Moving into a college dorm is a big step in your life. There are many unknowns, and packing your whole life into a shared room may seem overwhelming.
So, as a current junior, here are a few of my packing tips that might make this big change in your life feel a little less intimidating:
What Not to Forget
To start, you can’t forget the essentials… but what is essential when it comes to moving into a residence hall? The list below provides a few basic (and maybe unexpected) items that will make your college experience convenient and carefree.
Be sure to have plenty of storage. Some things I bring to my dorm each year are a transportable hamper, drawer organizers, a rolling cart, a bed shelf and a vertical shoe organizer.
2. Seasonal Clothes
Bring clothes according to the season. Depending on when you plan to return home, you can switch out fall for winter clothes, or winter for spring. This allows for more room in your closet or wardrobe, as you only need to store clothes and shoes you wear regularly.
3. Toiletries and Cleaning Supplies
I always find it beneficial to stock up on things you use often like laundry detergent and shampoo. Instead of worrying about your toothpaste running out five minutes before an 8 a.m. class, it’s reassuring to have back-ups on hand.
Additionally, it’s important to bring cleaning supplies such as antibacterial wipes, sponges and dish soap.
4. Food and Cookware
Be sure to have a small refrigerator and a microwave. UNE even offers a refrigerator and microwave rental program if that works better for you and your roommate. Being able to eat a quick meal in my room every so often saved me a lot of time if I was in a rush or busy studying for an exam the next day.
5. School Supplies
Notebooks and binders can wait until you understand what is expected from you for each class. If there is one thing to buy, it should be a planner. It is imperative to keep due dates organized so you can be prepared and successful.
String lights, tapestries, plants, photos — anything that will make your dorm feel more like home! I personally love decorating my room with lots of plants:
What to Leave Behind
The following are some things that you can leave off of your packing list, as I did not find them useful in my experience living in a dorm, or they are restricted by UNE’s Office of Housing and Residential Life:
- Hot plates, candles, toaster ovens or any other item with an open heating element. Instead, there are ovens in the common areas of every residence hall at UNE available to you at any time.
- Mesh or plastic trash cans. Metal only is permitted.
- A printer — most students do not exceed the number of free pages provided by UNE.
- Duplicates of what your roommate already brought… communicate before move-in!
Remember, if you forget something, don’t worry! Target and Walmart are just a short distance away if you or a friend has a car, and if not, the UNE Bookstore has just about everything you might need, including basic toiletries, notebooks, snacks and so much more.
Good luck and don’t stress! This is an exciting time in your life and you’re going to make memories you’ll never forget.
B.S. Nursing, ’22
Elizabeth is currently working toward her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at UNE. She was fortunate to have the opportunity to study abroad in Seville, Spain, where she learned not only about the nursing field, but about different cultures throughout Europe. In the future, she plans to work as a Registered Nurse in a pediatric oncology unit. When she’s not studying, she enjoys hiking, photography and reading.