Hey! Are you curious about what to do for college move in? Well, you’ve come to the right place, because this is part two of my three part series focused on preparing you for college move in day. Part one focused on basic guidelines and advice when preparing/shopping for move in, and you can find it here. The next part is focused on college move in day itself – you can find that post here. Today I’m going to tell you exactly what you should pack for school, and what you’ll probably want to leave behind.
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- You will want at least two week’s worth of clothes – whatever suits you, dresses, jeans, etc. You won’t want to do laundry more than once every two weeks, so make sure you have enough to make it – but you also can’t bring your whole wardrobe.
- Focus on functional pieces that can be layered for multiple activities. It might be hot outside, but sometimes those classrooms are chilly! Plus, you might have to go from an outdoor event to a physical class, to a 3 hour lab. You need to be prepared!
- Don’t pack your winter clothing! Unless you live ridiculously far away from home, and you don’t plan to go home before winter, there is no reason to bring seasonal clothing that you won’t wear for those first few months. When it starts getting chilly, you can take home your shorts and tanks and replace them with sweaters and jeans.
- Be mindful of the climate of your school. If you’re from Florida, and you’re going to a school in Michigan, you’re going to need to invest in some warmer clothing!
- Bring at least one or two nice outfits (think business professional). You might have an interview or some type of formal presentation for class – if you’re planning on being involved in greek life, you’ll need a lot of nice clothes on hand.
- Try to have more than just sweats/yoga pants for class. I would really recommend not wearing those items to class – college is the time you begin preparing for your career – do you want to project the image of someone who couldn’t care less? Those professors will likely interview you for scholarships and write you letters of recommendation – you want them to see you at least moderately well dressed.
- Don’t forget hangers!
- I would also recommend bringing plastic storage drawers if you think you might need a bit more space! Here is a DIY you can do to make them super cute and unique!
- Look into what type of bathroom you will have in your dorm. Will it be a co-ed? semi-private? attached to room? These questions will tell you what you might need. Obviously whatever you used at home in terms of shampoo/conditioner is fine, but you’ll also want a robe, shower sandals, and a shower caddy (or a lock if there are cubbies in the bathroom).
- You’ll only need 2-3 towels for your dorm room, they take up a lot of space, and you can use one towel for at least a week. If your dorm room doesn’t have hooks already, you may want to bring command hooks to hang your towels on.
- First of all, you will want a twin extra long bedding set. These are sold almost everywhere, and there are plenty of cheap cute options at walmart!
- You’ll want an extra set of sheets. As a college student, you live in your bed – you eat, sleep, study, and relax in your bed. You’ll want an extra set of sheets for when you wash them (because yes, you really need to wash your sheets). Don’t be that gross person who never changes her sheets.
- You will want some comfortable pillows, but not too many. Your bed is small enough as it is! As pretty as pinterest dorms are, they are usually not that practical when it comes to space.
- Don’t worry about buying a trash can or trash bags – those are usually provided by your school, but you’ll want to check to be sure.
- You will want rugs – the cold linoleum floor is not your favorite thing in the morning, nor is it pretty. You’ll want to talk to your roommate and make sure only one of you brings a large rug, as there won’t be enough room for two. However, you will probably have room for at least one small rug as well. I would recommend one of those thick plush rugs – it makes your dorm feel so homey and it gives some cushion if you have friends sitting on the floor. On that note – if you hate having cold feet, you may also want to bring some slippers!
- Aside from a comforter or duvet, I recommend bringing a cozy blanket to wrap yourself up in. From floor meeting to game nights in the lounge, it is nice to have a cozy blanket to wrap up in. Don’t bring more than one – just one nice one is plenty.
- Although you won’t really have a “kitchen” per say, your dorm room is a catch all – bed room, living room, and kitchen – so you will want some things.
- Unless you are a very serious chef/baker, your kitchen items should be limited.
