You’re an incoming college student, and you know what that means: College Move In Day! It’s a day that almost every incoming college student anticipates in both excitement and fear. Rest in peace to any college student’s budget during this time…
Regardless of how dead your wallet is going to be after this, you do need things so you can survive during your college years. Here’s a comprehensive list of things that you may need!
Bedding is one of the few things here that we urge you to splurge a bit on. Your mood during your college career will definitely depend on how good you sleep, no joke.
Be sure to check what size your bed is going to be before Move In Day so you’re not stuck with full-size bed supplies on a twin-sized XL bed.
Let’s be realistic here, the normal bed that colleges provide is not good enough most of the time. So here’s a few things you’ll need to get you sleeping like a baby each night.
- Extra sheets: Get at least one extra set of sheets to change your sheets each time you wash one set.
- Comforter/Duvet and Sheets: If you don’t want to buy comforters/duvets and sheets separately, Walmart and Target has comforters with designs on them. Otherwise, IKEA has cute sheets you can get.
- Mattress Topper: Crucial piece of bedding! College beds are notoriously hard and not great, and will definitely mean the difference between a good or a cranky mood. Be sure to add this to your list of items!
- Pillows and Pillowcases
- Blankets: Just in case your room gets cold as heck.
- Bed Protector
- Reading Pillow
2. Closet and Laundry List
What’re you gonna wash your stuff with? Air? And are you gonna move in with only your birthday suit?
Here’s what you’ll need for laundry on Move In Day, some items to fill your closet, and a few other things you’ll need to help your closet organization.
- Laundry Hamper and Bag: Anticipate that your dorm will not be close to the laundry room, and just in case, get a laundry bag to stuff your clothes in for easy transferring. Bed, Bath, and Beyond sells laundry bags online where they’ll embroider your name on the bag so no one can steal it. It’s pretty good quality as well.
- Laundry Detergent/Pods
- Stain Remover
- Tops, Bottoms, Shoes, and Socks: Here’s a little tip. Only pack seasonal items each time you move in. Don’t overload with Summer clothing when you know the majority of the school year is going to be spent in fresh weather to teeth-chatteringly cold weather, and vice versa.
- Partywear (If you’re one to go to parties responsibly)
- Businesswear (if you score a job interview, or go to a professional event)
- Sandals/“House” shoes: By house shoes, we mean shoes that you can use to walk around your dorm or apartment and don’t take outside of your space.
- Drying Rack: Chances are that the laundry room’s dryers are overloaded with other people’s stuff, and you don’t wanna be that guy and dump their stuff on the floor. So get a drying rack!
- Lint Roller
- Steamer/Compact Iron and Board
- Pants and Top Hangers
- Mini-Sewing Kit
3. Beauty, Bath, and Cleaning
This essentials list covers everything from shower sandals to mascara, so get ready. You don’t want to get caught without these things on Move In Day!
- Shower sandals
- Shower Wrap/Robe
- Towels: Usual number of towels to get is about 2-3. You can totally get a bit more though.
- Body Wash/Soap with Soap Dish Cover
- Loofa/Body Scrubber
- Shampoo and Conditioner
- Dental Floss
- Toothbrush and Toothpaste
- Shower Tote/Caddy: Whether you’ll be using a community bath or a personal one, getting a tote or caddy is essential. You can fit the necessary items in one place so you’re not running back and forth from your dorm to the shower.
- Toe Clipper
- Mouthwash (if you use it regularly)
- Bath Mat: Stepping onto cold tile floor sucks, so get a bath mat to fix that problem!
- Makeup: Don’t overload yourself on this either! For now, get like 2-3 eyeshadows that you use regularly, 1 blush, a highlighter you use regularly, and overall, just don’t overpack on makeup.
- Makeup Brushes
- Micellar Water/Whatever you wipe your makeup off with
- Makeup Bag: To hold all your makeup goodies!
- Cleaning Cloth
- All-Purpose Cleaner
- Vacuum/Broom and Handle/Some kind of Mop for Bathroom
- Hair Brush
- Hair Ties
- Water Spritzer: This is for the folks with longish hair who really don’t want to be scooping water into their hands and wetting their hair that way. Nobody wants a damp bathroom.
- Pads/Tampons (For people with periods)
- Toilet Paper
- Hand soap
- Bathroom Trashcan: Take one just in case. Maybe your bathroom doesn’t have one.
- Box of Glasses Cleaner Wipes
- Electronic Cleaning Wipes
4. Storage and Organization
Your dorm is going to be tiny, so storage is an absolute must for college. Make sure to bring enough storage on Move In Day! Here’s a few items that you can bring.
Remember, you don’t have to bring all of these storage options; if you choose to bring a few of these, that’s totally up to you. Don’t feel pressured to bring everything here.
- Over-The-Door Mirror
- Underbed Bins
- Fabric Storage Cubes
- Suitcase: You can use this as storage after you take all your clothes out. You can even leave some clothes in here, or stick your shoes in it.
- Duffle Bag: Shoes, Gym Clothes, anything can be in here. It can also be used as an overnight bag.
- Shoe Rack: If you have enough room, get a shoe rack. If not, you can totally put your shoes in your suitcase.
During college, please take care of yourself. That means taking time for yourself to heal from an injury, if you’re sick, or if you’re not great mentally. We’ll try our best to describe each over-the-counter drug and what they help with for your ease.
Let’s not going to skirt around the issue; college students have sex. So there’s also a few items necessary for having safe sex. Because of this, we also urge you to get tested for HIV, AIDS, or STDs regularly if you’re having sex with different people regularly.
If you’re not great mentally, take the time to go to your college’s counselor. They know how to help you. These are a few things to bring with you if you’re feeling sick or get injured, so please keep them in mind when prepping for Move In Day.
