August 8, 2023 by


So. Many. Things. To. Pack. If you’re anything like me, it can be extremely overwhelming to think about packing up everything you own and stuffing it into a tiny dorm room. Not to mention splitting the limited space with another person. There are so many lists on the internet, with each one containing 10 new items that had never crossed your mind. However, as a girl who’s lived in the smallest dorm on campus and made it out alive, I am here to tell you that you can do it. Not only that, but you will learn to love your new tiny home! Along with a master packing list at the end, I will give you a few pieces of advice for the packing and move-in process!

Blogger Lia Beck's dorm room set up, with her bed and room decor in the photo.

Create One Packing List 

When creating a packing list, it is helpful to merge the different packing lists you find into one “master list.” If there are other lists that you find online in addition to the list in this post, create a list that combines the two. Some will include some specific items that the generalized lists don’t have. My mom and I are fans of good old-fashioned paper, and we kept our list on a clipboard in a place where we could easily refer to it and make changes at any time. It was also helpful to keep it in a place where we were looking at it constantly to help us remember to grab items from the store or pack them when we were ready. 

Communicate With Your Roommate 

It is so fun to talk with your roommate about the way you want to decorate your room for the year, but it is even more important to communicate with them about shared items. These often include a fridge, microwave, garbage can, vacuum, coffee maker, floor rug, etc. Talk about what items you want to share and split up who will bring what so that you don’t end up with two fridges taking up the precious floor space!

Two beds in a dorm room, separated by a bookshelf, with small fairy lights hanging above the bed on the right.

Don’t Leave All Your Packing for the Last Minute 

As there are so many items to pack, it will relieve a large amount of stress to begin the process early, and I mean several weeks early. Here is a general timeline to refer to: 

3 weeks before move-in (or earlier) 

  • Create your master list  
  • Go dorm shopping (décor, bedding, towels, organization, etc.) 
  • Choose a space in your house to be a “college corner” where you can compile all your items 
  • Decide what you will bring from your bedroom and what you will keep at home during the year 

2 weeks before move-in 

  • Pack the clothes and shoes you will not be wearing during the next two weeks (for example fall and winter) 

1 week before move-in  

  • Finish packing clothes 
  • Pack toiletries 

Remember There Are Stores Nearby 

Dollar General will soon become your new best friend. Right across the street, less than two minutes from campus, is a Dollar General that has many items you might have accidentally forgotten for an affordable price. The Cedarville bookstore also sells many items, such as toiletries and school supplies, in case you leave something behind! And, if all else fails, Amazon will come to your rescue. 

I am so excited for you as you get ready to transition into your first year at Cedarville. The Lord will be moving in big ways this year through the students, chapel, classes, faculty and staff, and so much more. You will have a blast and learn to love life in the ‘ville. Don’t let your fears overwhelm you, God is your strength, and He will go before you. Trust in Him for guidance because He is faithful!

Here is my packing list. You may not need everything on it like I did, but hopefully this helps get you started! 

Master Packing List 

Dorm Room 

  • Pillow & Pillowcases 
  • Comforter 
  • Duvet Cover 
  • Sheets (an extra pair is nice) 
  • Desk lamp 
  • 50-ft string of lights (this isn’t necessary but is so nice to have a softer light for at night – make sure it is a long strand, we are not allowed to connect multiple strands for safety reasons) 
  • Throw blanket and pillows 
  • Laundry basket 
  • Snacks (very helpful for late nights or mid-day pick-me-ups) 
  • Hangers 
  • Garbage can 
  • Make-up mirror 
  • Fan (very helpful in the warmer months) 
  • Mattress pad and cover (I put both on my bed and it was quite comfortable) 
  • Command hooks (I promise you will want these at some point) 
  • Under-the-bed storage (I used plastic containers and a rolling cart with shelves and box compartments) 
  • Dorm décor! (This will make your room feel homier) 


  • Underwear 
  • Bras 
  • Socks 
  • Jeans 
  • Pants 
  • Leggings/yoga pants 
  • Sweatshirts/hoodies 
  • Pajamas 
  • Shorts 
  • T-Shirts 
  • Long sleeve shirts 
  • Sweaters 
  • Dressy shirts/blouses 
  • Tank tops 
  • Athleticwear 
  • Jackets/coats (it can get super cold and snowy) 
  • Gloves/hat/scarf 
  • Swimsuit 
  • Casual and formal dresses 
  • Skirts 
  • Jewelry
  • Purse/bag/tote 
  • Everyday shoes 
  • Running shoes 
  • Sandals 
  • Boots 
  • Slippers (I HIGHLY recommend getting slippers) 
  • Accessories 
  • Sunglasses 

Desk/School Supplies 

  • Backpack 
  • Notebooks (I would recommend either 2 3-subject notebooks or a 5-subject notebook depending on how many classes you are taking; these save space and are very nice to have) 
  • Binder 
  • Planner or bullet journal (or both like me) 
  • Pens/pencils/highlighters 
  • Folders 
  • Highlighters 
  • Notebook paper 
  • Calculator 
  • Ruler 
  • Binder clips/paper clips 
  • Sticky notes 
  • Index cards 
  • Stapler and staples 
  • Scissors 
  • Whiteout 
  • Tape 

Bathroom and Toiletries 

  • Bath towels and hand towels 
  • Washcloths 
  • Shower shoes 
  • Loofah 
  • Shower caddy 
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush 
  • Mouthwash 
  • Floss 
  • Tweezers 
  • Body wash 
  • Face wash 
  • Shampoo and conditioner 
  • Hairbrush/comb 
  • Deodorant 
  • Q-tips 
  • Lotion 
  • Skin care 
  • Hair products (hairspray, leave-in conditioner, heat protectant, etc.) 
  • Hair dryer 
  • Straightener 
  • Curling iron 
  • Razor 
  • Shaving cream 
  • Medicine (cold medicine, Advil, cough drops, etc.) 
  • Melatonin 
  • Band-aids 
  • Neosporin/Hydrocortisone (these are nice to have in case) 
  • Vitamins/supplements 
  • Chapstick 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Feminine products 
  • Makeup 
  • Makeup remover 
  • Hair ties/bobby pins 
  • Nail polish and remover 
  • Nail file 
  • Nail clippers 
  • Cotton balls 


  • Laptop and charger 
  • Phone charger 
  • Extension cords (I used two) 
  • Earbuds/headphones 
  • Speaker 


  • Laundry detergent (I used detergent sheets which were so convenient) 
  • Stain remover (loved my Tide stick) 
  • Paper towels 
  • Vacuum 
  • Multi-purpose spray 
  • Dish soap 
  • Trash bags 

Convenient (you will not need all these unless applying for a job) 

  • Driver’s license 
  • Social Security card 
  • Banking info 
  • Car registration and insurance (if your car is on campus) 
  • Debit card 


  • Water bottle 
  • Mugs 
  • Brita filter pitcher (highly recommend) 
  • Insulated mug/tumbler 
  • Ziploc bags/plastic containers 
  • Plastic utensils/paper plates 
  • Knife/cutting board (not necessary but nice to have for some things) 
  • Magic bullet 


  • Kleenex 
  • Umbrella 
  • Duffel bag/suitcase (for short trips) 
  • Games 

Shared Items 

  • Rug 
  • Coffee maker 
  • Curtains (to cover the closet in unit style dorms) 
  • Microwave 
  • Mini fridge 

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