Starting to plan for dorm life? You probably have questions. How in the world do you pack an entire life into one section of dorm room? How do you decide what comes with you and what stays behind? Should you bring your own microwave? Ironing board? Blender? Trash can? What about a TV?
First of all, do not worry about packing your entire life into one section of dorm room! If you live with your parents now, you are likely used to having an entire home at your disposal. The thought of paring down to a few square feet may leave you panicked! The truth is you don’t need any more room than that! College life is busy and the more you have to keep track of, the less you can concentrate on what really matters – experiencing life!
Generally speaking, it is a good idea to wait on large items and appliances like microwaves and TVs. If a roommate already has one, there might not be room (or need) for a second one! This is also true for smaller items that can easily be shared, such as irons and trash cans. Instead, think about items that are more essential to your personal day-to-day life.
Here are some essentials to consider as you make your shopping and packing list!
Laundry hamper – Everyone has to do laundry! Might as well make it easy on yourself and get a hamper that allows you to carry things to the laundry room and back without dropping things all over the hall! There are lots of options out there. Some are almost completely collapsible and weigh close to nothing (basically a mesh pop-up container). Others have more structure but still fold to save space. Or you could go with a laundry basket that slides under your bed. (Don’t forget the laundry detergent!)
Book bag – It might be worth investing in a quality one that you really like. The cheaper ones tend to fall apart quickly and if you have to walk long distances every day it might take a toll on your back as well. Keep in mind that you’ll likely be carrying several large books, possibly your laptop, and (especially if you’re a commuter) a water bottle… maybe lunch! Look for something with a little structure to protect your computer.
Command hooks – Get them in a variety of sizes and shapes. They are useful for so many things, don’t damage walls, and hold amazingly well!
Bed linens and towels – You can probably get by with a single set of bed linens. You may want 2-3 sets of towels depending on how often you want to do laundry. I don’t forget hand towels and wash cloths!
Flip-flops or shower shoes, a shower caddy, and a robe. Depending on your dorm room set-up you’ll be sharing a shower with several people. These items are always recommended!
Headphones/earbuds – Whether it is listening to music, plugging in to watch a video for class, or just trying to block out distractions while you study, they are a great investment!
Comfortable shoes – Walking will happen. Might as well be comfortable!
We hope these suggestions will help you as you begin your college packing! Do your best to pack lightly. It is nearly inevitable that you will collect things as time goes by. Remember that everything you bring with you will eventually have to move out again!