What to pack

Should I bring this?

Packing can be super-stressful when you are trying to figure out how to move your whole life into one room that you have to share with someone you might have never met. Those who know how to pack best are those who pack smart – this means that you don’t bring every little thing that has been in the room you’ve had since you were three.

Residence hall rooms aren’t meant to be storage closets. Bring the essentials and the finishing touches that make your room feel like home, but you are going to have to leave things at home.

First things first – check out the list of things are ok to bring with you and the list of things that are NOT allowed in the residence hall rooms. There is no point in taking up extra space in the minivan with things that are just going to have to go back home.

"Octopus" lamps like this are not permitted.

The most common things that first-years mistakenly bring to UNC that aren’t allowed are octopus lamps, halogen lamps, and two-prong extension cords. If these items are found in your room then there is a fine you will have to pay, so just avoid that all together and leave those at home.

Also, the beds come with everything that you need to loft them, if you choose to do so. Please don’t bring any self-built lofts.Another thing you might consider, if you live in North Carolina or somewhere close, is only bringing seasonal clothes and trading them out when you go home for semester breaks. This will save you quite a bit of space.

I know that you know how to pack your clothes and toiletries, so I won’t bother creating a list of every t-shirt you need to bring (and just so you know, you will be leaving for next summer with at least 5 free Carolina blue t-shirts that you somehow accumulated over the year – so leave a few t-shirts at home to make room for the incoming ones).

There are plenty of lists on the internet that you can find to remind you of the basics that you will need to bring with you. Here are just a few suggestions of mine that might make your room feel a little bit more like home or that you might not think to bring along:

  • Shower caddy – You aren’t allowed to leave your shampoo and soap in the bathroom, so this little thing will make your trips to the bathroom much easier.
  • Coffee maker – If you are someone who needs caffeine in the morning, this is something you need to invest in. It’s a lot more convenient than running to Starbucks before your 8 a.m. class (and you save money too!).
  • Posters/picture collages – These will really add some spice and life to your room. They are a great way to personalize your room, plus seeing your high school friends and family smiling at you will make you smile too.
  • Febreze and Tide Pen – It is very possible that maybe you aren’t going to have time to do laundry and you need to wear a certain t-shirt. Here is where Febreze will be your best friend. The Tide Pen will save you when you get a stain on the first shirt in the laundry basket, and you know it’s going to be a month before you do the next load of laundry.
  • Camera – You don’t want to forget the memories that are made in the first couple of weeks at Carolina. Plus, all your friends at other schools will love seeing your new Facebook albums and will be jealous that they didn’t come to the best school ever.
  • Cup, bowl, plate, fork, knife, and spoon – Even if you are going to have a meal plan, you are going to be eating in your room. Plus, where there are green “bring your own bowl” events around the community, you don’t want to be the one showing up empty-handed.
  • Extra-long twin sheets – Standard sheets won’t fit. Don’t spend your first night without sheets.
  • Small dry erase board – It’s just something fun that you can put on the outside of your door. It’s always an adventure to see the messages that your roommate, RA, friends or suitemates might leave you.
  • Small area rug – When your feet hit the floor in the morning as you are getting up for class, carpet is your best friend. A cold floor is a rude awakening.

7 thoughts on “What to pack”

  1. 2 years living in halls and the list you recommended is good. However, definitely consider taking an iron, don’t need an ironing board just put a towel down on the table – or floor – saves you looking like a scruff. Used to have half my floor round doing the ironing, should have charged really! Another thing i recommend for the guys is bringing a set of hair clippers – i was also the resident barber!

    1. what about bringing a mini microwave and refrigerator. would you recommend having your own or sharing with your roommate?
      My first year, my roommate and i shared a microwave and each had a mini fridge for ourselves. This worked for us because she didn’t have a meal plan and made everything that she ate. My fridge held only milk and yogurt for the majority of the year and was useful for late night snacks and take home boxes. If you and your roommate both have meal plans I would suggest sharing a fridge and microwave. Unless you are planning to do some serious cooking during the year it is simply easiest just to share. Plus, it will also save some space in your room.

  2. Thanks for the good suggestions. Should we bring a small vacuum or just a broom and dustpan? An iron and ironing board? I don’t want to bring too much, but don’t want to leave out essentials.

    1. Thanks for the good suggestions. Should we bring a small vacuum or just a broom and dustpan? An iron and ironing board? I don’t want to bring too much, but don’t want to leave out essentials.
      I wouldn’t bother bringing a vacuum because you can always check one out at your Community Office through the Enhancements system. I kept a broom with me just for quick clean up. An ironing board would be good, but only if it is one of the mini ones. You always want to look good for any interviews that might come your way.

Leave a Reply