Tag Archives: packing

Can I Start Packing Yet?

Freshman college move-in day… crazy, right? Seems like just yesterday you were working up the nerves for your first day of high school. Well, that’s definitely how I felt. But it’s happening. In fact, today marks just 50 days until first-year move-in weekend! Does preparing for this monumental day seem overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be. Here’s my insight on how to pack for college like an upperclassman.

There’s Two Types of People…

This time two years ago, I probably already had my hallways at home lined with all the necessities… and then some. Queen of overpacking, it’s safe to say I didn’t nail the concept of simplicity. But you live and you learn, right?

While packing for college there’s the over packers and the under packers. There’s the ones, like me, that read every blog and Pinterest post on how to pack for college on the face of the internet and began packing from the moment they got their housing assignments. On the other hand, there’s those that figure they can get all the necessities in a suitcase the night before. Don’t be either of these people – find a happy medium.

Seriously, you’ll thank yourself if you manage to find that perfect balance between the bare minimum and way too much. It’s definitely not too soon to start thinking what you’re going to bring with you into the next stage of your life. But that doesn’t mean you need to keep piling things up all summer long. It just gives you more time to think about strategic ways to make your dorm the best home it can possibly be!

Step #1: Talk to Your Roomie

Microwave, mini fridge, rug, curtains, futons, extra shelving – these are all the things you don’t need two of. Communicating with your roommate in advance will not only make packing and moving in easier, it will also give you added space in your dorm!

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Step #2: Look into RHA Enhancements

This is a super cool perk of living on-campus! You can check out ‘enhancements’ from your community office, including cookware, cleaning supplies, board games, DVD’s, and more with your One Card! Most enhancements you can keep for up to 48 hours and can check out as many times as you want throughout the semester.

So if you were planning on bringing that cupcake pan, mixing bowl, and whisk just in case you wanted to surprise your roommate on their birthday – leave it at home. If you have a meal plan, you probably won’t be cooking that often anyway, so it’s better to take advantage of this great resource!

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No catch here, thanks RHA!!!

Step #3: Remember that UNC isn’t a Deserted Island

If you forget something, I promise everything will be okay. We have a Target essentially on-campus, as well as a Walmart and Harris Teeter just a short drive away. Amazon prime will be your best friend, and students get a discounted rate!

This is also a great way to make friends. Knock on your neighbor’s door, introduce yourself, and ask to borrow their (whatever you forgot). Maybe this is how you’ll meet your future bestie, you can thank me later.

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Like the opposite of UNC

End Goal – Keep It Light

Repeat after me: you don’t need to bring your whole closet on move-in day. I know, NC weather is bipolar and you never know what you’re going to get. But you will not need your whole winter wardrobe before Fall break.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll live in t-shirts and norts in college. And from the amount of free Carolina blue t-shirts you’ll get at sporting events, extracurricular activities, and just walking around on campus – you don’t need to stock up. Seriously, I had to send some of my free t-shirts home this year because they didn’t fit in my drawers…

When you’re packing your things, really ask yourself if you’ll need it all. If you’re packing something that you may need in only one very specific situation, you can probably leave it at home. Worst comes to worst, you can get your parents to mail it to you!

 

My Dad loves to roast me on Snapchat for how much I overpacked…

Trust me, packing light is the way to go. Whether you live on the 1st floor or the 10th floor, you don’t want to be lugging two car loads full of things you’ll probably never touch up and down the stairs in 100-degree heat. Your family will definitely thank you if you minimize the work for them… right Dad???

The Uncheck List: 10 Things Not to Bring

It’s now only one month till move-in (!!!!), which means the thought of dorm shopping has probably crossed your mind two or three times. Or fifty, if you’re as nervous and clueless as I was last year.

While superstores are jumping to protest how you need need need the million decor options they offer, let’s set the record straight. The secret to packing for college is actually to avoid overpacking, which will leave your room cramped and your wallet cranky.

Here are 10 things I promise you’re better off leaving at home or on the shelf:

  1. T-shirts

Continue reading The Uncheck List: 10 Things Not to Bring

Top 10 Things People Forget to Bring to College

Be the hero of your residence by remembering these ten things!

Many students show up at South Campus in August thinking that with their packed mini van they couldn’t possibly have forgotten anything. But every year, people forget these ten important items. Keep reading below so you don’t become one of them!

Continue reading Top 10 Things People Forget to Bring to College

To Bring or Not To Bring

The aisles of Target are stacked high with plastic storage bins and laundry baskets. Your mom drags you to Bed Bath & Beyond for the third time with a checklist longer than the walk from Hinton James to Franklin Street. Yep…college shopping season has arrived.

Getting everything you need before move-in day can be overwhelming. You have the basics (twin XL sheets, microfridge, alarm clock), but some things you don’t realize you need until you arrive on campus. When you’re loading up your parents’ minivan, make sure you have these 10 often overlooked items!

1. Umbrella: Chapel Hill, North Carolina—where the weather can switch from 10% chance of rain to 100% chance of thunderstorms in the time it takes you to walk to the bus stop right outside your residence hall (I speak from personal experience). Sitting in a cramped lecture hall soaking wet is no fun, so keep a small, portable umbrella in your backpack.

2. Lysol wipes: When one person on your floor gets sick, EVERYONE on your floor gets sick. Fight the inevitable campus-wide cold by wiping your doorknobs, desk, and other germ-ridden surfaces with Lysol wipes. You’ll also need them if you’re living in a residence hall where you have to clean your own bathroom (Koury, Horton, Craige North, and Hardin).

