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1. Foldable Cart or DollyColleges will typically provide free use of their carts during move-in as long as a student provides photo identification, such as their student ID. To skip the line, however, bring your own foldable cart or dolly so you can start hauling your gear up to your dorm room before the elevators get crowded. If your dorm only has stairs, group smaller items in clear storage bins so they’re easier to carry and so you can quickly identify belongings later. Make sure everything is labeled with your name and dorm room number in case anything falls.
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2. Power CordsDon’t forget your chargers! Laptops and phones are practically impossible to forget, but it’s easy to forget the wires that you need to keep their batteries alive. Apart from those, be sure to have an Ethernet cable for Internet connectivity. If you have access to wireless internet, you may be fine without it, but students bringing a PC should definitely pack one with them. Most colleges suggest an Ethernet cable length of about 15 feet. Consider purchasing cable protection sleeves, such as a NEET Cable Keeper, to keep cables organized and to prevent fraying.
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3. Office SuppliesHaving office essentials such as a stapler, staples, highlighters, pens, and pencils can be helpful, even when majority of your assignments will be completed using your laptop or PC. Whether you’re finishing up a last-minute paper for a British literature class or writing out derivatives for calculus, these supplies come in handy when you least expect it. Although you’ll be able to clearly determine what supplies you’ll need based off of your classes’ syllabi, at least pack a few for move-in day so you can save time in the weeks to come. Pack a planner for the school year so you can write down assignments and important events. Otherwise, most college bookstores will have planners for sale, and some even provide them for free!
4. Poster Putty or Painter’s TapeYour dorm room is your bedroom away from home, and it deserves to be decorated. However, it’s important that you and your roommate remember that both of you are responsible for any damages that occur in the room, which includes the walls. Be sure to pack poster putty or painter’s tape to hang pictures or other mementos, and use damage-free hanging strips to hang slightly heavier decorations such as mirrors or hanging whiteboards. If you’re allowed to use fairy lights to decorate, consider using damage-free adhesive hooks so you can hang them properly.
5. First Aid KitSadly, college doesn’t make you invincible. Having your own kit can save you a walk to your college’s health center, so take the time to make one and bring it with. According to Verywell, some suggested items to include are: • Adhesive bandages
• Ice/heat packs
• Cough drops
To avoid getting ill, exercise, eat healthy, and try to keep a regular sleep schedule. This kit is for just-in-case instances, after all.
6. Cleaning SuppliesChores come with you when you go to college, so be sure to pack a handheld vacuum, paper towels, disinfectant spray, garbage liners, and a dustpan and brush set. Spilled drinks and dropped crumbs are bound to happen, particularly when you’re sharing a refrigerator. You can limit messes by using food storage containers and drink thermoses. Be sure to talk to your roommate about what you plan to bring so you don’t accidentally end up with two vacuums!
7. Appropriate Seasonal ClothingYou can’t bring your entire wardrobe with you to college, but you can certainly bring along the clothing you can use up until your first extended break period. Chances are your dorm closet offers limited space, so it’s more logical to move in with an appropriate amount of clothing that will carry you through the given season until you can get home to swap them out. For example, the first major break period for United States’ colleges is around Thanksgiving, lasting for a week or two. A University of Illinois student can bring their summer and fall clothes home with them and swap those for heavier winter gear. The same logic applies to shoes, unless you’re eager to attempt surviving the winter with flip flops and sandals. If you’re attending a college in a warmer climate, such as University of Miami, the most you’ll probably swap out are a few t-shirts for some light jackets. Winter clothes will be a nonissue — lucky you!
8. BathrobeChances are you won’t forget your bathroom essentials such as towels, toiletries, shower shoes, and a shower caddy, but a bathrobe is useful to add to that list. Instead of wrapping yourself in towels post-shower and air-drying them all, use a bathrobe. This will decrease your towel usage and laundry pile… and it can save you from embarrassment if you accidentally lock yourself out of your dorm room. On the contrary, a bathrobe that has pockets in it provides a convenient place to tuck away a waterproof case so you can easily access your key and phone when you’re done.
9. LocksSecuring your belongings is important on college campuses. In order to do so, make sure you pack a laptop lock and a U-lock if you’re bringing a bike to get around campus. Ensure that all of your devices are password protected, and activate Find My Phone (or an equivalent feature) in case they go missing. If possible, engrave your belongings or use a permanent marker to write down your name. No one wants to be the victim of theft, but it’s always best to be cautious and proactive in order to protect your property.
10. Important DocumentsThese are extremely important to bring with you if you’re planning to study abroad or apply for work. Having both online and physical copies can come in handy as long as you keep them protected. Use a file folder or binder to organize. Suggested documents include: • Copy of your Social Security card
• Copy of your birth certificate
• Health/Dental insurance cards
• Financial information
If possible, leave the original files at home for safekeeping. Your parents or guardians may need them as well, and your house provides better security compared to your dorm room. Move-in day will be a literal and figurative rush for you, and you ought to be enthusiastic about what lies ahead. Planning well will keep stress at bay and keep the process running smoothly. Remember to check for these items in your trunk before driving off to college, and enjoy your first day!