Dorm Necessities… You CAN take it with you!

People carrying moving luggage

So I believe that roommate and room information was just released, so congrats Hoosiers!

This post is all about the thing you need to bring, might bring, and should not bring to your dorm room.

SO, I thought I would give my two cents. Here you go. Read it. READ IT ALL. You are welcome.

You seriously do not need to bring…

  • EVERY LAST ITEM OF CLOTHING YOU OWN. My mistake in trying to bring my entire closet from home. Only bring stuff for tail end of summer/fall, then switch it out at Thanksgiving time if you can. You will need all the light clothes you can get when it is still scorching in Btown.
  • A toaster, a candle warmer, candles with the wick in them. Guilty, guilty, guilty. So technically, the candle without the wick is okay and the candle warmer is fine as long as you have the candle covering it. But do not bring a toaster. My brother packed a toaster with me to go to IU, as a joke, and it was just a stupid hassle. But seriously, make good choices.
  • A television. Really? Do you really need one? Boys, probably to play video games, like you do. But I did most of my television watching on Hulu, thank you internet. Except my mom did shell out some cash for a television for me for Christmas, and it was nice to hook my Wii up to it. But you don’t need it and it will just take up space. You should be studying anyway!

Okay, so things that you for real NEED to bring…

  • A full length mirror that will hang over the door. You probably already have a mirror on a closet door, but an extra one is always nice to have around.
  • Totes! Or some kind of other storage container! Of all shapes and sizes! I was on the bottom bunk freshman year, and it was nice to be able to have five totes to slide underneath my bed. I had one for rain boots, one for sweaters, two for shoes, and another for random stuff. You will be grateful that you brought containers of some sort. It is better to overestimate what you need rather than underestimate.
  • Rain gear. If you are from Indiana, you know that the weather can turn on a dime at any time of day. If you are not from Indiana, now you know. But I had two umbrellas, five pairs of rain boots, two rain coats, and a partridge in a pear tree. Again, better to be over prepared than under prepared. So check the weather for the day before you leave your dorm. Cannot tell you how a pair of wet shoes can absolutely ruin your day.
  • A cool/special/comfortable/somewhat compact chair. Hate to break it to you, but the chairs at the desks in your dorm rooms are an accident waiting to happen. Lean back to far, and you can almost tip back to your untimely demise. So it’s nice to have some sort of chair to sit in while you do your work or if you have friends over, because those chairs are scary awful.
  • Decorations! If I could paint my room, I would. I would have loved to have plastered my room with posters, but I’m only 5’5″. Bring stuff that is going to make your room feel like home and not like a jail holding cell. I had a cork board with some of my favorite poems, photographs, and memorabilia from Broadway shows and NYC. Whenever I was bummed out, I would just look over at my mood board and remember that I want to be an actor and live in NYC and do something amazing with my life. Then I would stop feeling sorry for myself. But bring posters or buy posters and decorations before you come to Btown if at all possible. Yes, there will be a poster sale in the Union during the first week of school. But it is kind of expensive. So make do with what you can and make your room yours because you are going to be there for awhile!
  • A fridge and a microwave. Get things figured out with your roommate as to who is bringing what. If you can each bring one thing to the room, great. If you can’t or your roommate can, I’m sure there is someone on your floor who will let you throw your Mother Bear’s pizza in their fridge just as long as you promise them a bite.
  • Sticky everything! Sticky tack. Sticky hooks. Tape. Et cetera. Sticky hooks are convenient for towels, scarves, hats, jackets, sweaters, and even your student ID card on a lanyard. All it takes is for you to lose your ID once, and then you will never let that thing out of your sight.
  • An alarm clock. A necessity for some people, but my iPhone worked just fine as my wake up call. Except some people need that annoying little buzzing in the morning halfway across the room to get them out of bed and to class.
  • Laundry bag/container. I bought one with wheels and it saved my life and my back.
  • Shower bag. You will need it to throw your shampoo, conditioner, face wash, tooth brush, tooth paste, razor, soap, and everything else in.
  • Speaking of showers, FLIP FLOPS. People, wear them. No one wants someone on their floor to contract MRSA or any other serious disease. It can be scary and possibly life threatening. Do yourself a favor and wear your flip flop when you shower. PSA over.
  • FAN. I don’t care if your dorm has air conditioning. It is still nice to have a box fan, either to block out noise, or provide background noise, or push extra air onto you during August when it is going to be ridiculously hot. Even bring a little fan for your desk!
  • Power strips. You will need them. Believe me. But don’t go overboard with extension cords.
  • Dishes. Mugs. Utensils. Maybe even a funnel? I had never eaten Ramen noodles before I got to college. I learned fast though. But do the environment a favor and don’t buy plastic things. Glass or ceramic or any other safe and reusable material that isn’t going to soak chemicals into your oatmeal. Mugs are great for everything. Made green tea every morning.
  • A water bottle. Since the entire country, excluding Maine, is in drought status, do yourself a favor and invest in a good water bottle. You will need it come August, oh boy, just wait.

Things that you might want to bring, but might not be necessary at all. Up to you.

  • Cleaning supplies. If you are the type of person that likes things spick and span, be my guest. Just don’t get crazy with a whole tote or bucketful of cleaning products, otherwise you’ll have to air out your room just so you can sleep. But it is nice to have a Tide to Go pen and a roll of paper towel in case of emergencies.
  • Bicycles. Hey, I’m not going to bash bicycle people, I just love to walk around campus. But some people need to go places and get there in a hurry. Also, Little 500. Totally respect the bicycle rider. I personally am a fan of roller blades, but you will never see me around campus with them because no matter where you go in Bloomington, it is an incline. But if you do bring a bike, remember to register it. Also, get a kickass bike lock so that you don’t come out of class in Ballantine and find it stolen. It happens, so prevent it.
  • Board games. Cards. Apples to Apples and Uno are my personal favorites, but Apples to Apples lets you learn a lot about people very quickly. Just fun things to have around.
  • Water filter pitcher. I guess this is a thing for people. But tap water is good for you. Yes, things are added to it, but fluoride, which was discovered at IU, is good for your teeth!
  • Lights. I invested in Christmas lights, and they were much nicer to have on than the harsh fluorescent of the overhead dorm room light. As dumb as it sounds, interesting lights are nice to have, colored or otherwise. So keep your room bright and turn on some light!
  • Extra pillows, sheets, and blankets. Another pair of sheets that you can alternate might be a good investment between laundry loads. Also, extra pillows and blankets are nice if you have a friend that sleeps over. And you never know when you might need an extra blanket to snuggle up with. Might I even suggest an IU Snuggie? They exist. I own won. Don’t judge.

*Remember: It is probably better to over bring than under bring, and make your dorm room feel like home!

Also, reach out to your roommate, if you were assigned one, if at all possible and coordinate for your room.

Talk about who is bringing what (fridge, microwave, television, etc) and even about colors for your room!

*Please check out the IU RPS Move In Guide for more information, specifically on what not to bring.

I hope this was helpful to you!

Get excited Hoosiers.

You are one step closer to kicking off your kickass freshman year.

All my Hoosier love,


Emmalie Reif
Emmalie Reif

Telecommunications Major, Herman B Wells Library employee, WTIU Intern, Indiana Men's Basketball Team's Biggest Fan

"Class of 2015.
From Lafayette, Indiana.
Telecommunications major.
Minor in Theatre.
Usher for IU Auditorium, IU Cinema, and IU Theatre & Drama department.
Work with IU's Radio and Television Services.
I love nectarines, yoga, dogs, movies, New York City, the state of California, winter, Broadway cast albums, elephants, mountains, oceans, and night skies."

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