Before You Pack: Understanding The Realities Of Dorm Life
Traditional dorms are singles or doubles, with some triples or quads, and students share a communal bathroom and living area. Some students live in suites or apartments during college, in which they share a bathroom and common living space with a few roommates. Shared bathrooms are a major adjustment for a lot of students, so as you get ready to move into your dorm, think about what will make you most comfortable in these shared spaces.
Most four-year colleges have dining halls and meal plans. Dining halls offer some wonderful, well-balanced options, but they aren’t open all the time and don’t always cater to students’ dietary needs as best as they can. Make sure to have ways to eat and prepare food in your room from the get-go. You’ll be in need of plenty of late-night snacks and meals!
You’re going to spend lots of time around other people and in shared spaces. The best thing to do is to be prepared and make sure you’re being conscientious about your living space and what you need to be comfortable and happy.
For better or worse, this is your home for the next four years. You can never be too prepared! Anything in college is possible, and a lot of craziness will happen. Deciding what to bring to college is challenging, but hopefully this college packing list will get you off to a great start so you can enjoy one of the best times of your life in comfort.
Wood Wall Floating Shelf
You will have some empty walls to deal with, and if you were like me who doesnt have a ton of posters to put up, your walls are going to be pretty bare. So, get one of these awesome floating wall shelves. Buy some plants to put on them or a couple of picture frames of you and your friends. It will definitely add to your dorm room decor.
Just make sure you check into your university or college rules about what goes on the walls. I used push pins in my wall to make sure I wasnt making big holes.
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Dorm Essentials To Put On Your List
We recommend that you read this post, Dorm Room Shopping: 50 Questions to Answer First, which will guide you through all the Q&As you want to discuss with your teen BEFORE you shop.
The next step is to gather as much insight as you can from their colleges website under Residence Life. Find out what things are provided and what might be prohibited If your student is assigned a dorm with air conditioning, they wont need a fan. No need to load up on things that youll have to return.
Then your teen will want to coordinate with their roommate if they are planning compatible decor and/or want to share a mini-fridge, microwave, or coffee maker as most dorms are too small to accommodate duplicate appliances. An area rug is also popular, but no need to get more than one.
Finally, as you shop for your son or daughter,;make sure youre not leaving any money on the table by downloading the;free Honey browser extensionits a tool that automatically applies coupon codes at checkout to help save time and money.
Then start here, with the true basics for a typical college dorm room.
Note: We are a reader-supported site and receive compensation from purchases made through some of these links.;
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A Collapsible Water Bottle
If you plan on going to a festival or a concert and you need to use public transportation to get there, collapsible water bottles are a great trick;for staying hydrated that;you might not initially think to buy yourself. The thing that I love about these is that you can clip them onto whatever you have on and the collapsible form;means they’re easy to roll up and stuff in a pocket. It’s a low maintenance fix. These supposedly have an antibacterial aspect, too, which is great since collapsible bottles can be hard to clean.;
If you’re planning on filling these with anything that isn’t water, it’s nice that they’re pretty inexpensive, so you can have one for water and one for something else to keep the tastes from mixing.;;
Gomacro Nutrition Bars $359 At Target
On those days when it feels like you will never get out of class, you’re going to need some sustenance. Nutrition bars are a quick fix that you can throw in your backpack for long days when you don’t have time to sit down for a meal. I like these ones because they’re made of simple, natural ingredients which will keep you fueled without a dreaded sugar crash later on.;
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Renting Items Through Harvard Student Agencies
HSA Dorm Essentials rents fans, refrigerators, safes, and water coolers. The College permits the use of a combination microwave/refrigerator that is available for rent. No other type of microwave oven is allowed in the dorms.;MicroFridges are academic year rentals, and if ordered by;, will be in your dorm room when you arrive in August.
HSA Dorm Essentials is a business within;Harvard Student Agencies ,;a student run company and non-profit that;provides educational and business opportunities to students. HSA also offers laundry delivery and dry cleaning service through HSA Cleaners.
“Harvard” or “Harvard University” does not endorse these external products or services.;
Laundry & Cleaning Supplies
Youâre a young adult now– itâs time to clean up after yourself. Momâs not there to do it for you! Donât let clutter and dirt make your dorm room a place you canât stand to occupy!
