Packing 101: Tips for Residential/Civilian Students

A few suggestions to start:

  • Be intentional about what you are bringing with you. You do not need to bring everything you own. Leave something to claim your turf at home.
  • It does get cold, but you won’t need your winter gear right away. It is a good idea to pack your winter items and then have your parent/guardian ship them out later. If you are heading home for Thanksgiving, that would be the perfect time to bring home your spring and summer clothes and grab what you will need for the winter.
  • Always check with your roommate on what you intend to bring such as a refrigerator, microwave, televisions, DVD player, etc.  Although many students like to have their own things, space and electrical outlets might not allow them to bring everything. (Of course, it is always a good idea to talk with your roommate(s) to help in the transition).

While you shouldn’t bring everything, there are a few comforts from home you don’t want to forget:

Bed and bedding:

  • Sheets (twin, extra long)
  • Comforter and/or quilts, blankets etc. Consider bringing sturdy, easy-to-wash items.
  • Towels: bath, washcloths, and hand towels.
  • Alarm clock – dreaded but a must, you can’t rely on your phone to wake you up!
  • Extra pillow(s) if you will lounge/study on the bed.

Health and grooming:

  • Shower shoes
  • All necessary toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, and grooming/cosmetic) items. Since space will be cramped, consider buying smaller sizes, at least at first.
  • Shower bucket/basket/caddy to carry items
  • Bathrobe – especially important since the shower is down the hall.
  • Prescription medicines and copies of the prescriptions.
  • Suggested: First-aid kit, including basic basic adhesive bandages, disinfectant, aspirin, etc.

Clothes and laundry:

  • Clothes — your space will be limited, so only bring what you think you will actually wear. Our suggestion is usually having enough for two weeks’ worth of clothing!
  • Weather-appropriate outer clothing. You will be walking to class; be sure your coat or jacke is right for the climate.
  • Laundry basket and/or bag
  • Laundry detergents, dryer sheets, stain remover stick or spray
  • Quarters for laundry machines. Your CadetCa$h Card can also be used.
  • Hangers
  • An iron and amall ironing board


  • Personal pictures, photos, posters and other favorite items. Avoid heavy frames, since you may not be able to hang them.
  • Sticky wall mounts and removable adhesive hooks. NU does not allow you to put nails in the walls, so you will need other ways to hang your decor.
  • Rugs/small piece of carpet, or slippers — the dorm rooms are not carpeted
  • Storage or organizational items – stacking plastic crates can come in handy
  • Trash can and bags
  • Lamps — desk lamp or clip lamp
  • Fan

 Study stuff

  • A sturdy backpack or book bag for everyday use
  • Computer and necessary supplies/accessories
  • School supplies: Pens, pencils, erasers, paper, notebooks etc.
  • Head phones
  • Dry-erase marker. Dry-erase boards are provided. You’ll want this so people can leave you messags.


  • Other storage or organization units. A few stacking plastic crates will come in handy.
  • Small trashcan and trash bags
  • Lamps – floor, desk and/or clip lamp
  • Fan (window or floor). Depending on the climate control in the building you may want this to adjust to your individual needs.
  • A mug, microwave-safe cup, plate, bowl, can opener, and utensils

Electronics and Equipment

  • Multiple outlet surge protectors
  • TV, stereo, DVD player, microwave, game systems etc. Bass equipment and subwoofers are highly discouraged!
  • Chargers for all your devices

Food and Snacks

  • Small refrigerator – to not exceed 3.0 cubic feet
  • A few unbreakable dishes: plastic cups, mug, microwave-safe bowl, and small plastic food storage tubs.
  • Sandwich bags, aluminium foil and/or plastic wrap. You’ll want to store that extra piece of pizza in the fridge for a late night snack!
  • A small bottle of dish soap, scrubber, small dishtowel.
  • Snacks that will help you finish that late night project or for when the dining hall closes.

Miscellaneous Items!

  • Batteries and flashlight
  • Deck of cards or games for when you need a study break!
  • A large backpack or shoulder bag for possible weekend trips you might take.
  • Calling card, unless you have made other long-distance arrangements.

Do not bring the following:

  • Your dog, cat, gerbil, mouse, snake… NO pets are allowed in the residence halls
  • Hot plate and/or mini stove, and toasters
  • Halogen lamps and lava lamps
  • Cinder blocks, bricks, or crates for lofting beds
  • Drugs, alcohols (this includes alcohol trophies, posters or souvenirs), weapons, fireworks, or Nerf guns. There is zero tolerance for these items at NU and they will be confiscated!
  • 2-prong extension cords
  • Subwoofers or gigantic speakers
  • Air conditioner
  • Your vehicle (first-years are not permitted to have a car on campus)

Announcing a special program for your linen needs!

Norwich has partnered with Residence Hall Linens to provide great quality linens, bath kits, storage units and other essentials in hundreds of colors and patterns. Your assured the sheets will fit properly and look great. A portion of the proceeds from this site support NUVISIONS Abroad service trips throughout the year. Check them out at here.

Questions? Reach out to us!
Email the Residence Life and Civilian Housing office at

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Northfield, VT 05663 USA
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