Compact Living

I feel like I know a little something about dorm living since I have four years of experience doing so. The biggest takeaway that I would share is learn how to live compactly. I learned that when I lived more compactly, I was better organized. Cleaning stuff in a bin, bathroom stuff in the caddy, and movies and TV peripherals in the soft case bin underneath the desk. Everything had a place and every single useless yet useful item was well justified in a neat room.

Part of having a successful packing experience is to think minimally. It is true that you will consider to pack many things that is not really necessary at school. My freshman year, I realized that I had a ton of things that I did not have a use for. Over the years, I learned what comes in handy and what does not. As I progressed, I realized the shorter my list, the more strategic my packing became. For example, the general line item by the name “skincare” condenses multiple items to one line. However, it causes me to think, “What items do I use on a daily basis in that category?” I then know to pack my cleanser, mask, toner and moisturizer. This thought process automatically eliminates excess packing whereas in the past I would pack extra moisturizer, and that special scrub I got as a gift but never used. The thought process streamlines all necessary items to the forefront of my mind and keeps the packing minimal. However, there are those necessary items that are not needed at home that I have to remind myself to pack such as bed risers for additional storage and my mattress pad to provide extra cushion. That’s where a packing list truly comes in handy.

Lucky for you guys, I’ve created a condensed packing list Dorm Checklist* that I’ll be using for my apartment this year. I’m sharing it with you to inspire your packing list. Print it off and check off the items you need and write additional items and notes on the back.

I understand that everyone has their own way of doing things. So I’ve curated a few Pinterest boards to help with figuring out how to organize your room. My Pinterest board has a ton of ideas to bounce off of! Check these out: Dorm Ideas and Organization. Don’t forget to follow me 🙂

What are some of your most important things to consider when packing for dorm living?

Published: July 2015

*Please read User License Agreement for all downloads.


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