College Lifestyle and Product Blog for Dorm Room Living | DormSmart: Dorm Packing List

Showing posts with label Dorm Packing List. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dorm Packing List. Show all posts

June 2, 2017

Planning a Smooth Move to College

The best advice I can give to incoming freshman about planning a smooth move to college is to shop and pack early! Speaking from experience, I understand that there are other things students would rather be doing during their last summer before college. Personally, I was more interested in hanging out with my friends and family as much as possible... okay, mostly friends. I was a master procrastinator, failing to realize the amount of work involved in planning my move to college. I had never lived on my own. If my mom had not dragged me through the whole process, I would have been completely unprepared for move-in weekend. Thanks, Mom!

When move-in weekend arrived, I was surprised by the number of students who were scrambling about to find the time to shop for basic essentials like bedding and shower supplies. At my college, students were given a day and a half to move in, unpack and organize their dorm rooms before classes commenced... all while being required to attend "sessions" and pick up their books simultaneously. There was barely enough time for students to move in and unpack let alone go shopping, even with their families lending a hand.

There are a number of advantages for incoming freshmen who plan,  shop and pack early for college:
1. Larger Variety of Products Available
If students wait until the last minute, they may find that many of the products they are interested in purchasing are sold out. Custom and made to order products like bedding, generally take longer to make and ship. Shopping early means that students have the luxury of selecting from a wider variety of dorm room supplies.
2. Quality Check
What happens if a purchase is damaged or disappointing? Shopping early allows students to do a quality check so there are no surprises during move-in weekend.
3. Avoid High Shipping Costs
Shopping early for college helps students to avoid the high costs associated with expediting the shipment of their purchases. If students are in a time crunch, a better alternative may be for students to have retailers ship their purchases directly to their campus.
4. Smooth Move
Shopping early gives students more time to pack properly for move-in weekend. Packing properly is key to a smooth move. My mom has a great system when packing for move-in weekend. Sort and pack your essentials by type (i.e. cooking supplies, school supplies, shower supplies...). As you pack, create a list to bring with you of what each box contains to make locating and unpacking for college quick and easy. If you are able, store you boxes and list for move-out weekend to make packing and storing your dorm room supplies over the summer just as smooth.
A smooth move to you and live Dorm Smart!

- Megan

May 27, 2017

Top Items College Students Forget to Bring to Campus

What items do college students forget to pack for their dorm room?

Good question, we frequently hear students or parents say they forgot:
  1. Tool Kit
  2. Waterproof Shower Bag or Caddy
  3. Surge Protectors
  4. Laundry Supplies
  5. Trash Can
Feel free to add to this list! And remember, if you forgot to pack an item, can deliver your dorm supplies to your college campus...

Live Dorm Smart!

August 15, 2011

How to Ship Dorm Room Supplies Direct to Campus

Take advantage of Dormsmart's Free Campus Ship Program... just enter your student's campus shipping address provided by their University Housing Department as the "Delivery Address" during checkout!

Need more reasons to use DormSmart's Free Campus Shipping Program...


If you are in a hurry, DormSmart can ship your purchases direct to your college campus instead of having to move them to campus.


No additional charges apply at DormSmart when shipping purchases direct to your college campus within the 48 Contiguous US States, it is free. Additionally, students won't have to incur the additional cost of moving their dorm room supplies from home to campus.


Your dorm room supplies only ship once ... reducing your carbon footprint and saving trees (no additional packaging required).


Students don't have to pack, transport, and unpack their dorm room supplies multiple times!

*Free shipping only applies to campuses within the 48 US Contiguous States

August 10, 2011


With campus move in day fast approaching for many college bound students, it’s important to prepare BEFORE leaving for college. Here’s a few quick tips from Team DormSmart to make campus move in day go a little more smoothly…

TIP #1: Shop before Campus Move In Weekend

Campus move in weekend is INSANE! Many colleges have mandatory orientation sessions scheduled for parents and students over move in weekend leaving little time to unpack, let alone shop. It is best to shop for dorm supplies prior to move in weekend and pack them so that they can be easily located and unpacked. Grab  a copy of our Dorm Supplies Checklist to help you prepare and pack.

