A Resident’s Take on the Packing List

We all know that when you are preparing to move off to college, you need to plan it out and ensure you have everything you might need. After all, you won’t be at home anymore, so every little convenient thing a household might have will no longer be as readily available as it once was. I am going to take you through a packing list to give you some insights into what I experienced as a resident moving to campus. Hopefully, this will help you plan your own list a little bit better! I am going to take you through the HRE packing list and share my insights about the practical needs! To get to the HRE packing list, visit our Moving In page.

Let’s start with electronics. 

  • Ethernet Cables
    • They can be nice if you have a desktop or a gaming console, but our wifi is pretty reliable, so don’t sweat it if you aren’t looking for heavy-duty internet.
  • Printer
    • Pro tip: on the first floor of Lassonde Studios is a free black and white printer (unlimited, too), so if you don’t anticipate a lot of color printing, I would go there. You can also print in the Benchmark Computer Lab and the Marriott Library, but you have to pay. There are a few other free printers on campus, but I’ve gotta keep some secrets!

Onto the bathroom!

The bathrooms can be a little different because they depend on where you live. If you live in a cluster in Lassonde or Kahlert Village, you don’t need to provide toilet paper or any cleaning supplies! We will provide toilet paper, and we have an amazing team that will clean them for you. If you live anywhere else on campus, you will want to remember to bring your own toilet paper and cleaning supplies. 

  • Shower Caddy
    • This one is tricky because if you haven’t ever used them (like me before I moved to campus), you won’t realize how important getting the right one is. Get a cloth or mesh one that can hang in your shower. They usually have more storage and are easier to clean and dry.

Let’s head to the bedroom next.

  • Pillows
    • Of course you need one or two, but don’t get too crazy with accent pillows. They will just get in the way when you are coming home from a long day of school and want to take a nap.
  • Sheets
    • I cannot stress this enough: TWIN XL. I can’t tell you how many residents I have seen with standard twin sizes that don’t have any sheets their first night; it sucks. Make sure you get XL (amazon has some awesome ones).
  • Hangers
    • I didn’t think I needed many hangers when I started. Then I realized how helpful hanging stuff up can be, and now I always seem to need a few more. Do yourself a favor and just buy 200 at Target asap.
  • Lamp
    • A good desk lamp is soooooo important to a good study space. Mine is a drafting lamp that clamps to the desk and has different light levels. Make sure you find the right one for you!

School supplies!

  • Calculator
    • A lot of us bought a good TI-83/84 in high school and think it is fine for college. CHECK WHAT YOUR CLASS SAYS YOU NEED. Not every calculator is the same and might as well not get surprised later!
  • Scissors
    • This Is the most important item on this whole list. You don’t realize how much you use them until they are gone. Buy scissors. You will thank me later.


If you don’t live in an apartment, don’t go crazy. Bring one or two mugs and a reusable utensil set; let's be sustainable here. If you do live in a space with a kitchen, connect with your roommates and plan who will bring what, that way, you don’t have too much of any one thing, and you all save a little money.  

Up next, cleaning supplies!

  • Stain stick
    • I have a Target brand stain remover, and it has been a savior so many times (not too bad when you decide to eat in bed too if you are messy).
  • Trash bags
    • Every resident gets a little trash can, but you can use so many things as trash bags. Every household has a ridiculous amount of grocery bags that no one is sure what to do with. So, let's be a little more sustainable and use those. When you go home, make sure to restock. I usually use one bag a week.
  • Laundry detergent/hamper
    • Laundry stuff is so important! Find what works for you, but make sure you have it. That is the hardest thing to find last minute on campus for sure.
  • Vacuum
    • All of our front desks have vacuums, so it isn’t an absolute necessity, but it can be nice. I got mine on amazon for $30.

Up next: miscellaneous items.

  • Water Bottles
    • Reusable bottles are a big part of the U’s campus culture and Hydroflasks tend to be popular among students, but they can be a bit pricey. Look for a double insulated bottle. They’re just like Hydroflasks, but are a bit more affordable.
  • Storage
    • Everyone ends up needing more storage than we think, so just be prepared for that. Hit up Target’s organization section and live your best life.
  • Command products
    • They will save your life so much! Velcro strips are good for letter boards and poster frames, and hooks are great for cute organization. And, all of them are just so convenient.

Now, let’s chat about just a few things that we don’t have on the list that are popular right now.

  • String lights
    • These are key to every dorm room aesthetic, and they’re super fun and cute. They come in every style and color and provide great low light in the evening.
  • Projector
    • If you wanna have a movie night with your friends, get a projector! I got mine for $60 on Amazon. It plugs right into my laptop and is so fun!
  • Coffee Maker
    • A nice little personal Keurig or other sort of pod-based coffee maker can be great for the mornings and help everything feel a little more at home.


I hope this list is helpful as you prepare to make the U your new home!