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If you are planning to live in the dorms, your new “home” is going to be—well—cozy. But, with a little bit of planning, you can do a lot to transform the space inside of those four walls into the perfect place for studying, sleeping and making memories with friends.

If you’re struggling to decide what to pack for college, look no further! Here’s a compilation of everything you’ll need.

To Wear:

Don’t overdo it; you will probably wear your favorites over and over anyway! Do think about seasons and layering—especially in Idaho! If you aren’t close to home, you will need to plan for four seasons; if you are, just plan to switch out as seasons change.

  • Clothes hangers*
  • Everyday clothing (jeans, sweatshirts, t-shirts)*
  • Appropriate sleepwear/robe*
  • 1-2 nicer presentation/interview outfits*
  • Workout clothes
  • Jacket/coat
  • Swimwear
  • Athletic shoes, dress shoes, flip flops, shower shoes, slippers, boots
  • Favorite baseball hat & beanie (for those 8 a.m. classes!)

To Learn:

  • Laptop, charger, accessories (e.g., mouse, external monitor/keyboard if desired)*
  • Surge-protected extension cords/power strips (look for one that has USB ports)*
  • Basic school supplies (flash drive (or 2!), notebooks, pens, pencils, paper, sticky notes, stapler; don’t go crazy here….wait until the first day of classes when the profs will tell you what you really need)*
  • Backpack/school bag*
  • Desk lamp (if your dorm room doesn’t have built-in desk lamps)
  • Office chair (although you usually will be provided a chair, they aren’t known for being terribly comfortable)
  • Lap Desk

To Make Your Room Feel Like “Home”:

  • Bedding (2 sets of sheets, blanket, comforter, pillow…at NNU you will need extra-long twin bedding, and some people like to have a full-size comforter so it will cover the mess under the bed!)*
  • Mattress toper and cover
  • Clock
  • Rug
  • Bedside table/bed shelf/pocket (one that connects to the bed in case you decide to bunk or loft your bed is ideal)
  • Reading lamp
  • Fan
  • Study/lounging pillow
  • TV/Gaming System (coordinate with your roommate!)
  • Posters, plants, photos (decorations)
  • Air fresheners/wall plug-ins (most places won’t let you have candles, though!)
  • Command Strips to hang any photos/posters/decorations
  • Doorstop to prop your door open (helps you get to know your wingmates!)

To Stay Organized:

  • Storage bins/under-bed storage
  • Bed risers to provide extra storage under your bed (if you aren’t going to bunk/loft beds)
  • Charging Station
  • Closet organizer
  • Over-the-door storage hanger
  • Free-standing shelves/corner organizer (make sure you check the space available and coordinate with your roommate first!)
  • Command hooks

To Supplement Dining Hall Food:

  • Good water bottle*
  • Healthy “comfort” snacks (added points if they have long shelf-life and don’t need to be refrigerated!)*
  • Mini-fridge with a freezer (coordinate with your roommate)
  • Coffee maker/Electric water kettle (and coffee, tea, or hot cocoa)
  • Brita water filter
  • Microwave (coordinate with your roommate)
  • Microwave-safe bowl
  • Can-opener
  • Basic dishes (e.g., plate, bowl, silverware)—and a small storage bin to keep them together; you can get a lot of these items at the Dollar Store close to campus!
  • Travel coffee mug
  • Dish soap/dishrag/dishtowel
  • Plastic storage bags
  • Food storage containers or reusable cling wrap (for saving those yummy leftovers)
  • Paper towels
  • Reusable grocery bags

To Keep Peace with Your Roommate:

  • Headphones/earbuds*
  • Towels/washcloth*
  • Shower caddy with basic hygiene supplies (shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, toothbrush/paste, shaving supplies, shower shoes, etc…)*
  • Laundry supplies (e.g., hamper, detergent, dryer sheets, stain stick/wipes/spray, wrinkle spray, quarters, color catcher sheets, etc…)*

To Keep You Healthy:

  • Basic first aid/medicine kit (emphasis on basic…you just need enough to get you to the store to get whatever you really need)*
  • Sanitizing wipes
  • Tissues

To Make Things Easier:

  • Necessary ID cards—medical insurance card, driver’s license, passport, car registration, and insurance*
  • Copy of your birth certificate
  • Copy of your social security card
  • List of emergency contacts*
  • Debit/credit card
  • Mini tool kit
  • Umbrella
  • Extensions chord(s)
  • Clothing steamer (for those pesky wrinkles)
  • Lint roller

To Make Things More Fun:

  • String lights
  • Bluetooth Speaker
  • Group games
  • Sports equipment
  • Musical instruments (e.g., guitar)
  • Luggage/suitcase/duffle bag for weekend getaways or trips back home
  • HDMI cable (and adapter dongle if you need one)

To Leave at Home:

  • Any cooking appliance that has an open heating element or uses pressure to cook (e.g., hot plates, toasters, toaster ovens, crockpots, steamers, blenders, George Foreman grills, air fryers, rice cookers, Instapot)
  • Anything that could damage the walls (e.g., paint, nails, tape/adhesive other than command strips)
  • Anything with an open flame (e.g., candles, lighters, etc…)
  • Pets (except fish and/or pre-approved service animals)
  • Any sort of weapons (or anything that could be perceived as a weapon)


Guys (Culver Hall)

Room Size: 11’3” x 15’3”
Included Furniture*: Built-in closet unit, XL twin bed, dresser, desk, desk chair, built-in desk shelf/light
Best Material for Hanging Things: command strips
Other things to note/pack:

  • Under-the-bed storage
  • Rug (floor is not carpeted)

Girls (Ford Hall)

Room Size: 21’ x 12’4”
Included Furniture*: closet unit, XL twin bed, dresser, desk, desk chair, built-in sink and cabinet, mirror, carpet
Best Material for Hanging Things: there is a cork strip included around the perimeter of the room; command strips work great everywhere else
Other things to note/pack:

  • Cleaning supplies for sink/mirror
  • Hand soap
  • Free-standing shelves/extra storage
  • Desk/reading light

*At NNU, all provided furniture must remain in the room.