Packing Tips for Moving Into the Dorm This Fall Semester

Congratulations! You’ll be moving into the residence halls this fall semester.  Despite your school’s recommendations and packing lists, your mind is likely still running in circles on what to actually bring. Here are a few life experiences / tips that could possibly help you.

Each school has a different approach to move in day, so it’s important for students to follow their school’s specific instructions. Doing this will allow for a smooth move in experience. Remember – it’s bound to be extremely hectic with all those parents, students, resident assistants, and community directors running around. Having a plan always helps.

There are two distinct approaches for packing for a dorm room:

  1. Pack extremely light by only bringing your clothes, computer and a few momentos from home. Then, get any remaining necessities at the store during move in day.
  2. Bring everything with you that you’ve gotten from the school’s recommended list. 

I lived in the dorms for 5 years – 2 years were spent as a student and the other 3 years as a Resident Assistant. My first year as a student living on campus, I brought everything that was in my room with me to my dorm room – but over time, that slowly changed. By my 5th year living on campus, I only brought my clothes, computer and bed sheets with me. I was so busy with internships, work, and school by then that I didn’t even care to decorate my room. 

First year students tend to go all out when they first move into the dorms. Many try doing an extreme makeover of their room to make it look like a 5 star hotel, which is something I strongly encourage for first year students. After all,  it will be their  home away from home for the next few months. Here’s a perfect example of what I mean.

Photo by KNYFIVE

I know I didn’t exactly provide detailed packing tips, but as someone who has experienced living in the dorms from both a student and Resident Assistant perspective, my main advice is that you only bring what you’ll truly need. You do not need to bring extra things, as they will only take up what’s already a small space and add clutter to it. When it comes to living in the dorms, less is always more.

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