and brought them back to pack up at the end of the year. Watching for sales during the summer, you can purchase these very inexpensively, and since they are reusable, we feel like the investment is worth it.

Debby Zumbach, Coggon, Iowa
Parent of sophomore McKenna Kinley
Director of Purchasing

The Office of Admissions offers advice for parents of first-year students at



Bookmark and Share