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A Crash Course in Successful Packing

Effective Packing 101 Syllabus ...
After you’ve gathered the basics, there may be a few comforts of home that you’ve forgotten ...
Friendly Warning: “What Not to Bring” ...
Packing 101 Hint:

Your first college classes are just around the corner, and you'll soon be hitting the books and starting college life. To help ease you into classes, we’ve prepared a crash course for new students. It’s called Packing 101. It looks easy, but it does require some advanced work (see syllabus below).

Our residence halls provide you with a bed, dresser, closet, desk and chair, window shade, and comfortable living space. As most occupants of typical residence hall rooms would tell you, being creative with the space you have is the key to success. Amazing things can be accomplished with a few common items. Milk crates or other plastic stackable storage items are extremely useful for organizing your books, sweaters, and laundry. You also might want to invest in space-saving hangers (you can find them in most stores that sell home goods) that are meant for more than one item. Some hold up to four pairs of jeans.

Effective Packing 101 Syllabus:

  • Your room here at Hartwick may not be as big as your room at home.
  • If there are clothes in your closet that you haven’t worn in the past two years, it would be a good idea to leave them home; chances are, you won’t start wearing them now!
  • It does not snow in September. Do not bring your heaviest winter boots and coats until later in the semester. If you're going home for the fall break, plan to bring these items back at that time. If you're not planning a trip home before cold weather hits, pack a box before you leave and ask your family to ship it to you in November.
  • Once you've been at Hartwick for a while, you'll begin to notice that living space in a residence room decreases proportionally with the number of times you've gone shopping! Count on a 40% increase in possessions by May, and leave room for them.

After you’ve gathered the basics, there may be a few comforts of home that you’ve forgotten. Keep in mind...it may make move-in day easier if you wait to purchase some of these items when you get to campus, either in our campus store or at a local store once you see what your room still needs or is missing.

  • An iron and portable ironing board—Mom won’t be around to do your ironing for you, so be prepared to learn quickly!
  • First Aid-Kit - Always be prepared! make sure to bring a first aid kit with at least all of the basics.
  • Pain reliever (Advil, Tylenol) - to help with headaches, sore muscles, and all minor injuries.
  • Coffeemaker with auto shut-off.
  • Message board - For your door so neighbors and friends can leave messages if you are not in your room.
  • Shower Flip Flops - Protect your feet with a quality pair of shower flip flops.
  • Power strip/surge protector - Charge all of your gadgets without running out of outlets.
  • Umbrella - Stay dry on your walk to class!
  • A  reading back rest pillow—a necessity for bedtime studying.
  • An alarm clock—a true enemy, but professors frown on latecomers. (Also grab a power strip for your clock.)
  • Laundry bag/basket—to help contain your monstrous laundry pile. Hint: Do not expect to have freshly laundered bath towels every day unless you plan to spend a lot of time in the laundry room. You can actually use your bath towel more than once; just hang it over a door knob to dry.
  • Extra-long sheets—our beds are 80” long. Regular twin sheets will not fit! It has been tried. Look in bed-and-bath specialty stores, Target, JC Penney, Walmart, or Sears for these extra-long sheets (Students also may order sheets through the College) and mattress cover, otherwise you may stick to the plastic blue mattress on hot days.
  • A fan and window screen—summer lingers until the end of September. A fan is a comfort feature.
  • Wastebasket—good for practicing your free throw; also good for getting rid of waste around the room.
  • Earbuds—for late-night listening while your roommate sleeps.
  • Desk or clip-on lamp for over your bed.
  • Dictionary, thesaurus.
  • Small rug or slippers—your feet will thank you on cold mornings!
  • Bathroom bucket/basket—to carry shampoo, soap, and lotions to the bathroom; the best are wire mesh caddies that you can bring into the shower with you and will allow water to drain out.
  • A bathrobe—your family may not mind if you walk around in a towel, but if you live on a coed floor, a bathrobe can be a wise idea.
  • Cooking pot, Tupperware bins, cup, plate, bowl, fork, knife, and spoon (plastic is always good because it is reusable, as well as break-proof).
  • Decorations—posters and your favorite items will personalize your room.
  • Refrigerator—small refrigerators are allowed in residences halls. (Students also can order through the College.) 

Friendly Warning: “What Not to Bring”—You will FAIL Effective Packing 101 if you bring the following:

  • Your dog, gerbil, or hamster (pets are not allowed in residence halls)
  • Electric blanket
  • Hot pot/hot plate
  • Toaster
  • Microwaves/other appliances (other than approved microfridge units)
  • Halogen lamps
  • Candles
  • Incense
  • Air conditioners
  • Space heaters
  • Open coil burners
  • Oil lamps
  • Lanterns
  • Fireworks/firearms or other weapons
  • Propane tanks

(these items are not permitted in residence halls for safety reasons)

Packing 101 Hint:
It's a good idea to get in touch with your future roommate before move-in day. This will give you an opportunity to coordinate who will bring what. Perhaps you have a great stereo you can’t live without; there's no need for two stereos or two TVs. It will save space in your room later on, and also provide an opportunity to break the ice with your future roommate!  

Office of Residential Life & Housing
4th floor, Dewar Union
E-mail us with Questions