In the Loop
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The spring semester is almost over! The sun is shining, finals season is around the corner, Commencement plans are underway, and it is time to move out of our beloved dorms. For those of us who are living on campus this year, the spring 2021 move-out process might be a bit different, not least of all because it is happening in April instead of in May. Here is an overview of how check-out will work for Columbia and Barnard housing and some tips to make the transition smoother, whether you are heading back home or moving into another residence hall for the summer semester.

Columbia Housing

All current residents, except seniors, will need to check out of their current room using the Web Check-Out in the Columbia Housing Portal by April 27 at noon. Seniors will need to check out by May 1 at noon. These are hard deadlines and Columbia Housing advises students to complete the checkout process within 24 hours after their last exam.

Tip: Contact your Residence Hall Director or Resident Advisor if you would like to stay more than 24 hours beyond your last final to make your move-out experience easier.

Here are some steps to complete before checkout:

1. Report any maintenance issues so you will not be charged for damage fees.

2. Pack and remove your belongings.

3. Take out any trash, and leave your room decently clean.

4. Make sure your windows are closed and locked.

5. Check out using the Columbia Housing Portal.

If you are staying for the summer term:

6. Relocation takes place on April 27 until 5 p.m.

If you are leaving campus:

7. Complete a request for Columbia mail forwarding services over the summer or notify companies and organizations that send time-sensitive material of your address change.

During move-out, one guest is allowed in the residence hall to help you. Boxes will be available at the Hartley Hospitality Desk, and blue bins can be rented there before April 27 or in the Wallach lounge on or after April 27. Other questions you have may be answered through the Housing FAQ page.

Barnard Housing

Barnard first-years, sophomores, and juniors need to check out within 24 hours of their last exam and by no later than 10 a.m. on April 24. Seniors are required to check out by April 30 at 6 p.m.

Only residents are allowed in the dorms during the move-out process, and to officially check out you are required to follow these steps:

1. Pack up all your belongings.

2. Return your room to the same conditions as when you arrived.

3. Complete a Check-Out Envelope at the front desk of your residence hall. This includes returning your room keys.

4. Confirm your check-out on the Barnard Housing Portal.

Carts will be available to use during your move-out, and they can be rented at the front desk of each residence hall. If you plan to use mail forwarding services or request to keep your mailbox open during the summer, you can find more information on Barnard’s Mail Services website.

Summer 2021 housing

More details are to come for summer housing, but we do know that relocation from your current dorm into your summer room assignment will take place after you check out. If you have spring interim housing—the period between the end of spring and the start of Summer A—you may receive a temporary room to stay in before moving into your summer residence. Due to changes in processes during the COVID-19 pandemic, some information about summer housing has not yet been announced, but keep an eye out for an email from your respective housing office. In the meantime, click here for FAQs about Barnard summer housing and here for Columbia summer housing.


Securing where your items will go over the break should be a top priority since neither Columbia nor Barnard housing provides summer storage on campus. Spectrum has already covered New York summer storage options, including six places to store your stuff in the area. Many of these storage companies offer student discounts, so be sure to review your options and choose the one that best suits you.

Tip: If you have a storage provider arriving on campus to assist during move-out, make sure to complete a vendor access request form first to coordinate with Public Safety and get residence hall access for the movers.

Spectrum’s final tip for you is not to wait until the last minute to plan your move out! The end of the semester can be stressful enough with exams and projects, so be smart and plan ahead.

Staff writer Tonycia Coe has yet to take her own advice on preparing for check-out. She can be contacted at Follow Spectrum on Twitter @CUSpectrum.

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