Packing for college is no easy feat, especially when it’s your first time heading into dorm life. College students, freshman for sure, have to condense their lives to a small dorm room…and a small room they will likely share with at least one other person.
It’s easy to get distracted (hello, Netflix!), put packing off (I don’t leave for another week…I have time!) or make lists on lists on lists of what you’re going to pack, but never actually put anything in a suitcase or box (you know that doesn’t count, right?).
Plus, when you’re moving your whole life to a new environment, it’s hard to know what you will need and what will inevitably be pushed under your bed until you move out the following spring. So, we’re here to help take some of the stress out of packing with our own list of dorm room essentials.
Decor. Make your new home feel like, well, home. Put up things you love and get you ready to take on the new semester. A Margaritaville sign or flag will perfectly cover up that plain concrete wall. Other good ideas are tapestries, photos of friends and family or concert posters. If you can’t put holes in the walls, command strips let you hang pictures, hooks and more damage free.
A Mini fridge and microwave. And late night snacks & microwave dinners to fill them with! Dining hall food gets boring real fast.
Stay stocked with some no-cook meals and snacks you can grab in a time crunch. Our favorites? Margaritaville shrimp, tortilla chips or nut & fruit mix!
Dishes. Don’t rely on “borrowed” items from the dining hall. Pack a set or two of your own plates, bowls, cups, silverware and other necessities. Speaking of necessities, don’t forget to grab a travel coffee mug for your 8 a.m. lecture.
Your favorite CDs. Research indicates that music stimulates emotions through specific brain circuits, so why not conjure up some happiness with your favorite tunes. Plus, it’s proven that musical therapy can help managing stress and enhance memory…two things every college student needs help with. And sharing your favorite playlist or CD is a great conversation starter as you get to know your neighbors. CD’s too old fashioned? You can tune into Radio Margaritaville on Sirius XM right from your laptop!
School supplies. This one is pretty obvious, but for anyone who has ever left for a vacation without packing a bathing suit, this one’s for you. Bring notebooks, pens, pencils, index cards, a calculator and whatever else you may need to be better than the best.
Flip flops. To wear outside AND in the shower if you have communal bathrooms. A shower caddy and extra towels or washcloths never hurt either!
Bedding. Although furniture is provided, you’ll need to bring your own bedding, sheets and pillows. These are a good opportunity to add a fun, colorful twist to your decor! Getting enough sleep is vital to academic success, so make your bed as comfy as possible!
Laptop. And stickers to decorate it with! Did you know if you DM @MargaritavilleUniversity on Instagram for stickers we’ll send you some for free!
Laundry hamper, detergent and drying sheets. College may be the first time you’re doing laundry totally on your own. Make sure you have all the necessary supplies and double check the laundry policy in your building as sometimes you need quarters to run the machines.
Speaker/ Headphones. In Margaritaville, we live life like a song… and it’s a lot easier to do with some good music playing! And if you have a roommate or a long walk to class, you’ll need a solid set of headphones.
Vacuum and cleaning supplies. Sometimes dorms will provide cleaning supplies for you to borrow, but if not it’s a good idea to bring your own.
Coffee Machine and Mugs. No explanation needed here. Many college students run on coffee and with a busy schedule, convenience is key. Margaritaville coffee pods are Keurig compatible, recyclable and come in a variety of flavors.
Hangers. Hanging your clothes will prevent wrinkling and takes up less room than using a big dresser. If you can use both, bring an iron or steamer for the clothes that are folded.
A Calendar. Keep track of your new class schedule, club meetings, sports events and more with a calendar or planner. We love living on island time, but it’s also important to make your deadlines!
A Backpack. A necessity for hauling books, pens, notebooks, a laptop and more around campus.
Pro Tips: And finally, a few words of wisdom from MargU Alumni…
- If you have a roommate, coordinate with them on items you may only need one of, like a microwave and a vacuum.
- Be conscious of space. Most dorm rooms won’t fit your typical bedroom set. Organization is key!
- Don’t freak out if you realize you forgot something. Amazon, and usually mom and dad, are only a few clicks or a phone call away.