First Year of College: A Checklist For Mastering Your Dorm Room Move-in


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Off to college or university? Whether you’re a freshman or a returning student, here’s a checklist to make sure your semesters away from home are as smooth as butter.  

Necessary Documents 

Usually, the excitement of starting a new chapter is so overwhelming that boring stuff like paperwork gets left on the back burner until the last minute. There is no point in stressing over the dorm if you don’t have the correct documentation to even be there and sustain yourself in the first place.

So, let’s start off with what might be the most important part of prepping for your new adventure! 


  • Health Care card – can be used as secondary ID in some areas
  • Medical records – inform school, especially for serious conditions
  • Plan and documents for refilling prescription medications
  • Emergency contact list 
  • Covid vaccination records, if needed


  • Drivers license – can use to board domestic flights 
  • Car registration and insurance 
  • Social insurance card – especially if you plan to get a part-time job
  • Passport – if travelling internationally 
  • Copy of birth certificate


  • Credit and debit cards
  • Financial aid information 
  • Extra cash – keep an eye out if sharing dorms


  • School ID – or supporting documents to get one 
  • Meal plan card 
  • Bus pass –  rental unit off campus

Dorm Room Necessities  

This is really where the excitement starts. Shopping for independence is probably one of the most exhilarating experiences of adulthood. This is also where most new adults realize how much stuff parents look after and how expensive it is. 

A few great places to get decent quality dorm necessities on a budget are the dollar store, Walmart, IKEA, Kijiji, and Facebook Marketplace. Take a look below to get a better idea of what you may need and even want. 

Toiletries and Other Personal Care Products: 

  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Face wash 
  • Body soap
  • Hand soap
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine hygiene products 
  • Lotions/moisturizers
  • Hair styling products/brushes/hot tools
  • Makeup/makeup storage 
  • Sleeping mask
  • Sunscreen/bug spray
  • Toilet paper
  • Washcloth/bath sponge
  • Bath towels
  • Hand towels
  • Bath mat 
  • Portable shower caddy organizer
  • Nail care products 
  • Ear care products 
  • Eye care products 
  • Razors
  • Shaving cream
  • Air freshener 

OTC/Prescription Medications & Healthcare: 

  • Prescription meds – transfer to nearest pharmacy if possible 
  • Cold and flu meds
  • Pain killers
  • Allergy meds
  • Stomach aid like:
    • Nausea relief, antacids, diarrhea relief, gas relief – disaster can strike at any moment  
  • Vitamins
  • Birth control 
  • First aid kit
  • Tissues and hand sanitizer 
  • Thermometer 
  • Hotpack 
  • Muscle pain rub or patches 

Bedding, Linens & Laundry Products: 

  • Light blanket
  • Heavy blanket
  • Electric blanket if you get cold easily – if allowed
  • Sheets – make sure you know what size your bed will be
  • Pillows and pillowcases
  • Mattress topper for extra comfort
  • Laundry hamper 
  • Clothes hangers
  • Laundry detergent 
  • Dryer sheets
  • Stain remover 
  • Mini clothes iron 

Food, Kitchen Supplies & Cleaning Products: 

  • On-the-go snacks like:
    •  dried fruit, nuts, energy bars, protein bars, granola bars 
  • Hot and cold cereals 
  • Instant coffee – for rushed days
  • Protein powder and on-the-go ready-to-drink protein shakes
  • Easy in-room lunches like:
    • Frozen meals, instant noodles, microwavable rice, KD cups, canned soups/stews, sandwiches/wraps
  • Microwavable popcorn
  • Favourite condiments 
  • Small Microwave – if allowed
  • Toaster – if allowed
  • Can opener 
  • Small coffee maker and supplies like:
    •  filters, cream, sugar, flavoured syrups and coffee grounds, or coffee pods
  • Mini fridge – if allowed 
  • Water bottle
  • Travel mug
  • Microwavable plate
  • Cutlery
  • Drinking glass
  • Mug
  • Dish soap
  • Dish sponge
  • All-purpose cleaner 
  • Paper towels
  • Disinfecting wipes 
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Mini vacuum cleaner
  • Trash can and trash bags

Furnishings & Miscellaneous Items: 

  • Bed – rental unit off campus
  • Desk – rental unit off campus
  • Desk chair – rental unit off campus
  • Bookshelf – rental unit off campus
  • Living room furniture – rental unit off campus
  • Dining table – rental unit off campus
  • Desk lamp
  • Clip on lamp for bed frame – if possible 
  • Light bulbs 
  • Desk organizer
  • Dry-erase board/markers 
  • Under bed storage 
  • Adhesive wall hooks
  • Fan or/and space heater
  • Rug
  • Extra seating like:
    • Foldable chair, futon, or bean bag chair
  • Wall art/string lights 
  • Plants – if that’s your thing 
  • Books and games 
  • Small fitness equipment
  • Bike/rollerblades
  • Flashlight
  • Batteries
  • Chargers
  • Mini toolkit 
  • Headphones 
  • Quick grab bag with items you will need immediately in case of evacuation
  • Outdoor and recreation equipment 

How to Get the Move Organized Before and After Campus Life  

Now you have your list of must-have items before your educational adventure! As you can tell by the lists, these items can add up and take up a lot of space, depending on what your living situation will be like. Where will you put it all before leaving or after returning home? 

You could always choose to inconvenience a family member or friend and use their home as a storage unit, or you can choose a method that is convenient for everyone. 

MI-BOX Portable Storage Units to the rescue! Here’s how it works 

Whether you’re collecting your dorm stuff before leaving or returning home, a MI-BOX portable storage unit is the answer. You can have everything neatly organized just steps away from your family home or tucked in our clean and secure storage facility until needed. 

Our expert drivers will use our state-of-the-art lift technology to carefully level the container onto your driveway or any other location you have in mind to create a perfect step-in height. No need to drive back and forth to a fixed storage unit.

You’ll get 24-hour access to manage your belongings at your own pace. The mobile storage containers are made with top-of-the-line materials, so you won’t have to worry about theft, elemental damage, or staining your driveway. 

Team-up With MI-BOX for the Ultimate Dorm-prep Experience 

Are you ready to free up space and get your dorm things organized the modern way? 

Just give us a call, stop by, or visit our website and let us know where you would like us to deliver your portable storage unit and when.
Click here to get started!



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