I have been watching a lot of US college move-in / dorm tour videos on YouTube recently to find design inspirations for my condo unit. Seriously, these college kids design their rooms so efficiently and yet manage to still personalize their respective spaces to make it feel like home. I decided to religiously benchmark my concept from their designs because, for one, the floor space of their respective rooms is similar to the size of my unit. Second, my unit was already semi-furnished when I bought it. It came with a bed, mattress, cabinets, microwave, sink, small dinner table, chairs, shower, etc. All I needed to do is just add several racks and appliances, and I am ready to move-in.
For this year’s edition of move-in blogs, I have observed that most students follow a minimalist theme, and I figured, that I wanted to do the same. Most of them would also have fake succulent plants to add some greenery and life into their rooms. Some would also integrate a rose gold, gold, silver, and white colour scheme, making their rooms clean, modern, and chic.
I figured that I would also like to follow a minimalist theme, with a touch of some greenery and some modern / New York accents. Similarly, I am trying to integrate a rose gold, gold, silver, and white colour scheme. I want my room to be cozy, and yet modern enough to suit my lifestyle. After all, this is my halfway home and whether I like it or not, I would have to sleep here at least four (4) times a week.
Aside from YouTube, I also researched for designs on Instagram (#collegedorm), dormify.com, and blogs. Going to department stores and furniture shops also helped in visualizing the space I had in mind. I bought my appliances, furniture, and decor from Furniture Source, Ansons, Landmark Department Store, Daiso, Dimensione, AliExpress, Lazada, and Shopee. I also brought some items from home (like plates, multi-cooker, etc.). There is no need to hire and pay an Interior Designer, for such an easy and cheap project to do. Trust me, it’s time to unleash your creative juices and personalize the space that you will soon be calling home.
To better give a comprehensive walk-through of how move-ins can be tiring both to the body and to the wallet as well, I’ll probably just summarize this moving-in blog into ten (10) steps.
1. Create a checklist/inventory of what you have and what you need to buy
The actual move-in can drain your energy and your wallets. Don’t commit the mistake of buying the same item twice, when in fact, you only need one. Create a list because it will come in handy when you buy, pack, and eventually, organize. Categorize your list into the regular items that you would have to buy, down to your cleaning materials and accent pieces.
Some condo units/dorms already come with pieces of furniture and/or some appliances, so make sure to double check your list to avoid spending excessively.
2. Secure move-in permits, electricity, water, and internet connection
Some developers require you to pay a move-in fee or secure a construction bond, even if the unit has already been turned over to you. To avoid any inconveniences during your move-in day, just pay and secure approval first. After all, you would need your condo space to store your big and bulky items.
Make sure electricity and water are available. Likewise, get a pocket wi-fi or avail a plan. I just decided to co-share with my condo unit neighbour and split the internet bill.
3. Paint your walls / Re-tile if needed
Before you buy your bulky items and store them in your unit, decide on your studio theme first so you can repaint the walls and re-tile if you want to. It will be chaotic to repaint once the big items are already occupying the floor space. In my case, I initially opted for a New York / industrial theme, with a semi-dark grey wall. But it’s okay, I know that I can still manage to work things around without having to repaint my walls to white, just to adjust to my desired minimalist theme.
Make sure allocate 1-2 weeks for the paint to dry (and not smell) before you move-in.
4. Purchase the essential and big items first
We are not talking about purchasing life-sized mirrors or accent hanging lamps yet. Because you are on a budget, it makes sense to purchase the essential and big items first, such as the bed frame and headboard, mattress, tables, chairs, water heater, air-conditioning unit, and fridge. For a studio unit, these items might already cost you at least Php 70,000 or about $1,400.
Make sure to have these items delivered straight to the condo unit, as you don’t want them to take so much space in your car’s trunk when you move-in.
5. Purchase the shelves, racks, lights, curtains, and appliances
Allocate your next Php 20,000 for these items – shelves, organizers, towel and sink racks, curtains, multi-cooker, closet/desk organizers, kitchen essentials, bedsheets, lights, lamps, and drawers. Probably add another Php 20,000 if you would want to purchase a TV. I am good with my MacBook, phone, and Netflix though.
You may opt to put these items directly to your condo unit or store them in your car’s trunk, and just bring them during move-in day.
6. Purchase accent/decor items
Now that you’ve purchased all your essential items, spare about Php 5,000 – 10,000 for your wall items, canvasses, tapestries, fairy lights, fake plants, photo grid wall, diffuser, etc. You may casually order them online or go to the Japanese/Korean stores such as Daiso, Miniso, and Mumuso. Keep in mind your desired room theme when you buy these items.
These rose gold string lights would be good for your room. You may purchase them here.
7. Get tidy with your cleaning materials (and get some food)
Moving-in may tend to be dusty, so make sure to bring those essentials to have a smooth and clean move-in. Hit the grocery and also stock up on some breakfast food that you may bring to your condo unit.
8. Pack in boxes
Store your clothes, sheets, decor items, cleaning materials, and kitchen items in boxes so you could easily just store and stack them up to your unit. Label each box accordingly, and only unpack once you’ve stored the big items. One hack that I’ve seen these college students do is to collectively put their clothes (with hangers) in a clean trash bag, and once stored in the cabinet, the trash bag may just be easily removed and the clothes are still neatly hanged. Good hack!
9. Move-in in 1 day
If you can, instruct the courier to deliver all bulky items to your unit in one day, which is your move-in day, so you could do everything in just one day. Make sure to have these items delivered first thing in the morning so your helper/carpenter could install or work on these items without rushing the actual work itself. You would not want to compromise quality, just because of manpower and time constraints.
After storing and working on the bigger items, unpack your boxes and store them accordingly. Make sure to clean those shelves and cabinets, and work on the bathroom. Make your bed and put your decorative items.
10. Enjoy and love your space
I am about to move-in to my unit in a week, and I am so excited to see the output. So far, I have repainted my walls and stored some furniture and appliances. I am just waiting for some other stuff to be delivered, and I am ready to move-in.
Here’s a photo of my wall decor so far.
I will be updating this blog and will be showing the final output, so stay tuned! Would you like me to also do a room tour? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
Happy moving-in day!!