Prepping for Move-in Day: 10 Things to Pack, 10 Things to Leave Behind

The forms are filled out, the #GordonBound pictures are posted and final goodbyes are approaching as move-in day draws near. Soon you’ll be pulling onto Princemere Drive, unloading a stuffed car and settling into your new digs. Whether your Pinterest board is bursting with décor ideas or you’re in denial that college is just seven short weeks away, before you clear out Target’s college aisle or hide under a blanket, here are 10 things to pack and 10 things to leave behind.

Yes! Pack:

  1. Tissues. New England winters hit hard, but your first cold-away-from-home will hit harder, so arm yourself with a Kleenex box or two so that you don’t end up rubbing your nose raw with stolen dining-hall napkins.
  2. Sticky-tack. The holy-grail of college supplies, this blue putty will stick with you through the ups and downs of your first year, and all the way to the end of second-semester exam week (for optimum effect mix the blue and white kind).
  3. Laundry detergent. Easy to forget, but vital to keep you smelling fresh as you hit up Bistro 255 and makes some new friends.
  4. Mattress topper. Don’t believe the lies, college is not the time to skimp on sleep. If you want to ace life, buy a mattress topper and make those seven hours of shut-eye even better.
  5. Trash can. Gordon does provide recycling bins because we like the Earth. But if you want to keep trash off the floor, get yourself a trash can.
  6. Little organizers. Your dorm is already fitted with drawers, but if you want to keep your cotton swabs from mixing with your scrunchies, pack a mason jar or two, which will also earn you extra Gordon hipster points.
  7. Backpack. It turns out that college students do wear backpacks like they do in the college viewbooks that filled your mailbox in high school. So, go ahead and treat yourself to a new Herschel.
  8. Hangers. Unlike your closets at home, hangers don’t magically appear in dorm closets, so save yourself a trip to the dollar store and bring them with you.
  9. Coffee thermos. If you’re a zombie without tea or coffee, make sure you bring your favorite travel mug, or rock some school spirit with this one. It’ll be your best friend (or only friend) when studying in Jenks till 1 a.m.
  10. Laundry bag. Most of the time you’ll be living far away from the laundry room (as in maybe 40 feet and maybe a flight or two of stairs). So, to avoid looking like a fool when you happen upon your crush loading the adjacent washer, pack a laundry bag.

No! Don’t Pack:

  1. Curtains. They looked so adorable in the college section of J. C. Penney, but they’re not allowed for fire safety reasons.
  2. Everything. Don’t worry, you won’t need it all. So, don’t pack it all. Target is only a 10-minute drive away and you can usually find someone who is up for an outing. Plus, Gordon has on-campus Zipcars that you can rent by the hour.
  3. Clunky fan. It can be sweltering when you arrive and even more humid when you leave. But summer doesn’t last long, so leave the fan and save yourself a whole square foot of floor space.
  4. Non-LED lighting. An extra lamp is nice, and there’s nothing cuter or more college-y than fairy lights, but make sure they’re LED or you’ll have to send them home with your parents.
  5. Extra appliances. If your roommate is bringing a large minifridge or electric kettle, ask if you can share it. Teamwork makes the dream work—and also saves space and money.
  6. Microwave. There’s one in almost every lounge or kitchen, so you won’t be without. You might just have to take a few extra steps down the hall.
  7. Printer. Unless you have a hobby printing books, it’s more cost effective to use the ones in Jenks.
  8. Extra seating. Residence hall rooms can easily get crowded so, unless you live in a two-room quad and want a futon to lounge on with your buddies while you catch up on Stranger Things, plan on bringing some extra pillows and just using your bed.
  9. Ironing board. If you’re bringing an iron (which can be very helpful), just lay your towel on your desk or floor for a quick press. Then you don’t have to worry about storing it.
  10. Wall tapestry. It’s tempting when they’re all over Pinterest and Instagram—big, swirly, and whimsical. But unless it has a tag that says it’s fire retardant, it’s not going to fly with Res Life.

You can find further guidelines for dorm décor on the residence life guide on the website. But don’t let the rules scare you. That little room will be home-base for the next nine months, so have some fun with it. And if you forget something, don’t worry, you can always stop by the campus bookstore for electronics, office supplies and more. Looking forward to welcoming you to your new home!

By Veronica Andreades ’20, English language and literature