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What to Pack When Moving into a Dorm Room

A woman packing her clothes in a suitcase.
A woman packing her clothes in a suitcase

Moving away to college can be a laborious process. Unless you have other living arrangements, you must keep many things in mind when moving into a dorm room. Saying goodbye to friends and planning the moving process can be difficult for anyone. This can be especially tough for anyone moving away from home for the first time. However, you can make the moving and packing process easy if you plan ahead. With this list of things to pack when moving into a dorm room, you will have everything you need. Furthermore, you’ll also know what to avoid bringing so not to overcrowd your dorm room with stuff. 


Essentials to pack when moving into a dorm room 

There are certain things you will need as a college student. Your documents are one of the most important things you can bring with you. Before you move into a dorm room, you should scan or take a high-quality picture of them. That way, you will have access to them in any situation. Besides this, you will need to bring your electronics. Your laptop, phone, and chargers are some of the most important things to bring. If you forget them, replacing the electronics in time for the new semester can prove impossible, especially if you packed and moved last minute. You don’t want to add running back home for them in the middle of the new semester’s frenzy.


As for the kitchenware to pack when moving into a dorm room, you will need the essentials. A couple of plates and utensils won’t take up too much space. But they will make your life in a dorm room easier. Before you buy kitchen appliances, check the dorm’s policy. If they are permitted, a mini-fridge is an excellent purchase. Besides this, a microwave will make heating up food easy. And it won’t take up much space, either. 


One of the most important things you will need to bring is bedding. Bring your most comfortable pillow and a blanket. You can vacuum seal them, so they don’t take up too much space during transportation. This way, you will save space when packing your things for the dorm room. Along with the bedding, you will need to bring bed linens. Try not to bring too many pillowcases and bed sheets to have enough space in your dorm room. 

 A woman making an inventory of everything she will bring when moving into a dorm room.
Organizing the packing process will make it easier.

Furniture pieces for your dorm room 

Your dorm room will have all the essential pieces of furniture, such as the desk and the bed. But you can make your dorm room cozier and more functional with a couple of pieces of furniture. Make a clear plan before you purchase furniture for your dorm room. If possible, see the layout of your room so that you can buy furniture that is the correct size. Think about your daily routine and what items you need to add to the dorm room. 


One of the furniture pieces you can bring is a reading chair. It will make spending time in your dorm room much more pleasant. You’ll have a place to relax after a long day of classes. Next to your bed, you can add a small side table to leave a glass of water and a book. Create a separate kitchen area with a standing shelf. This is where you can keep all your snacks and kitchenware. If you can, contact your dorm roommate and see whether they are bringing in any furniture pieces, too. This way, you won’t bring in two of the same furniture pieces. You will save space in your dorm room and still have everything you need. 


A standing mirror is one of the dorm room’s most practical décor pieces. You will make the space feel bigger and brighter without taking up too much space. Not to mention, it will make getting ready for class much easier in the mornings. 


Creative storage solutions

As for the storage solutions, you most likely can’t add shelves to the walls. However, there are other ways to add storage to your dorm room. A storage cart is a neat solution for your stationery and miscellaneous items. And you can style it with a couple of décor pieces. Besides this, you can use vertical space by adding a door rack. 

Two dorm roommates talking
Don’t forget to check in with your future roommate when moving into a dorm room.

Moving into a dorm room on a budget

When you are a fresh college student, saving money is the priority. Luckily, you can save a lot of money when moving into a dorm room by following a couple of easy steps. You can easily make it more affordable by organizing a garage sale before you move. That way, you will earn some money and reduce moving costs. Plus, you will have less clutter in your home and your dorm room. Your room will be more organized and clean when you come back home for a visit. 


To save money on your move, pack efficiently. You minimize the cost of moving when you bring fewer boxes with you. As mentioned above, vacuum sealing your clothes is a great way to save space when packing. In addition, you can reuse what you already have as packing supplies. Old newspapers are great for packing fragile items such as kitchenware. You can use the storage boxes you already own for those less fragile items, such as bedding. 


What not to pack when moving into a dorm room 

Even with a plan, packing for moving into a dorm room can be stressful for anyone. And it can be challenging to determine the amount of stuff you will need for your dorm room. This is especially true if this is your first time moving away from home. You may pack too many things you don’t need. However, there are a couple of steps you can take so you can avoid this. 


First, make a packing list. It will help you better visualize the amount of stuff you bring into your dorm room. You can quickly notice if you put two of the same things on the list. 


Take into account the weather in your college town when packing clothes. You might not need clothes for each season. A capsule wardrobe is a fantastic solution when packing clothes. You will have an outfit for every occasion and lots of free space in your dorm. As for décor, bring pieces that don’t take up too much space. You can easily personalize the space with pictures and details on your dorm room desk. 

A desk used for work.
Pack only a few decor items so you can save space in your dorm room.

Final thoughts

Packing and moving into your dorm may seem like a lot at first, especially if you do it on your own. You will need to keep many things in mind before you move. But you can easily pack when moving into a dorm room if you plan a couple of weeks ahead. Soon enough, you will be able to enjoy your new dorm room, and you will forget about the packing process completely.