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Packing Essentials

Hi Future Collegiettes™,
Hope you’re enjoying your summer wherever you are — and hope you’re getting excited about Elon! At this point it’s probably safe to assume you have an extra bedroom, hallway or closet starting to fill up with all your future dorm room paraphernalia. We know you’re probably looking at that pile of grad party presents wondering if you’ll really need all three of those whiteboards and we also know there’s probably gobs of things you haven’t even thought bringing of yet — don’t worry, that’s why we’re here. This packing list will help you make sure you’re Elon move-in ready by the time August rolls around. And I promise packing’s not even the hardest part, getting it in the trunk is! (I know girls who came with U-Hauls … seriously.)

Without further ado,
The everything you need to bring but might not have thought to pack list

  1. Cleaning supplies. While it’s pretty safe to say your room’s going to be in good shape for move-in, I remember there were quite a few dust bunnies staring at my roommate and I when we were unloading our stuff. Some Clorox wipes, a Swiffer duster and a vacuum should do the trick.
  2. Sticky tack, command hooks and duct tape. Sticky tack works wonders. These little sticks of yellow tack will attach great to the cinder block walls of your new room (sounds gross, but you can make it cute I promise!) Sticky tack is a lot easier than tape for hanging up everything from simple pictures to wooden blocks of you and your roommate’s initials — I even used it to hang my floor length mirror! If that doesn’t work for you, grab some Scotch mounting tape—it holds almost anything up! (Note: if you use it on a poster, put some normal Scotch tape on the poster, then put the mounting tape on that so you can take it off at the end of the year.) Space is limited so use whatever wall space you can get. Command hooks work great for bags, coats, scarves and towels. Look for coupons here. Duct tape is a given. Just bring it, possibly in fun colors like hot pink and lime green.  Check Target for fun options.
  3. Mini survival kits. I let my mom buy me a mini first aid kit. Even a mini sewing kit. But when she bought me a mini flashlight and mini screwdriver I rolled my eyes and thought, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” Guess what? I used it all.  Yep. My Jack Rogers gave me blisters and out came the band aids.  A strap broke off a tank top and I sewed it back on. Changing the batteries in my clock? No problem, I had a mini screwdriver. Thanks Mom.
  4. Storage cubes. Those cute colorful cubes at Target actually do more than look cute. They’re perfect for storage. Perfect for friends to sit on. Perfect to use as a table top when you want to eat on the floor in front of the tv. Perfect to use to hop up on that lofted bed or sit under your desk as a footrest. Pretty good buy if you ask me.
  5. Back rests. When you don’t have a whole lot of room to work with, you might find yourself (or your friends) using your bed as seating. Back rests and pillows are always great to make hanging out in your room more comfortable. At Target you can get a huge body pillow ($10) that’ll be comfy to sleep with and sit up against. Pick out cute fabric and ask your mom and make you a pillowcase. Better yet, take the chance and learn to sew! If you want more support than a body pillow, go for a husband pillow ($20 at Target). 
  6. A white board. White boards are oh-so handy in college. I recommend at least two: one to hang on the door so you and your roommate can leave each other notes (“Might get in late, leave my light on!”) or exchanges between you and your hall mates (these are usually incredibly random inside jokes, I won’t try to imitate one — you’ll know what I mean soon enough). A second white board that fits in your lap is great to make to do lists on and to use for studying!
  7. Power strips and extension cords. There can be a lot to plug in and not a lot of places to plug them. A power strip will give you a place for your desk lamp, alarm clock, flat iron, blow dryer, printer and lap top charger. Extension cords might be needed for things like TVs and DVD players. Check out your room when you get there and be prepared to send dad up to the store if you need one.
  8. Laundry essentials. Let’s go over this: a laundry basket (highly recommend one with dividers, you can sort your clothes before you get over to the machines!), laundry detergent and static sheets. Oh yeah, and the ability to actually wash your clothes. Start practicing over the summer or at least check out this link before you turn something pink. Other suggestions: a stack of spare quarters (laundry machines take Phoenix cash off your Phoenix card —usually $1.75 to wash and dry one load, but when the card slot broke once I was glad I had my quarters!); a mini ironing board and iron (back to the miniature stuff, mom will be happy); fabric spray (for when you don’t need to wash, just freshen); wrinkle release spray (skip the iron and smooth out wrinkles in t-shirts with this miracle worker); a drying rack (if you have a lot items that can’t go in the dryer); a wash bag (for delicates); and stain remover (spray it on the stain, rub it in, then shove it in the wash). And don’t forget a Tide-to-Go pen for stains you don’t have time to wash out!
