Fall Move-Out and Winter Break

Standard Move-Out | Rapid Move-Out | Break Housing Halls

Residents in traditional halls will move out for Winter Break November 19 - 22 based on their Move-Out Reservation. Non-Break residents who fail to check out by this time will be subject to a $150 Unauthorized Occupancy Fee.

Should the university need to close residence halls before November 22, please review the information for a rapid Move-Out below. 

Public Health Guidelines for All Move-Out Processes

As we know the daily monitoring of one’s health and well-being prior to going out in public aids in early detection of infectious disease and is one of the most effective measures to prevent community spread of COVID-19.  In our ongoing effort to protect the UMass Amherst campus community, the university has adopted the practice of individuals reviewing a COVID-19 Daily Self Checklist before coming to campus. The checklist has eleven (11) questions and if you answer YES to any of the questions, you MUST STAY HOME and contact Residential Life Student Services to make alternative move-out plans. You can download the checklist.

While on campus and in UMass facilities everyone needs to comply with established social distancing requirements. This includes:

  • Wearing a mask or face covering at all times.
  • Only two helpers that are essential to bring items down to load may enter the hall to assist their student.
  • Respecting 6 feet of separation while waiting in any line queue at entrances or elevators as well as in stairwells.
  • Only one resident and their helper(s) inside any elevator at one time.

Standard Move Out 

We have designed a move-out plan that balances your safety and the well-being of our staff and local community. Environmental Health & Safety and Public Health partners have provided guidance on the move-out protocols listed below.

Schedule and Move-Out Reservations

We have developed a move-out schedule which will limit the number of people in any one area. From October 16 at 9 am through November 2 at 9 am students will be able to log in to SPIRE and select a Move-Out Reservation between November 19 and November 22. Students who do not select a Move-Out Reservation by November 2 at 9 am will have a reservation time assigned to them.

To choose the date and time of your move-out, you must log into SPIRE using a desktop or laptop (not a mobile device). If you have previously updated your desktop version of SPIRE, you must select "go back to old interface" in the menu. When you are in the appropriate interface navigate to Residential Life > Move Out Reservation. Select the time you will arrive on campus. You will have one hour from that time to complete your move-out. Please log in to SPIRE once reservations are available as reservations are first come, first served.

All residents moving out must confirm an available reservation for the day and time they will depart for the semester.  The reservations are designed to limit the number of people at each facility each day.

  • Please select an available move-out reservation in SPIRE
  • If you are unable to make a move-out reservation that meets your needs, please contact the Residential Life Student Services office at 545-2100 or via email at living@umass.edu.

At the end of the fall semester, all students living in traditional residence halls will be required to fully check out of their space by 1:00 pm on Sunday, November 22. 

During your move-out you may park in a nearby lot until you are fully packed and ready to load your belongings.   Moving bins will be available in the lobby of your hall. If you intend to use a bin, please have sanitizing wipes as it will not be possible for Residential Life staff to clean every bin in between uses. Additionally, please do not take a bin until you are fully packed so others may use them when ready. Bin use is limited to 20 minutes. When you are ready to load your vehicle, pull up to the loading area outside your hall. Your car is limited to 20 minutes in the loading area. When you finish using a bin, please return it to your hall lobby.

Once you have removed your belongings and swept the floor of your room, you must return your key in the KEY ENVELOPE DROP BOX in your hall.   A key envelope labeled with your name, ID, building and room number will be placed in your mailbox by November 13 at 5 pm. You must seal your key in the key envelope and place it in the drop box before leaving campus.

North Apartment Residents – Return your key by placing your sealed key envelope through the KEY ENVELOPE DROP BOX underneath the mailboxes in your lobby.

CHC Residents – Return your key by placing your sealed key envelope through the KEY ENVELOPE DROP BOX in your building lobby.

