by Mark Tarses

If you are going to be living in a college dorm soon, the single most important thing to do before packing your stuff is to talk to your future roommate first!

Find out what appliances and other big, space-consuming items your roommate plans to bring before you decide what to bring yourself. Most dorm rooms don't have a lot of space. There isn't room for 2 refrigerators, microwave ovens, TVs, stereos, etc. in a typical dorm room, and besides, who needs 2 vacuum cleaners in a dorm room anyway?! Make up a list of the stuff you plan to bring and call or e mail your future roommate first. Don't fill up your room with stuff you don't need and have no place to store.

Find out what's in your dorm room before you bring stuff that is already there. At some colleges, dorm rooms have some things in them that you might be planning to bring; like refrigerators, microwaves, ironing boards, etc.

Don't Bring:

Don't bring tools or supplies for remodeling or painting your dorm room. Most colleges have rules against remodeling dorm rooms, installing carpet, attaching shelves to walls, painting, installing ceiling fans, changing door locks, or making structural changes to the building.

Don't take dubious items with you without checking with the college first to see if they are allowed. Most college dorms prohibit: waterbeds, pets, incense, bulk alcohol (like beer in kegs), and large appliances.

Here at U.C. Berkeley, dorm rules prohibit a long list of fire hazards: candles, kerosene lamps, halogen lamps, propane cooking devices, hibachis, anything with Sterno in it, and smoking cigarettes and cigars. Many other colleges have similar rules.

Don't take too much stuff. Leave your winter clothes at home until you need them. In Berkeley, you may not need winter clothes at all.

Things To Bring To U.C. Berkeley Dorms:

If you have a folding dolly, hand truck, or suitcase with wheels; bring it along with you to unload your stuff and transport it through the building.

Bath towels
Shower shoes/thongs
Combination lock for gym locker
Extension cords
Alarm clock
Desk lamp
Mini dry-erase board
Bed sheets (twin extra long)
Laundry basket or hamper
Laundry detergent
Table fan (dorm rooms are not air conditioned)
Sewing kit
Telephone with answering machine
Television (preferably with built-in VCR)
Computer printer
Computer surge supressor
Mini refrigerator
Microwave oven
Coffee maker
Thermos bottle or insulated commuter mug
Water filter/pitcher
Ear plugs

As you can see, some things that you might assume would be a dorm room (like hangers in the closet), in fact are usually not there.

Need extra storage? The best place to find extra storage space is under your bed. Consider putting bed risers under the legs of your bed. A set of 4 is $15.00 at Organize Everything . They raise your bed 6" and provide a lot of space underneath.

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