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What to bring to your dorm and what to leave at home

July 14, 2003

Here are suggested items students should pack for college dormitory living:

  • School supplies

  • Bookcase or shelves

  • Comforter and sheets (check with college for mattress sizes)

  • Pillows and pillowcases

  • Power strips

  • Extension cords

  • Phone, jacks (check with college to see if they supply a phone)

  • Pre-paid phone card

  • Floor lamp (some colleges ban halogen lamps)

  • Desk lamp

  • Fan

  • Television

  • VCR/ DVD player

  • Stereo

  • Playing cards/games

  • Computer

  • Alarm clock

  • Refrigerator (check with college for limits on watts and size)

  • Microwave (check with college for limits on watts and size)

  • Dishes, cups and utensils

  • Iron and board

  • Camera and film

  • Food

  • Cooking utensils

  • Can opener

  • Paper towels

  • Tissues

  • Trash can and bags

  • Dish soap

  • Robe

  • Towels and washcloths

  • Shower shoes

  • Shower caddy

  • Disinfectant

  • Rags

  • Air freshener

  • Hand vacuum

  • Toiletries

  • Pain relief, other medicine

  • Thermometer

  • Plastic storage crates

  • First-aid kit

  • Flashlight

  • Laundry basket, bag

  • Laundry detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets

  • Drying rack

  • Roll of quarters (some schools offer free use of laundry facilities)

  • Sewing kit

  • Area carpet or rug

  • Cleaning products

  • Clothes hangers

  • Umbrella, raincoat

  • Snow boots

  • Bathing suit

  • Clothes

  • Sportswear

  • Sports equipment

  • Simple tools

  • Book of stamps

  • Stationery

  • List of phone numbers and addresses from home

  • Pictures/memory books

  • Dictionary and thesaurus

  • Erasable message board for door

  • Insurance information

  • Copy of birth certificate and Social Security Card (work-study programs often require these prior to employment)


Students are urged to consult with roommates before moving in to avoid duplication

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Items that some colleges ban:

  • Halogen lamps

  • Adhesives on walls like self-adhesive cork board or contact paper

  • Installation of devices on the wall

  • Lofts

  • Signs in windows

  • Drums or amplified music

  • Lewd, indecent posters

  • Weight-lifting benches and barbells

  • Grills

  • Candles, incense, oil lamps

  • Space heaters

  • Oil corn poppers

  • Toaster ovens

  • Toasters

  • Hot plates

  • Pets (most accept fish, but tank sizes are limited)

  • Empty alcohol bottles used for decoration

  • Dart boards

  • Paintball guns

  • Knives, hunting equipment


Compiled from sources at Hood, Mount St. Mary's and Shepherd colleges.

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