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Dorm Room Packing Reminders

Updated on November 8, 2014

Moving is never a simple task, even for well organized individuals, and everyone needs a little help now and then. As a college student, moving is a requirement. From freshmen dorms to sophomore apartments to off-campus apartments and houses and to and from home, college students are constantly on the move. It’s important to consider the future when buying dorm supplies each year because more often than not students arrive to school extremely under or overly prepared.

Dorm room essentials are important for a smooth transition not only into a new space, but also into a new, independent phase in a person’s life. There is no one list that every student can use to ensure (s)he will have absolutely (s)he needs over the course of an academic year or lease. However, there is definitely a list of necessary items for all students and a series of questions that any student can ask to complete his/her packing checklist.

First, the absolutely essentials:

  • · Laptop (and charger)
  • · Bedding (comforter, fitted sheet, loose sheet, pillow(s), pillowcase(s))
  • · Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash)
  • · Wardrobe (clothes and shoes; be sure to include at least one business professional outfit)
  • · Laundry (laundry bag(s)/basket(s), detergent, dryer sheets, quarters)
  • · School supplies (notebooks, folders, binders, pencils, pens, highlighters, calculator, planner, etc)
  • · First Aid Kit
  • · Flashlight & batteries
  • · Alarm Clock

Next, the questions:

  • · Do you have I own room? Single occupancy? Within a larger apartment? If not, how many roommates do I have? Have I contacted my roommate(s)?

*As soon as you know who your roommates are, contact them. You all should converse about shared items (mini fridge/microwave, lighting (if needed)), furniture arrangement, allergies, study habits, social lives, etc. Knowing your roommate beforehand, especially if you’re random roommates, will make things a lot less awkward on move in day.

  • · What is the bathroom situation? Is it shared between floor-mates or suite-mates? Do I have to take responsibility to clean my own bathroom? Or is that the responsibility of university staff? Do I have to provide my own toilet paper?
  • · Do I have a kitchen? Am I allowed to have a mini fridge? Am I allowed to have a microwave?

*Be sure to pay attention to your school/landlord’s safety rules regarding appliances. Many schools do not allow high wattage fridges/microwaves and many appliances are completely banned (such as Foreman Grills).

  • · What furniture will be provided for me? (bed frame, mattress, desk, desk chair, wardrobe/closet, dresser?)
  • · Are the floors carpeted, hard wood, linoleum, cement?
  • · Is there existing lighting in the room?

*If not, be sure to acquire at least one desk lamp per roommate.

  • · Is the building air conditioned? Do I control my own air conditioning?

*If not, be sure to acquire at least one fan (window units, box, oscillating, personal, etc)

  • · Will my room have a window? If so, will the window have blinds/curtains?

*Rooms without any type of window treatments cause a lot of privacy issues. Purchasing disposable paper blinds could be the perfect solution, they attach to almost any window without any hardware.

  • · What does my school/lease prohibit me from keeping? (pets, candles, incense, octopus lamps, string lights, etc?)

*The worst thing you can do is have your stuff confiscated on the first day of a new school year and run the risk of getting on your Resident Assistant or Landlord’s bad side.

  • · What kind of weather is typical for this area year round?
  • · Will I have a car? Bike? Long board? Other means of transportation?
  • · What is my meal plan like?

*Having a lesser meal plan, or none, dictates how much food you must be able to keep.

  • · What classes am I taking?
  • · Am I going to need supplementary storage? For what? Where could I put it?

*For supplementary storage in smaller dorms rooms, under the bed storage can be extremely useful.

  • · What does my school recommend I bring?

Dorm rooms can get pretty packed pretty quickly. You're might have to get creative.
Dorm rooms can get pretty packed pretty quickly. You're might have to get creative. | Source

*Many school makes lists of what students should and should not bring, these lists are typically very basic, but are usually made by other students.

  • · Is there on campus printing? Do I have printing dollars provided by my school? Will I have my own printer?

There are plenty more questions to be asked, however I will continue to update this list as I think of new ones.

Most of these questions are not hard to answer, by doing a little bit of research you can learn a lot about your new living situation. Any unanswered questions or questionable answers can be clarified by calling a friend who is already attending/attended your school or by calling your schools general information desk.

Comment below with any tips and tricks for moving in general, or specific to dorm living!


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