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!
  • 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’s 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, television, 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).

Here are a few suggested 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 all 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 adhesive bandages, disinfectant, aspirin, etc.

Clothes and Laundry

  • Clothes. Your space will be limited, so only bring what you think you will wear. Our suggestion is usually having enough for 2 weeks’ worth of clothing!
  • Weather-appropriate outer clothes. You will be walking to class; be sure your coat or jacket and boots are right for the climate.
  • Laundry basket and/or bag, detergents, dryer sheets, stain remover stick or spray
  • Quarters for laundry and soda machines. Your CadetCa$h Card can also be used.
  • Hangers
  • An iron and small ironing board


  • 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 décor.
  • Personal pictures, photos, and other favorite items. Avoid heavy frames, since you may not be able to hang them.
  • Rugs/a piece of carpet or slippers as the rooms are not carpeted.

Study Stuff

  • A sturdy backpack or book bag for everyday use.
  • Computer (desktop or laptop) and any necessary supplies/accessories.
  • School supplies, including a planner as well as basic pens, paper, pencils, notebooks.
  • Dry-erase marker. Dry-erase boards are provided.


  • 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.
  • Window Screen

Electronics and Equipment

  • Multiple outlet surge protectors.
  • TV, DVD player, microwave, game system, etc.
  • Chargers for all of your devices

Food and Snacks

  • Small refrigerator – not to exceed 3.2 cubic feet
  • A few unbreakable dishes: plastic cups, microwave-safe bowl, and small food storage tubs.
  • Sandwich bags, aluminum foil, and/or plastic wrap.
  • 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 take a study break!
  • A large backpack or shoulder bag for possible weekend trips you might take.

Do not bring the following:

  • Your fish, 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. 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 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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