Residential Life will utilize this extended break period to clean and sanitize all residence hall rooms. In addition, Residential Life Facilities Operations staff and Environmental Health and Safety will conduct ongoing inspections of rooms during winter break. Inspections consist of visual surveys of rooms. Illegal items and other policy violations in plain view will be documented and referred to the appropriate authorities.

At the end of the fall semester, students assigned to Break Housing spaces will be allowed to remain on campus.  It is important to note that Residential Life does reserve the right to consolidate break housing occupants as necessary to maximize staffing and cleaning efficiency.  Break Housing is in North B. North C is a Hybrid Break Hall, meaning students must opt in by contacting Residential Life Student Services (students living in North C who do not opt in for Break Housing are required to check out). The cost for a Break Housing assignment is an additional $300 on top of the Fall 2020 base room fee.

Given some unknown factors related to Spring 2021 campus occupancy, Residential Life reserves the right to consolidate spaces in the residence halls as needed to maximize available space.

Planning Your Move-Out

Move-Out Checklist:

  • Communicate your move-out plan with family or friends who may be providing transportation.
  • Coordinate move-out details and responsibilities with your roommate(s), if applicable.  Do not select the same move-out time as your roommates/suitemates/apartment mates. 
  • Make a Move-Out Reservation on SPIRE between October 16 and November 2 at 9am. 
  • Be packed and prepared to move all of your belongings out during your Move-Out Reservation. If you rented a MicroChill you will need to empty the appliance, defrost it and wipe it clean. Only rented MicroChill appliances will be allowed to remain in the room.  Personal units have to be removed from the space. If a personal unit is left behind it will be considered abandoned property and disposed of accordingly.
  • Remove all trash and recycling, return the furniture to its original position and tidy the space.
  • Return your room key to the KEY ENVELOPE DROP BOX in the building lobby, using the key envelope provided in your mailbox.
  • Students who have lost their key must notify their RSD by October 30, 2020 so a standard recore can be ordered at a cost of $60.
    • Failure to turn in a key will result in a $200 expedited lock recore charge, it is critically important to report any missing keys NOW.
    • Students who forget to turn in their key may mail it back to campus following our outlined instructions. There will be a $60 administrative processing fee for any keys we receive in the mail.
    • If a key is lost in the mail, or not received by December 3, 2020, the lock will be changed and the student charged the $200 expedited lock recore fee.

What to plan with your roommate, suitemates, and apartment mates(s):

  • Communicate with your roommate suitemates, and apartment mates on when you plan to move out.  Coordinate a schedule so that families are not arriving at the same time, allowing for social distancing.
  • Don’t get left holding the bag!  Discuss a plan for cleaning shared spaces before you go.
  • Coordinate help returning the furniture to its original position as when you arrived.

Move Out Day:

  • Bins will be placed in your residence hall lobby. 
  • Note that moving bins will not be sanitized between uses, so please plan accordingly.  Once done, please return the bin to your lobby.  Do not leave bins outside.
  • Place your key in your labeled key envelope and return it to your Residence Hall’s key drop slot.  Failure to return your key will result in a $200 recore fee.
  • Students may mail back their key and be assessed a $60 administrative processing fee if the key is returned in the mail (saves $140 compared to a lost key).
  • Check your mailbox one last time before you go!
  • Failure to vacate your space on time will result in an improper check out fee of $150.

Storing your belongings over break:

Plan Ahead!  It is strongly recommended that students who will need to store belongings during the winter break or longer, if the University has to close the residence halls early, that you explore the services of our authorized campus vendor, Dorm Room Movers

  • Register for an account with DRM.
  • Once registered, you will be mailed a packing kit to your campus room that can be stored under your bed and out of the way.
  • You will use these packing materials to pack your belongings when necessary.
  • You will leave your packed items locked inside your room when you depart campus.
  • Upon appointment time, DRM will be granted access to your space to collect your belongings for storage and/or shipping. Once collected, they will store your items over break and deliver them in the spring.   Please note that there is a fee for this service. 

Once you’re ready to secure your service just register online. Pricing for packing, storage, and shipping is priced per item, so please make sure you fully understand the costs described on their website. Create an account to get started.  

