Things You Should Bring to University

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What to Bring to Your University Dorm

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Moving to university is both stressful and exciting. To facilitate your transition to university life, be sure to bring everything you need when you move into your dorm room.


To make your new dorm room feel like home, you'll want to be comfortable in your bed. Since you're going to spend every night sleeping there, you need to make it your personal escape. Dorm room mattresses may not always be the most comfortable things to sleep on, but with a foam pad and some comfy sheets and blankets, you'll be snoozing in no time.
  • Comforter
  • Blanket
  • Two sets of sheets and pillowcases (confirm size of mattress with university)
  • Pillows
  • Mattress pad
  • Foam pad


These items may depend on whether or not your dorm building features communal bathrooms. Some dorms provide a bathroom for each room (or suite/quad), in which case the restroom is private to those residents. However, this means those residents are responsible for the cleaning and upkeep of the facilities. In other cases, dorms will have one bathroom on each floor (sometimes two if the floor is not gender-specific), accommodating all of the residents on that particular floor. In this instance, the university provides cleaning services and upkeep of the facilities. 
  • Shower bag
  • Toilet paper
  • Tissues
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Mouthwash and floss
  • Deodorant
  • Hair products -- shampoo, conditioner, gel, etc.
  • Makeup, perfume, cologne
  • Soap -- hand soap and shower soap or body wash
  • Flip Flops
  • Cotton swabs
  • Razors and shaving cream
  • Towels -- bath towels, hand towels, washcloths
  • Air freshener
  • Shower curtain (if necessary -- check with university and coordinate with roommate)


The electronics you bring to university housing are important for two reasons. First, you will use some of the items to complete assignments, do research and write papers. Second, you will use some of the items for entertainment purposes. Either way, every electronic item you bring during your dorm move should serve a purpose. If an electronic doesn't enhance your university life, then it's probably best to leave it at home. This way, you won't have to worry about it taking up valuable space in your dorm and you eliminate the risk of it getting stolen.
  • Laptop and charger
  • Television set and cable wires
  • DVD and/or Blu-ray player
  • Phone charger
  • Alarm clock (if you don't plan on using the alarm on your phone)
  • Power strips and extension cords
  • Ethernet cable for wired internet connection
  • Desk lamp
  • Fan
  • Video game system
  • Extra batteries for remotes and other devices
  • Printer and printing paper (if necessary)
  • Fridge and microwave (if permitted)

Health and safety

Just because you're moving to university doesn't mean you get to stop taking your vitamins. Having appropriate medications on-hand is extremely important for university living. You never know what emergencies may arise, so you'll always want to be prepared.
  • Prescription medications
  • Vitamins
  • Cold medicine and cough drops
  • Pain relievers
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Hand sanitizer (preferably anti-bacterial)
  • Mini tool kit
  • Dorm safe (if necessary)


Keep your clothes and your towels organized and clean. It's a vital part of living on your own. University housing should have accessible laundry facilities, whether they be in your dorm building or close by.
  • Clothing hangers (amount depends on closet space, but hanging clothes can save room in your drawers)
  • Folding/pop-up hamper
  • Laundry detergent
  • Fabric softener
  • Stain remover
  • Iron and ironing board (if necessary and if permitted by university housing)

School supplies

Oh, that's right! You're moving to university for a reason: education. You'll need a bunch of supplies to start out, perhaps one of the most important steps to acing those exams, passing those classes and getting that degree. Plus, if you don't use any of the supplies, you can always save them for next year.
  • Pens and pencils
  • Notebooks and folders
  • Binders
  • Stapler and staple remover
  • Calculator
  • Highlighters
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Binder clips and paper clips
  • Ruler
  • Index cards and sticky notes


Although these following items don't necessarily fit neatly into any of the categories outlined above, they are some of the most essential items to bring with you during your move to university. For example, you'll need more than one set of clothes.
  • Clothing (a reasonable amount, season-appropriate)
  • Cleaning products
  • Trash bags and bin(s)
  • Water
  • Snacks and microwaveable meals
  • Plastic utensils
  • Plates
  • Paper towels
  • Storage containers -- small plastic containers for leftover food and large bins for other storage
  • Whiteboards and dry-erase markers
  • Adhesive strips (for hanging posters, photos and message boards)
  • Posters, pictures and other decor
  • Sports equipment -- i.e. cleats, gym clothes, running shoes, etc.
  • Bank card
  • Winter jacket and rain coat
  • Backpack and gym bag
A dorm move goes much smoother with proper planning, so be sure to use this list as a checklist while packing and on move-in day. And of course, you may want to pack some things we didn't include in this list. Go ahead -- just make sure they enhance your dorm life and don't just take up space!

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on November 20, 2014 - Moving Expert
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