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Campus Living: What Not to Pack When Heading to the Dorms

Before your teen heads off to college, get prepared for the big move-in day with these essential packing and dorm-living tips.
Moving To Campus: What to Pack, Plus Dorm Arranging Tips
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Mario Wagner

Before your teen stuffs everything into a suitcase, consider these tips from Carl LoConte, hall director at the University of Michigan.

  • Skip the white towels (they get dingy); thin towels are better than plush because they dry more quickly on the back of a door. And look for a larger "bath sheet" size to provide full coverage in communal areas.
  • Buy laundry detergent pods instead of big liquid containers. They take up less space and are easy to carry.
  • Don't try to re-create a high school bedroom. Bring one inspiring trophy, for example—not the entire collection.
  • An economy-size shampoo bottle may seem like a money-saver, but it's a heavy hassle to carry every day.
  • Get a laundry bag with straps or a hamper on wheels to move dirty clothes.
  • One TV per dorm room is enough (thanks to streaming video options), so have your teen talk to her roommate beforehand to decide who will bring it.
  • In addition to utilizing the space under the bed for storage, remember to make the most of vertical space, like the gap between the ceiling and the top of an armoire, if there is one.