Most dorm rooms have bare floors that arenât carpeted. A broom and dustpan and a Swiffer Sweeper– or a knockoff brand– will keep your floor spic and span. A waste basket and trash can liners are necessary, and donât forget antibacterial wipes to keep germs at bay!
Youâre the only one responsible for doing your laundry, too. Stock up on detergent and dryer sheets– and if you use it, fabric softener– and remember to stock up on quarters or load money onto your laundry account. Check with Resident Life to see how to pay for your laundry. Have a drying rack with you too– it can save money on the drier, and youâll need it to preserve your delicates! Itâs also not a bad idea to include an iron and a mini ironing board, but check to see if your dormâs laundry room has these first. Again, itâs a simple call to Res Life or a click on the website to check before move-in day!
And remember basic cleaning products like disinfectant wipes and glass cleaner for your furniture and mirrors. No sense in spreading germs or trying to see your reflection through dust and grime! Overall, we recommend grabbing these laundry and cleaning essentials:
- Laundry bag/basket
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Is It Viable Bringing A Desktop Pc To Your Dorm
<p>I have a pretty sweet gaming rig that I would like to bring to college with me , and I was wondering if there’s usually enough space for one in the dorm. The actual tower is a mid tower ATX, and I have a 21.5″ monitor to go with it.</p>
<p>Depends on the dorm you’re living in, and how much space it has. Look at your campus housing options. They usually list dimensions of the room.</p>
<p>Are the dimensions of the room even important? I was thinking as long as there was a desk. . .do most dorms have desks in them?</p>
<p>I brought my gaming rig with me, but honestly space can be an issue. Just because you have a desk doesn’t mean you will want to devote the majority of it to your computer. </p>
<p>My desk seriously sucks because the top of it is really short width wise. In order to make everything fit nicely, I had to give up my actual gaming keyboard for the extra space I reserve for books between the edge of the keyboard and the edge of my desk. Does that make any sense?</p>
<p>Honestly, that was only a matter of choosing to have my full gaming setup/wanting to be comfortable when I study. I don’t mind my rig being at school with me. 🙂 On a serious note, you should really look into the size that your desk will be because that would be the deciding factor along with whether you will be gaming a lot. I had planned on gaming a bunch, but I didn’t really get into the gaming mood until finals week…</p>
<p>Streaming movies may…im not sure about that</p>
Two Dirty Clothes Hampers
The Spruce / Meg MacDonald
Two hampers are a must for college laundry. By sorting;white and colored laundry in your dorm room, you’ll save a great deal of time when you get to the laundry room. Then when clothes are clean, they are easier to put away when you get back to your room.
Since space is always at a premium in a dorm room or apartment, collapsible hampers are a great space saver for those few times you have no laundry to do. Most of these mesh or fabric hampers have a strap for easy carrying.
If you prefer laundry baskets, look for those that might fit under the bed and have sturdy handles for easy carrying. Plastic baskets are always a good choice because they can be easily cleaned. If you choose a natural fiber basketlike wicker or rattanbe sure it has a fabric lining to prevent snags to clothes.
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A Laptop Keyboard Cover
Remember what I said about spending a lot of late night study sessions on your bed. Well, my college kid was studying late one night and made herself a bowl of microwave mac n cheese and then proceeded to spill the bowl on her laptop. Let me tell you that was one expensive bowl of mac n cheese.
The damage to her laptop could have been avoided with a laptop keyboard cover. For that reason, Im throwing this one in as a nice to have
Lucy Eldridge Mug $12 At Nordstrom
Even if you don’t have a kitchen in your dorm room, bring a mug with you to school. You can use it as a vessel for tea, microwave meals, and if you really have no desire to make any sort of food, this will make an adorable pencil holder on your desk. I like this one for the fun animal prints and sayings.
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Moleskine Hard Cover Notebook $2599 At Quill
Moleskine journals are great for a multitude of uses. They are smaller than most typical subject notebooks, but still can be used for class. I like to use mine as a planner and for jotting down random notes and thoughts I have throughout the day. The hard cover notebooks are flexible, but still durable enough to survive a messy backpack.;
Dorm Essentials: A Freshmans Dorm Checklist
College freshmen face the difficult task of transporting their entire lives to college dorms. Find out what you should bring and what you should leave at home.
College is often the first major move in a teens life. It can be difficult deciding what to bring and what to leave at home. To help you get organized, make a college checklist of various categories that will help you decide what you really need, and what will go untouched if you bring it to college.