If you are coordinating your move-out with Dorm Room Movers you will still need to make a Move-Out Reservation for yourself.  Dorm Room Movers will work with University staff to gain access to your space once the halls close.  If you need to change your move-out reservation, please log back into SPIRE to select a new time.

Mail during Break

Mail is not delivered to non-break halls during winter break.  Please ensure to forward any important packages to the appropriate address over the break period.  For more information view What Happens To My Mail Over The Break

Rapid Move-Out

In the event that the University is required to close before the completion of the semester, all students living in traditional residence halls will be required to fully check out of their residence hall within the designated period of time.  In most cases, students will have 72 hours notice to fully vacate their space.

Within 24 hours of such notice of closure, access to the move-out reservation process will be available for residents to select a move-out date and time.  Be sure to coordinate this reservation time with your roommate(s) and anyone responsible for your transportation BEFORE selecting your reservation time.

It is important to note in this situation that the University will not be able to accommodate students who need to stay that do NOT live in Break Housing.  If you believe you will not be able to evacuate the residence halls upon a school closure, you should contact Residential Life Student Services immediately to be reassigned to Break Housing.  Additional housing fees apply to this housing option.

How to have a successful Rapid Move-Out

  • Refer to your Move-Out Plan that each student agreed to create per the terms of the Community Agreement.
  • Do you have a rented Microchill unit?  You will need to remove everything from this unit, defrost it and wipe it clean. Only rented MicroChill appliances will be allowed to remain in the room.  Personal units have to be removed from the space. If a personal unit is left behind it will be considered abandoned property and disposed of accordingly.
  • A key envelope labeled with your Name, ID, Building and Room number will be placed inside your mailbox.
  • Make a move-out reservation in consultation with your roommate and others providing transportation.
  • Where available, bins will be located in your residence hall lobby. 
  • Note that moving bins will not be sanitized between uses, so please plan accordingly.  Once done, please return the bin to your lobby.  Do not leave bins outside.
  • Once you have removed your belongings and swept the floor of your room, you must return your key in the KEY ENVELOPE DROP BOX
  • North Apartment Residents – Return your key by placing your sealed key envelope in the KEY ENVELOPE DROP BOX underneath the mailboxes in your lobby.
  • CHC Residents – Return your key by placing your sealed key envelope in the KEY ENVELOPE DROP BOX in your building lobby.

Break Housing Residents

Break Housing is available in North B; North C is a Hybrid Break Hall, meaning students must opt in by contacting Residential Life Student Services (students living in North C who do not opt in for Break Housing are required to check out). The cost for a Break Housing assignment is an additional $300 on top of the Fall 2020 base room fee.

Students living in Break Housing do not need to leave during the break periods or if the University is forced to close due to health concerns related to COVID-19.

During the winter break, students living in Break Housing may remain on campus and freely access their residence hall. Important dates related to Break Housing:

  1. January 4, 2021 at 5 pm: Fall to Spring semester transition. By this date and time, and student who does not have a Spring 2021 assignment must check out.
  2. January 25, 2021: Date students in Break Housing will move from their Break Housing assignment to their Spring 2021 assignment.

Break Housing residents who choose to check out of their assignment and live elsewhere during this timeframe are not eligible for a housing refund, consistent with past practice.

If the University closes rapidly, Break Housing will remain open to residents and they will be able to freely access their residence hall throughout this time.  In this scenario, it is important to note that Residential Life reserves the right to consolidate Break Housing residents to one hall in accordance with limited staffing and operational support in order to best provide services to students.  These students would remain in this alternate space until the spring semester begins.

Moving bins will not be available in Break Housing Halls during an early closure.  You are permitted to stay in your space and can freely access the hall.  Student rooms will not be sanitized over break in these halls.

If the University remains open during the break, you will continue to receive mail/packages.  If the University closes early for health related reasons, the future of this service will be determined and communicated to break housing residents.