TIP #2: Check University Housing Regulations

Before shopping, check your university housing regulations for your dorm room. Let’s face it, everyone is feeling the budget crunch so you don’t want to waste money buying non compliant dorm appliances … any dorm supplies that may be considered contraband and confiscated.

TIP #3: Measure Your Dorm Room 

Every inch counts when planning and organizing your dorm room. If you have access and can get actual measurements, be sure to measure the room at the floor level to account for any base moldings or trim; meaning it may not seem like much but floor moldings and trim can take inches off an already small dorm room.

TIP #4: Know What Furniture You Need to Bring

What furniture does your school provide? Are you able to bring your own or required to use theirs?

TIP #5: Know the Shape and Size of Your Dorm Bed Legs

The one recurring problem we hear about from college students at DormSmart… the bed risers they picked up at the discount store don’t fit! If you are planning to raise your dorm bed for additional storage know the size and shape of your dorm bed legs to ensure your bed risers will fit properly.

TIP #6: Count the Outlets

Know how many outlets are in your dorm room so that you can purchase the right amount of surge protector strips with overload protection; make all your electronics work.

TIP #7: Get Ready for Campus Networking 

Don’t forget networking cables! While wireless access generally works in most common areas in your residence hall, many dorm rooms require wired access… at times the signal strength inside your dorm room is just too weak.

TIP #8: Get Familiar with Your Closet Space

Does your dorm room have a closet? If so, check the configuration of your closet. How many closet shelves are there? Measure the distance between shelves to ensure your storage containers will fit easily.

TIP #9: Coordinate with Your Roommate

Some dorm room supplies such as an iron, ironing board, coffeemaker, dorm rug, television, and printer can be shared. Sharing sounds a little scary at first but remember if sharing isn’t working out, you can always bring your own supplies over a break OR have mom and dad bring them over parent weekend. Just remember to make a list of who brought what if you're sharing dorm supplies... you'd be surprised how many roomies forget by the end of the school year!

TIP #10: Pay Attention to the Little Details

You’d be surprised how annoying it can be to overlook a small detail when it comes to dorm living! For example… Do you have a sink in your dorm room? Does it need a plug? Is there a medicine cabinet for toiletries in your dorm room or do you need a storage caddy?

Just a few tips to help you prepare for your dorm move and live dorm smart! Good luck!

August 22, 2010

Can you really decorate your dorm room on a dime in today's economy? Seriously… Get the Dorm 411 To Make Smart Dorm Buys!

by Christi Leslie, Founder & CEO of
Creator of

Dorm Room Decor On A Dime... Making Budget Friendly Dorm Buys...

In today’s economy there is really no such thing as decorating your dorm room on a dime so it’s important for students on a limited budget to make smart dorm buys... to assess what they really need for their dorm room or campus apartment prior to spending their hard earned dollars. At DormSmart, we have this advice for college bound students decorating a dorm room on a limited budget:

Take or buy what you absolutely need first for your particular dorm room, the necessities, then add in extras as you can afford them... as you figure out what you really need . It’s that simple. Prior to buying your dorm room necessities, create a checklist or download our dorm checklist and establish a budget. While our dorm checklist may seem like a lot of dorm stuff, many items you can find at home so take inventory before making dorm buys to prevent overspending! As for those neat little extras, trust us when we say we will still be stocking them over the next four years! For now, just stick to those budget friendly dorm buys / dorm room necessities you cannot live without!

With that being said, I thought it might be helpful to students decorating a dorm room on a budget to gain a little insight about products being touted as dorm room necessities.I discovered many of these products while researching smart dorm buys for our student shoppers this year. It is DormSmart's opinion that these products can be safely CUT OUT of your dorm decorating budget. (Sorry... we only had room for the top five and we won’t be carrying these "dorm room necessities" at

  1. Multi-Day or Jumping Alarm Clocks: If you have a cell phone, it probably has an alarm feature that allows you to set multiple alarms for different days of the week depending upon your class schedule, so purchasing a separate alarm clock to do this for you or one that jumps around the room, annoying your roommate and neighbors isn’t your best option. Just use your cell phone to save money and precious dorm space! If you prefer a separate alarm clock, consider buying one where you can dock you iPod or MP3 player – multipurpose!