In a small dorm room, its important to minimize clutter and keep the essentials handy while storing away items you wont use daily.
Also, if you know your roommate, it may help to check with them to find out which things they are planning on bringing. After all, in a crowded dorm room, do you really need two printers?
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A Flashlight And/or Booklight
If you have a roomie, chances are pretty good that your sleeping habits wont be exactly the same. On nights that you arent feeling the library and would rather study in your room, youre going to need a book light. Dont be that person who;demands to have the overhead light on while your roommate is trying to get their beauty rest.
Items To Check With Your Roommate
There are several things that you may want to share with your roommate. If you are moving into a traditional dorm room, where two or more students share a bedroom, there will be limited space so check space availability in order to be respectful to your new roommate. Things you may want to share with your roommate include: TV, mini fridge, fan or heater, rug, microwave, coffee pot, and cleaning supplies.
If you have a larger, shared space, such as a shared apartment or home, you will share common furniture and likely most kitchen items. Check with everyone on who is bringing what so you dont come in with doubles. Extra tip: Make a list for yourself of all the things you brought into the dorm or apartment so there isnt any confusion at move out.
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Bamboo Charcoal Air Purifying Bags
It isnt something you normally think about when getting your things together for college, but there will be good and bad smells in your dorm room from time to time. This dorm room item is so nice because they are environmentally friendly and are also kind of cute. You can buy them in a bundle and set a couple out in different areas around your dorm room. If you are looking for something a little more robust, some humidifiers will use essential oils that might work a bit better than these purifying bags.
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Do: Trick Out Your Bed
Youll be surprised how much time youll spend there. Going in, I took college beds for granted…but that was a mistake. Freshmen will quickly realize how important bed comfort is, said Christina Butan, a rising Junior at SUNY Purchase. A mattress pad and a back rest pillow seriously make a world of difference you will be in heaven.
Back rest pillow, $19.99 at Kohls.com
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Dorm Room Essentials List: 12 Things Every Freshman Needs For College
The good news is your kid is GOING to college. The bad news is your kid is LEAVING for college. There may be a long list of things they WANT to buy, but here is the shortlist of the things that every college student needs to bring with themthe real dorm essentials. We have cut to the basics and listed only the 12 must-haves that they will truly need on day one.
In a few instances, we added extras for you to think about while shopping but have otherwise kept this college packing list deliberately short. Consider this a solid starting point and layer on the items that your college student knows they will use, not the myriad things that retailers and schools identify as Essentials. Besides, this is not 1990 and your student can easily order supplies and furnishings after theyve moved into their new space.
Inexpensive Soft Sheets Duvet And Duvet Cover
Soft sheets and a washable duvet and cover will go a long way toward making your dorm room and your dorm bed feel more like home. The inexpensive sheets will be easy to care for and you wont feel too bad if you spill coffee or something on them. The duvet and duvet cover give you a comfy way to have the luxury of a comforter while still being extremely easy to clean .
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Unexpected Things We Wish Someone Had Told Us To Bring To College
The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you’ll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.
When I finally headed to college, it was after a summer spent organizing and reorganizing a long list of things I thought I would need, plus a link to which item I had deemed best in each category. In much of my free time, I compared the deeply personal, embattled reviews of those defending various middle-priced sheets and dorm room fans.;
I wish Id just spent the summer in a pool. Or, at the very most, learning how to make as many meals as possible using only one pan or microwave, which would have been either very relaxing if the former and very, very helpful if the latter. With Insider Picks’ definitive;Buying Guides;for everything from sheets, electric fans,;Bluetooth speakers, and dorm room essentials, there’s also really no reason to subject yourself to such tedium.;
But after getting to college and now, having recently graduated I know what nearly every student eventually figures out: You can anticipate a lot of your needs, but the most useful things youll buy will likely not be on the University’s recommended list. They will crop up on you.
These were the things I wished someone older had told me to pack.
These are the things we remember as MVPs of our college experience.;Check them out below:
Ultimate College Packing List For The 2020
Packing for college may seem challenging or overwhelming, especially if youre moving far from home. But knowing how to approach the packing process with a college packing list will make packing far less stressful. Knowing what to pack well beforehand can also help you stay within your available student budget. The following guide will provide some advice on how to pack efficiently and what you should include. Use this ultimate college packing checklist as you pack for the next chapter of your life.
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