  9. Shower supplies. Okay, obviously the basics (hair care products, soap, razors, etc.). Now for the stuff you might not think of: flip flops for the shower (if you’re in a hall style dorm you’ll be sharing a bathroom with 40 other girls; need I say more?); a plastic shower caddy to tote all your stuff around; and a Velcro wrap around towel (you’ll be a pro at taking your clothes off without ever actually having to be undressed – great invention). A bathrobe and slippers are also a nice touch.
  10.  Bedding. By now you’ve probably gotten one of those advertisements for college bedding in the mail. The sets are a pretty good deal, you won’t really go wrong, but a more personalized, higher quality comforter might be more likely to stick with you over the next few years. Make sure you get extra long twin sheets! Definitely get mattress padding as well to make your sleeping at college a lot more cozy.
  11. Lots of random containers. Target sells soft containers that fold up so they’re easy to store if you don’t need them anymore (e.g., it’s spring and you no longer need your extensive sweater collection). Plus they come in multiple colors so you can get ones to match your bedding!
  12. Confidence. Enough said.
  13.  Shoe rack. You need someplace to put your shoes. Grab an over-the-door shoe rack or shoe shelves you can hang in your closet. If you don’t really care if they’re jumbled together, you can even just put your shoes in a storage bin.
  14. Some way to keep track of your money. Set up a bank account somewhere that’s both at Elon and at home so it’s easy for your parents to deposit more money (just in case!). Do a quick Google search to see which banks exist in both places.  
  15. A laptop.
  16. Clothes. Don’t think you need to bring all your clothes at once. Since it’s going to be warm for the first few months, bring a few pairs of jeans and sweaters, but stock up on shorts, tanks and sandals. Fall break is a great time to take clothes home and grab some heavier layers and your winter boots.
  17. Clip on bed lamp, desk lamp and night light. The overhead fluorescent light isn’t always what you want. Buy some other type of lamp for when you don’t really need to light the entire room, like a desk lamp or even a tall floor lamp with multiple lights so you can choose the amount of lighting (a must-have for movie night!).
  18.  Basic school supplies. Grab notebooks, pens, pencils, scotch tape, scissors, stapler and highlighters for sure. Paper clips, binder clips and Post-It notes are helpful but optional. Also get something to store your stuff in, whether it’s a bag or a desk storage holder with thousands of compartments for everything.
  19. A micro fridge and a carpet. The school will send out an e-mail about these (if it hasn’t already). Make sure you Facebook your roommate and discuss who will buy what and what color carpet you want. Feel free to go buy your own carpet if you don’t like the ones offered through Elon—just check the floor size and go shopping.
  20. Stamps and envelopes. If you’re lucky, your relatives or friends will send you care packages while you’re at school (I got a bunch of fun stuff right after I moved in!). Send them thank you notes to show how much you appreciated it and maybe they’ll send more care packages later (plus, it’s only polite). You may even get letters from them as well (my grandma and I talk more through letters than in person!), so make sure you have the supplies to write them back. Make sure you grab some blank cards or stationary to write back on.
  21. DVDs and games. Bring your favorite season of “Gossip Girl” or your favorite DVD and get your college friends hooked so they’ll watch with you every week. Also bring some fun games or a pack of cards—you’ll always find a use for them.
  22.  Rain boots. If you’re from the Midwest where maybe it doesn’t rain as much, you probably don’t have a pair or think you need one. Trust me—you do. Rain boots are essential at Elon due to extreme amounts of puddles. You can get a pair from Target for around $25, but if you plan to keep the boots for a while, splurge and buy a really nice pair, like these Hunter boots or Kamik boots. If you’re not feeling the higher boots, go with a shorter pair like these Sorel boots or the short Hunter boots.
  23. Dishes. If you don’t live in a suite with a kitchen and you don’t think you’ll want to wash your dishes, go for disposable kind. Otherwise, get some cute dishes and make sure you have all the essentials—plate, bowl, spoon, fork and knife (at least two of each). Also grab napkins or paper towels, as well as dishwashing fluid and a sponge.

This may seem like a lot, but once you get to school it won’t seem like enough. Keep in mind that there is a Target and Wal-Mart right by campus, so if you need a desk hutch or you forgot to pack socks you can send your parents there.
Until next time,
Your Collegiette™


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