Packing and Move-In Tips

Packing for college can be overwhelming and stressful, especially if home is more than several hours away. There are many ways for out-of-state students to pack smart! Here are some suggestions that have worked for out-of-state students in the past

  1. Create a detailed packing list. Consult Housing and Residence Life packing list to make sure you know which items are not allowed in the residence halls at George Mason. Feel free to also utilize this interactive packing list to track your progress and make sure you did not leave anything behind.
  2. Create a college registryBed Bath and Beyond allows you select items in the store near your home and pick up items in the store nearest George Mason University (about 15 minutes from campus).
  3. Get creative with packing. If you are flying or driving home only a few times throughout the year, you may feel pressure to over pack when you first move into the residence hall. If you have an idea of when and how often you will be traveling home, you might be able to coordinate switching out summer clothes for winter clothes. Talk with your family and brainstorm creative ways to transport clothing and other items to and from GMU. To learn more about the monthly Washington D.C. temperatures, please visit this helpful website.

Move In
The move in process is exciting, but planning ahead is a must. Once you are all set with packing, make sure you look over the move in day instructions sent via email by the Office of Housing and Residence Life.

  1. Traveling: If you are coming from more than a few hours away, it may be a good idea to spend the night in a hotel the night before move-in. This will allow for some relaxation and an additional opportunity to familiarize yourself with campus if necessary. For area hotel information and transportation information, please visit our visitor resource guide.
  2. Settling In: For families that are a long drive or flight away, it can be hard to coordinate exactly when to depart after move-in. If you decide to utilize a college registry or purchase some items in Fairfax when you arrive, you may want to book a couple of extra days at a local hotel. Check the move-in schedule and plan your trip accordingly.

Once You Are Here

  1. Connect with your Resident Advisor. Out-of-state students that live on-campus are also assigned a Resident Advisor that can help you adjust throughout the transition to Mason.
  2. Activate your mailbox. We know that all out-of-state students love to receive mail – especially since you don’t get to see your family as much!  If you are living on campus, make sure to activate your mailbox in The Hub mailroom so you can receive care packages, letters, and little pieces of home from your family and friends.  For more information, visit

 Living Off Campus?

  1. Connect with Off-Campus Student Programs and Services to learn about programs for incoming off-campus freshman. You will want to connect with an Off-Campus Advisor within your first month on campus to help with your transition to campus.
  2. Determine how you will get to campus. Parking and Transportation offers a variety of options getting to and from campus. See what fits your needs best!