It’s move-in week, and that means packing up your stuff and making the move to campus. You’ve got your toothbrush, favorite T-shirt and book bag: what more could you need? Don’t forget that life in a residence hall is all about making the space your own so it feels as welcoming and functional as home.
Veteran RAs Cora Webb, Courtney Hicks and Rodrick Bellamy along with Melantha Ardrey, director of residence life, suggest packing these 10 essential items for your room.
1. Surge protector
Residence Life policy prohibits the use of extension cords due to the risk of overloading and tripping building circuits. But, Bellamy says, there’s a solution to meeting the any power needs for your electronic devices.
“Surge protectors have their own circuit breaker, which trips when overloaded,” says the junior middle grades education major. “Their usage maximizes your number of plugs while also preventing building outages.”
Your roommates thank you in advance for not blowing your building’s circuits.
2. Command strips/hooks
Since nails and screws are a no-no on residence hall walls, hooks can be your best friend when it comes to hanging up a favorite photo, floating shelf or anything else you want to dangle from your walls.
“These will allow you to hang up your favorites without breaking policy,” says Bellamy.
3. Over the door hooks
“Over the door hooks can give you easy access to frequently used items that don’t need to take up drawer or closet space,” says Webb, who is a senior double majoring in public health and women’s and gender studies.
A cousin to the command strips/hooks, over the door hangers can offer you a place to stash your towels, bathrobe or book bag (or a week’s worth of dirty clothes).
4. Hanging shoe organizer
This is a must, says Webb, for those who “have lots of shoes.” And, bonus tip: hanging shoe organizers are great for storing just about anything else you can imagine – socks, bathroom supplies (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo etc.) and, perhaps most importantly, emergency snacks.
5. Collapsible bins/hangers/stackable plastic drawers
“Collapsible bins, duffle bags or anything that will allow students to be flexible with space is important,” says Ardrey.
Remember you’ll have limited space for storage (including storing the containers you’re storing your stuff in). So, having things that stack, fold or stowaway will help you get the most out of your space.
6. A lamp
Sometimes it’s nice to get a break from the glare of those overhead fluorescent lights. Plus, your roommate might not want to study alongside you when you’re pulling an all-nighter for that math test. A lamp can help with that, says Hicks.
“A lamp is a must as it helps with additional lighting in the room,” says the junior communication major. “And, you can study without interrupting and waking up your roommate.”
Problem solved. You’re welcome.
7. Cleaning supplies
Students are fully responsible for cleaning their own room and bathroom, so it’s best to come prepared. (You don’t want to be the gross roommate who never cleans.)
“Bring loads of cleaning supplies,” says Hicks. “My absolute favorite is any Scrubbing Bubbles cleaning products. They are multipurpose and can be used for thorough cleaning.”
8. Fuzzy socks/slippers
It’s important to feel comfy and cozy in your room or suite. And, nothing says ‘I’m chilling out’ like a pair of warm socks or comfortable slippers.
“Fuzzy socks are a great thing to bring as they are relaxing and you can be comfortable in rooms that don’t have carpet,” says Hicks.
9. Body contouring or husband pillow
Sometimes you just need to lounge while you study. Or watch TV. Or play video games. Enter the body pillow or husband pillow. These oversized cushions offer another way to be comfortable in your space if you’re not feeling the couch or desk chair. You can chill on the floor or prop up comfortably in bed.
“These pillows help with posture, are good for cuddles, and bedside reading!” says Hicks.
It’s your space, so make it feel that way. Bring a bit of home, family or friends with you through cherished items, pictures and knickknacks mom or Uncle Bob gave you that will make you smile when you’re having a bad day.
“Pictures of family and friends, a favorite book or other mementos from friends or family are a great way to personalize the space,” says Ardrey.