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5 Essential Tips When Packing for College Dorm Room Life

Posted on September 4, 2017


With colleges and universities across the country getting their school year underway, we thought it may be helpful to share our own experiences with what you’ll need for your first or fourth year at college and how best to pack for the fall semester. After all, with more and more Americans going to college than ever before, many are the first in their families to go and thus there’s often a learning curve when it comes to dorm life, such as knowing when to use a professional storage unit. To help you avoid some of the mistakes we’ve seen over the years when it comes to packing for a tiny dorm, here are five tips to consider for your move to college or university.

Packing for Your CollegeDorm in 5 Steps

1. Know Your School’s Weather

If it’s your first semester, chances are you’re going to learn many things by simply experiencing them and learning from them. But one aspect you can plan for is the weather. Namely, are you going to a midwestern or east coast school where the first month or two can feel like summer still before the temperature plummets? Or are you going to a school where it’s temperate all year-round? Additionally, do your homework and find out if the city or town you’re moving to experiences heavy rain-fall for prolonged seasonal period and pack for each change of weather accordingly, keeping each wardrobe separate.

2. Think Small

One of the hardest things for any first-year college student to adjust to is dorm life and having to share an already small dorm room with another person. If possible, get the measurements for your room in advance so that when you’re in dialogue with your future roommate and planning on who will bring what, you know just how much space you have to work with and don’t end up with more stuff than you have room for. Often packing for college, much like writing a paper, takes several drafts with each one removing any remaining items that you just won’t need.

3. Establish the Essentials

Communicating with future roommates has gotten so easy that especially congenial students can spend much of August just planning on how to best pack for their new room. But when communication is so easy, it’s often tempting to skip establishing what particular items you simply must have and the ones you really want to have. If possible, communicate with your new roommate that you wish to discuss the essentials right off the bat so as you continue to get to know one another and get a better sense of what our room will look like with a roommate in it is the best way to avoid missing the essentials. And yes, packing an essentials box applies for dorm life as well.

4. Go Easy With the Electronics

We get it. Going to college can represent long nights of playing video games with friends on a giant forty-two inch flat screen, but good luck fitting a television that size into a dorm room–that’s something that may have to wait for off-campus life. Knowing how to pack your electronics is as important as deciding which ones you’re going to bring if you simply have too much for the space of a dorm room. Be sure to pack any manuals you may need as well, even if it means a video game or two may get left behind.

5. Organization is Everything

While it’s easy to go overboard when shopping for college as each year more unnecessary products come out that distract students from less glamorous items like organizational tools. From milk crates and closet organizers to plastic hooks and bins, these items not only serve as handy packing containers, but also as potential shelves in the form of stacked milk crates. Of course, you can also hit up IKEA for a more sleek cupboard or shelving unit while also grabbing a few milk crates as those are packing materials that can be used again and again.

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