Packing for Life in the Dorms

Packing for College Dorm LifeHeading off to college for the first time can make your head spin – happy anticipation mixes with a small dose of anxiety. If you are a parent with kids heading off to college, you might actually feel exactly the same way. You can make the most of the experience for everyone and squash that anxiety by knowing you’re prepared for move-in day. This dorm preparedness plan is a great place to start.

Start packing early: get ready for dorm room life by making sure to pack up some of your favorite items from home and some new things keyed to success with this new phase of your life. Start setting items aside early in a Sterilite plastic camp footlocker (or two) to minimize last minute panic. These footlockers make great dorm room trunks, they can be hidden under your bed with the help of a set of bed risers or they’re sturdy enough to act as extra seating when you have extra visitors. They have a 92 quart capacity with metal hinge latches and the trunk can be padlocked for security. (Padlock not included.) It comes with a lifting handle and can be wheeled to and fro with the built in wheels. This is great for packing up the family car, your car – if you are headed off to college by yourself- or it can be taken on a plane. The dimensions fit most airline requirements for checked luggage (be sure to verify size and weight limits with your airline before the big day to avoid unexpected fees.)

Pack smart: in order to make the most of the space in your footlocker, utilize a laundry bag. Get a mesh laundry bag ( airflow will help decrease trapped odors – you may not get around to laundry day nearly as often as you think when tests and classwork get rolling.) It takes up very little room when not in use, which is ideal for small spaces like a dorm. Your laundry bag can do double duty as a luggage container for your clean clothes or linens when you travel to college and it can function as your suitcase of choice for all of your dirty laundry when you go home on the weekends.

Pack your laundry bag full of the clothes you want to take for your first semester. If you have an expansive wardrobe you will only want to pack seasonal clothing, with just a few out of season options, as long as you think you will be going home in time to swap out your wardrobe. Swapping out your wardrobe with your home closet will help reduce the amount of crowded closet space you will have at school and shrinks down the amount of “stuff” you have to bring. (It also guarantees family at home will see their favorite student a few more times a year.)

What do you pack in your footlocker? Clothes, linens, grooming supplies, school desk supplies, and personal decorations are a given – but here are some basics you might have missed that could be pricey at the school book store:

Command Hooks and Clips – Most dorms are not going to let you put any nail or screw holes into the walls of your room or you will get assessed fees. So, in order to stay organized, you can use a Command Key Holder by 3M to hang up all your keys. Use other hooks to hang your personal items on a wall or on the back of a door.

Cord Organizers – Cables and cords are a nuisance and unsightly anywhere you live, but in small spaces, it is particularly nice to get them bundled up and out of the way.

Plug Hugger Laptop Cord Organizer – Available for the Macintosh laptop as well, this clever device protects your laptop cord from damage. You’ll probably end up toting your laptop from your dorm to the library to study sessions and classes – preventing damage increases the longevity of your cord and makes it easier to travel with your laptop.

Bed Risers – Give your dorm bed a lift with bed risers, so you can store more of your things under your bed. When there isn’t much space to spread out, try up.

Portable Shower Organizer – Most dorms have the showers down the hall and that means keeping track of and carrying all of your bath essentials back and forth. This bathroom organizer is a must have.

LED Computer Light – This handy device is USB powered. Late night study sessions won’t keep your roomie awake with this light.

Drawer Organizers – Keep your college desk items organized with interlocking drawer organizers.

Space Saving Hangers – If your college provides hangers, there is a good chance they are basic wire hangers. Not good for your clothes and they don’t save you space, which is a necessity when sharing a closet with a roommate. Organize it All has hangers that will hold multiple shirts, skirts, pants on one hanger.

Over the door storage – You can get extra storage space by using your closet door to hang your towel to dry between showers, get your shoes up off the floor, or keep your toiletries handy for freshening up quick before you head out for a study session (or date.)

Now you have your dorm room preparedness plan enabled and you are ready to move in to your dorm. Have fun, play it safe, and study hard.

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