  2. Wall Tapestries For Dorm Bedding: I recently read where one retailer advised students to multipurpose their wall tapestry. Seriously, they recommended using it as dorm wall décor or as dorm bedding or as a window covering. While we like to promote multipurpose dorm products at, we believe this is taking the concept a little too far! If you have a limited budget, choose to buy quality dorm bedding so that you get a good night’s sleep. After all, the main reason for college is learning and a good night’s sleep is important for successful learning to occur, especially after those fun filled weekends or late night study sessions. You can buy your dorm wall décor at a later date or consider using removable and reusable peel and stick wall decals, very affordable and attractive.

  3. Blackout Curtains: Most of us do not have blackout curtains in our rooms at home. And personally, I have found that many teens, meaning mine, forget to close their blinds at night. Seriously … freshman year is tough enough and dorm rooms are drab… do you really want to black out that one ray of sunshine in your day? Besides, most colleges do provide window blinds in student dorm rooms. Cross black out curtains off your dorm shopping list and save your money for true dorm room necessities!

  4. Bedside Caddy: Prior to launching, I personally invested in a bedside caddy for my daughter to use in her dorm room. You know the one...the bedside caddy that fits securely under your dorm mattress. While the concept is great, I encountered two problems with this dorm room necessity. First, when you fill up the bedside caddy (tissue box, remote control...) it slides off the bed into the floor. I had to invest in grommets and hooks to make it work. Second, it blocked easy access to her under bed storage. It really wasn’t one of those great dorm buys after I had to spend additional money to redesign it to work on her dorm bed!

  5. RJ & Rosie

  6. Fake Pets: Again, this is another product I found at a competitor’s storefront. I am almost at a loss for words which will shock my friends and family. I can envision selling this to a five year old but touting it to a college student as one of those dorm room necessities or great dorm buys? Are you kidding me? If you are homesick or miss your RJ & Rosie (my daughter's mini dachshunds), I don’t think a fake pet that runs on batteries is the answer! Bring something from home that is meaningful to you, whether it is a stuffed animal or a keepsake (not too many) and save yourself $30 plus shipping. You can budget that money toward true dorm room necessities or a night out bonding with your new college friends!
So… while you may not be able to decorate your dorm room on a dime in today’s economy, you can cut out some of those "dorm room necessities" that really aren't smart dorm buys. They aren't worth your or your parents' hard earned dollars. Choose to buy dorm room necessities, such as quality dorm bedding, that will be supportive of your new college lifestyle while saving a little money in your budget! Just remember... once you get to your dorm room, you can always shop online for those smart dorm buys at and have them delivered to your college campus! Live dorm smart!

April 30, 2010

What To Pack For College? Free Dorm Room Checklist...

by Christi Leslie, Founder & CEO of
Creator of Dorm Smart Living

Get the most comprehensive Combined Free Dorm Shopping List, Packing List, & To Do Checklist at DormSmart's free dorm checklist covers just about everything you will need to move to your new dorm room this fall, including a few to do items! Some of the items on this list you will need to purchase and many others you can probably find at home, saving yourself a little money. At first glance, this may look like a lot of dorm stuff. However, many of these items are small in scale. With the right storage solutions, you should have room to spare!

Step 1:  Just print out DormSmart's Free Dorm Checklist or create your own custom dorm check list.

Step 2:  Set aside a space in your home to store your college dorm essentials as you acquire them over the summer.

Step 3:  Get an early start!  It's best if you can shop early versus having your last minute dorm buys delivered to the campus. This gives you the opportunity to check your purchases prior to move-in weekend and make any necessary returns, if needed.

Step 4:  Inventory your items as you pack them. For example, if you placed your school supplies in Box #1, write Box #1 next to those items on your dorm checklist. Move-in weekend is hectic and there are many mandatory activities that may require you to access your packed items quickly! This list will also be helpful in putting together an inventory for your College Property Insurance Policy. Good luck!

DormSmart's Free Dorm Checklist Printable PDF Download Here

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