- I would recommend 2 plates, 2 bowls, 2 cups, 2 mugs, and a set of silverware. Bring two, so if you feel too lazy to clean out one you won’t be stranded. You can usually rent cooking ware from the front desk of your dorm.
- You definitely don’t need spatulas/cooking sheets/pans. I had a friend who made a lot of cakes and brownies. Unless you truly plan on doing that, don’t clutter your room with them.
- You can’t have many appliances in your room (most are banned), which is fine because you don’t have room for them. The two majors are a microwave and a fridge. If you love coffee (or hot chocolate or tea), I would recommend a coffee machine (I love my keurig). Bonus, a coffee machine can also be used to heat water up for things like ramen. Other than that, there aren’t any appliances I would recommend.
- I would also highly recommend a brita water filter. Dorm water is gross, so it’s important to have a water pitcher with a filter, and the brita slim pitcher takes up very little space in your fridge. It can be easy to forget to hydrate yourself, and having a pitcher of cold water around is super helpful!
- You will want a desk lamp for your desk, because those fluorescent lights aren’t always the friendliest on your eyes. Look for one that has a warm yellow light, because that is a lot less stressful on your eyes than the cold white lights. You will also need this for those late nights studying when your roommate is trying to sleep.
- Basic stationary – whatever you prefer for school. Trust what worked for you in high school, there’s no need to change what you like just because you start college. Unless having the extra pretty stationary actually helps you study, it just takes up space.
- Hang some type of inspirational poster, photo, or vision board above your desk. It will help you get through those late night study sessions! At my open house, my friends and family all wrote a short note on a canvas with my first initial in the center. I hung it above my desk to remind me of everyone cheering me on back home.
- Don’t bring books! This hurts my heart a bit, but bringing books is a huge waste of space. You will likely be purchasing plenty of books for your classes, and as much as you might want to have your Harry Potter books on hand, it’s better to leave them at home. That doesn’t mean don’t read! Just don’t store books in your room. Bring them from home, read them, and then take them back. Or even better, get a library card to the local library (almost always free) and read to your heart’s content.
- While your bathroom is likely cleaned for you at least once a week, your dorm room is all your own responsibility. If you have a rug, you’ll want some type of small vacuum. Two girls in a small space generates a lot of hair (and crumbs). Small is all you need. If you ever need a full sized vacuum, there is usually one you can rent. If you don’t have a rug, I would recommend a swiffer mop to help clean up the tile floor.
- You will also want a duster of some variety (yes there will be a lot of dust).
- If you bring any kitchen stuff, you will need dish soap and a sponge/scrubber. I would recommend washing things immediately, because three month old ramen remnants don’t smell great ( I may or may not be speaking from experience). Clorox wipes are also super helpful for cleaning up spills in that department.
- You will need laundry detergent and dryer sheets. I would also really recommend bringing some type of stain remover. You can’t always get it home to mom before the stain sets. Don’t depend on taking your laundry home every time.
Other College Move In Day Tips
- Limit what you bring on move in day. Unless you live very far from home, you don’t need to bring everything with you from day one.
- Don’t forget to bring a few photos and posters to make the dorm feel a bit more like home. Don’t bring useless trinkets, they will only take up space, and you’ll regret having them.
- I would really recommend rope or string lights for ambiance! It will make those late night study sessions seem so much nicer (or at least you can pretend). Make sure you get lights that don’t get hot so you can leave them on for a long time.
- You’ll want surge protectors and extension cords. There aren’t nearly enough outlets for everything you need, so you’ll have to add on to it.
- You can’t burn candles, but you might want a wax melter or at least some type of fragrance spray. You don’t want your room to smell like that Chinese takeout, or your roommates sweaty workout clothes, or old ramen.
- Finally, you’ll want varying types of command strips to hang things. Dorms are super picky about how you can hang stuff, so command strips and hooks are super helpful!
- Finally, remember that your dorm is a place to express yourself – make it yours!
There you have it, my list of college move in day essentials! If you liked this, check out my post about back to school dorm essentials! Did I miss anything on this list? Let me know in the comments below!