Moving into a college dorm can be a difficult task for anyone who has never done it. Before you throw everything but the kitchen sink into your parents’ SUV and expect it to fit very nicely into your dorm room you will need to do some serious planning. This involves accurately assessing your dorm and storage space, determining what you actually need, and coordinating with your roommate about what each of you are bringing.
During your college visit and orientation you should go ahead and examine each of the dorm types you are considering. Some are much smaller than others, and others are much more friendly to those who want to customize setup. Planning how you can set up your dorm will let you know how much room you have for your things like your own desk chairs, lamps, foot lockers, and whatnot. Open up the closets and approximate how many clothes you will be able to hang up. Open up every drawer in the dressers and desks and get a good idea of how much stuff you can fit in them. See how large the shelves are. Measurements will tell you exactly how many cubic feet of space you have, but odds are that this is overkill. When you buy a foot locker you should go ahead and get an Army style one made out of plywood with a top tray. Do not worry, if you do not like olive drab green you can always paint it a color that you do like. These foot lockers have incredible space and are good for storing things like DVDs, video games, tools, and other large items in the bottom space and things like calculators in the top tray.
Now that you know how much space you have you can decide how much you can take and how much you have to leave at home. Go ahead and start with your clothing. Remember that you will only really need about a week or two worth of socks, underwear, and blue jeans, a few pairs of shorts, a few skirts and dresses for females, and enough t-shirts and dress shirts so people see you wearing something different each time the see you over the course of about a two to three week period. Bring your favorites and leave the rest at home until you know you can comfortably fit more. For formal or business occasions, males will want to have about two or three professional outfits that are also stylish enough to wear to a semi-formal occasion. Females should plan on bringing a cocktail dress, a slightly more formal dress, and about two business formal outfits. You will also need a windbreaker and a heavy coat, but if you will be visiting home before it gets cold you can leave these at home for now. Bring a few hats if you wear them and females should take a few purses that are generic enough to match most things. When it comes to shoes you should be practical. Get a good pair of running or cross training shoes, one or two fashionable casual pairs of shoes and/or boots, and enough formal shoes to match any situation (be reasonable though).
When it comes to your computer you will have to be smart about what you bring with it. If you have massive speakers for it or a joystick for games then think long and hard about packing them unless you know there will be room. If you want to bring the software along then only bring the discs and not every box and manual. You may want to consider getting a CD book if you have a lot of computer games that you need the discs for. The same goes for massive collections of DVD movies and video games. The boxes tend to take up space fast.
Be smart about bedding. Bring a couple sheet sets and pillowcases. You can buy comforters, pillows, body pillows, and all those other fancy things when you get down there. They will just take up space and leave you with more things to move.
Find out who your roommate is and coordinate with them who is bringing what. If you both have a television set, decide which one is nicer. If you each have the same video game system then leave one of them at home. Decide who will bring a mini fridge, microwave, iron, ironing board, and coffee pot. This will prevent too much junk from being stuck in closets when you realize that you should have planned better. Also discuss the possibility of only one person bringing a printer and sharing it. One person can bring the printer and the other person can cover the first ink refill. This will allow for more space, and space is a good thing.