Professional Clothes

3. Professional clothes: Athletic shorts and T-shirts may as well be the UNC student uniform, but you’ll have to get dressed up more often than you’d think. Pack a business suit and a few business casual outfits for career fairs, on-campus job interviews, student organization meetings, etc.

4. Shower shoes: When you’re sharing a bathroom with 7 (or more) other people, you’re going to want something between your feet and the floor. Stop by Old Navy and pick up a few pairs of $2 flip-flops!

5. School supplies: College is still school, after all! Unlike in high school, though, your professors won’t care what you use to stay organized. I keep it simple with an accordion file for papers, a five-subject notebook (one section for each class), pens, and pencils.

Dinnerware

6. Dinnerware: Bring a plate, bowl, mug, spoon, and fork for those days when you’re not feeling Rams Head for dinner or you want to heat up some leftovers. Also, most residence hall programs are “bring your own bowl/mug/etc.”, so don’t get stuck using a paper towel as a plate for your pancakes!

7. Desk fan: I can’t sleep without my desk fan—the white noise drowns out loud floormates and slamming doors, or conversely, keeps the room from being too quiet. Not to mention, you’ll want a way to cool off after walking back from class in the 90-degree late summer heat.

8. Reusable water bottle: Don’t forget to stay hydrated! I fill up my water bottle every morning at Top of Lenoir, and most residence halls (and the Union) have water fountains with bottle attachments.

Surge Protector

9. Small duffel bag: Club sports, student organizations, church groups, and other things you may decide to join sometimes travel. Whether you’re going on an overnight trip or just heading home for the weekend, you’ll need something to pack your stuff in.

10. Power strip/surge protector: The number of wall outlets is limited, especially when you’re sharing the space with a roommate. I use a power strip (with a flat plug so it fits behind my desk) to plug in my phone, laptop, lamp, desk fan, and other electronic devices.

As you’re checking items off that mile-long college list, make sure to pick up these lesser-known essentials—you’ll be glad you have them once you move into your residence hall. Happy shopping!

Home-Grown Room

Crafting a cozy and sustainable living space

Carolina’s residence halls can feel as homey on the inside as they look on the outside.

Each August, bright-eyed college first-years flock to department stores, lured by neat shelves of room furnishings. Coordinating bedspreads, furniture and dishes seem to symbolize a fresh start and new beginnings.

But as I head into my junior year, I’m yearning for a more home-grown room than what department stores can give. A cozy sofa instead of a futon. Walls plastered with memories. Unique belongings truly mine. A home, not just a 10×13 space.

In pursuit of this dream, I hopped from antique shop to thrift store to closet this summer. A little time, a little effort and a lot of creativity have given me a motley assemblage of treasures that will transform my room into a home. Best of all, restoring used items and buying what’s built to last is truly a sustainable lifestyle.

Want to craft a home-grown room of your own? Start with three key areas: wall hangings, dishes and furniture.

Continue reading Home-Grown Room

Bring it! Leave it. Do I really need it?

What’s not mentioned on the move-in packing list

Multi-bulb floor lamps aka "octopus lamps" are not allowed in residence halls.

So if you’ve been to Orientation, you should have received your “Get Ready to Live at Carolina!” Move-In Guide for 2012-2013. (You can also download it from housing.unc.edu). On pages 5 and 6, there is information about your room and a list of suggested items to bring. I’m going to give you my opinion on this list.

Please note, the items under the “Leave it.” category are not allowed for safety reasons. If you do not understand what an octopus floor lamp is, you can find more information in this post (and no it is not the first thing that pops up in the Google images search). If you think an item might be dangerous or forbidden, err on the cautious side and don’t bring it.

On the “Bring it!” list, you don’t have to bring everything suggested. This is just a list of items that are allowed. If you don’t drink coffee, don’t bring a coffee maker. Please don’t feel like you have to bring something to your room just because it is on this list. Here are my opinions on some of the items:

Continue reading Bring it! Leave it. Do I really need it?

10 months, 10 ways to get involved

A month-by-month montage of why residence life is rad

by Katie Jansen, guest blogger

Ever wondered what a year living in a residence hall at Carolina is like? There’s something special about each and every one of the ten months you’re living at Carolina, and the fun you’ll have makes a year at Carolina pass by so quickly!

AUGUST: EXTREME ROOM MAKEOVER 

My lyric poster is one of my favorite decorations in my room.

Move-in day is always really exciting. You’re getting your keys, checking out your new digs, meeting (or reuniting with) your roommate, and moving in boxes upon boxes of important stuff while pouring gallons upon gallons of sweat. Then you’re deciding who gets which bed, whether you want to bunk or loft or leave the beds down, and how you want to arrange your room (the possibilities are nearly endless!) Eventually comes the decorating (my favorite part!) Make sure to bring lots of photos, posters, decor—anything to make your room feel like the home it’s going to be. Some cute ideas I’ve seen:

~stringing photos along a clothesline and taping it to the wall (make sure you don’t use tape that will peel the paint off!)
~making a collage of photos all over the wall (layering and crossing the photos as different angles looks best!)
~putting up cool posters, or making your own! (I made one using a collage of my favorite song lyrics.)
~using cool light fixtures (Just make sure they’re Housing approved! My roommate and I have paper lanterns strung along both sides of our room.)

After this flurry of activity, your room is home sweet home. Then there’s going down the hall or around the suite to meet your neighbors, and usually your RA tries to swing by to say hi, too. It’s a really fun day that’s a great way to kick off a year at Carolina! Continue reading 10 months, 10 ways to get involved

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.

Continue reading What to pack