- First Aid Kit
- Claritin: Helps treat allergy symptoms and hives.
- Peptobismol: For heartburn, diarrhea, nausea, and an upset stomach.
- Ibuprofen: This reduces fever and treats mild to severe pain.
- Midol: For people with periods.
- Picot/Alka Seltzer: Helps with an upset stomach.
- Tums: Helps with acid reflux.
- Tylenol: It’s a mild pain reliever and reduces fever.
- Sudafed: This is a decongestant.
- Extra pads and tampons/Menstrual Cup: For periods with a heavy flow.
- Heating Pads: For especially terrible periods.
- Any prescription drugs you may be taking at the time of Move In Day and afterwards
- Cough Drops
- Vitamins (if you eat any)
- Condoms: If you’re having sex with anything phallic, real or not, use condoms. Stick some under your pillow, in your drawer, in your wallet, under your bed; literally everywhere. Remember to pee afterwards.
- Latex: If you want to practice safe sex with a person with a vagina, use a dental dam or latex barrier while going down on that person. Usually latex or even strong Saran Wrap works.
The most important is to also educate yourself on how to have safe sex, about sexually transmitted diseases, and how they’re spread. Safe sex is good sex.
6. Food and Snacks
It’s late at night, and the dining hall is closed. What’re you gonna do? Food and snacks are essential, and you have to remember to bring some before Move In Day! Or else you’re stuck at midnight finishing an essay, hungry, and with no food in your fridge.
- Fridge and Microwave
- Food Storage Containers
- Healthy Snacks: You can’t just binge on unhealthy snacks all day, as much as we all want to. Nature Valley, and KIND bars are usually pretty good choices for healthy snacks.
- “Pleasure” Snacks: These can range from chips to sugary drinks to chocolate bars. All the unhealthy things we love!
- Cheap Meals: This 100% includes ramen. Especially Cup Noodles or Top Ramen, which comes in cups. In fact, this includes any soup or food that is prepared in a cup. You might run out of meals on your meal card, but you won’t have to worry because you stocked up on ramen and other soups before hand!
- Electric Kettle: Can definitely be used to heat up your ramen, water, and coffee. Check in with your college’s guidelines to make sure this is allowed, first.
- Kitchen Utensils (If you’re gonna have a kitchen)
- Bowls / Regular plates: If you’re going to be in a dorm, this isn’t going to work quite as well as it would in an apartment with enough room. Keep this in mind when you’re packing for Move In Day.
- Dish Soap
- Oven Mitts (If you’re gonna have a kitchen with an oven)
- Drinking Container: Can include reusable water bottles, tumblers, a Hydroflask, or mugs for your coffee.
- Lunchbox/Lunchbag: The Pioneer Woman has adorable lunchbags that look totally inconspicuous. You can stuff your lunch containers full of food and it would look like a normal bag.
- Dispensable Forks and Spoons
- Coffee Maker (if you regularly drink coffee)
These are the items that don’t really fit in any category here. So let’s stick ‘em in this category!
- Mini Umbrella
- Car Registration
- Driver’s License
- Student ID
- Social Security Card
- Medical Insurance Card
- Credit/Debit Card
- Emergency Contacts
- Bike, Helmet, and Bike Lock (if you ride one)
- Tactical Flashlight: Preferably, get a tactical one; those are are strong, and can be used as a defense weapon in case you need it.
- Pepper Spray: Definitely super important if you’re coming back from a night class. You don’t know what’ll be lurking at night.
- Hand Fan: Trust us. When it’s 108 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll be begging for an AC. Keep one a hand fan for situations like these!
8. Dorm Decor
Dorm decor is something that almost all incoming college students love to prepare for, mainly because it’s the best part. You’re finally going to be out of the house, and you get to do almost whatever you want with your dorm! So here’s some items you can decorate with.
Remember that most colleges and universities won’t let you stick nails in their walls, whether it’s in a dorm or apartment. There are also guidelines on lights, as having too much may be a fire hazard. Keep all of this in mind before Move In Day.
- Removable sticky hooks and strips
- Surge Protector
- Zip Ties
- Wall Art
- Fairy Lights (if you’re into that sort of thing)
- Personal pictures of friends, family, or anyone that makes you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside
- Extra seating for guests
- Bulletin Board / Dry Erase Whiteboard
- Desk Lamp: Keep in mind most colleges and universities won’t let you get big or wacky lamps if you’re in a smaller space like a dorm.
- Curtains and Rod (if you’ve got a window)
- Bed Risers: Think of all the space you could earn!
- Dorm/Apartment trashcan
- Decorative Pillows
9. School Supplies
Another thing to keep in mind before Move In Day is the stuff you’ll be using for school! If you’re an incoming college student, then you know that we’re in the 21st century; technology is necessary for everyday life now. So is school supplies! Here’s a list of some of the things you might need if you don’t have them already.
- Mechanical Pencils
- Extra Lined Paper
- Sketchbook (if you like drawing, or in an art major)
- Textbooks: Amazon, and ThriftBooks are great places to find textbooks for cheap.
- Sticky Notes
- Stapler and Staples
- Stapler Remover
- Laptop / iPad
And there you have it! A big, comprehensive list of all the things you might need before Move In Day. Of course, you can take things out of this list, or include other things in here that you think you may need. Everyone’s college list is different from the last. Happy shopping!
Did this list work for you? What did we miss? Be sure to tell us down below!
Featured Image: https://unsplash.com/photos/OoiWpdFC0Rw
Hi! My name is Carolina Cisneros, and I am a new intern at Society 19. I’m so glad to have this opportunity! I have an Associates in Studio Art, and I will be heading into university for Cinematic Arts and Technologies. I plan to go into the animation industry, designing characters and bringing more diversity into the world. For now, I’m building my skills. Thank you for reading!