Moving into a student dorm room is both exciting and confusing. You might not know what to bring with you and you might not be sure about what is provided in the dorm itself. Once you have found out from the university how the dorm room is furnished, you can move on to packing for your new adventure. Many students prefer to find bedding in South Africa that is more “sophisticated” than what they have currently (“Frozen” duvets will certainly not fit in at college) and others want to bring personal objects with them to make their dorm rooms feel more like home. If you are not sure where to even start packing, below are some top tips to make the process easier.

Storage for your room

It is likely that your room will have some form of built-in cupboards for you to store your clothes and linens, but there might be little else in the way of storage for anything else. These storage needs include a bedside table, storage bins, under-the-bed storage and a laundry hamper. If you do not bring your own storage with you, you might find yourself with no place to put anything. Be sure to look for pieces that will fit into your new room and that match the decor scheme you have chosen. Under-the-bed storage is especially helpful if you have a smaller room but need space to store items. It will not take up floor space and will allow you to store necessities easily and efficiently.

Stuff for your bed

You will be spending a significant amount of time in your dorm room, which means that you will need to make your bed as comfortable as possible. Look for bedding in South Africa that you can use in both summer and winter months, as well as a double bed duvet cover to make your single bed feel cosier. Choose extra pillows and cushions to make the room feel more “homey”. And don’t forget to buy a mattress protector as you never know who has used the bed before you. Look for throws and accessories that make your bed feel comfortable and luxurious, but be sure to match them to the overall look you are going for. If you have a roommate, ask them if they would like to match or if they are happy with their side looking different to yours.

Keep it clean

You will need to bring toiletries with you when you go to university, as these are not provided by the university. Pack products such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash and toothpaste and toothbrushes. Keep them safely in your dorm room so you do not run out and so that they are not used without your permission. Not only will you need to keep yourself clean, you also have to keep your clothes and your dorm room clean. You should bring a small brush and dustpan with you to clear the dust off of the floor and surfaces, as well as laundry detergent for the laundromat. While you will not be asked to clean your room, you will be required to keep it as neat and tidy as possible, otherwise you might be charged for any damages that occur.

What to wear

You clothes are some of the most important items you will need to pack for your time at university. Be sure that you pack something for every season, and that your clothing and shoes are comfortable enough to walk around campus in for two to six hours a day. You should pack enough clothes to last you for a semester, as you can bring more with you if you are going home for any of the holidays throughout the year. Be sure to include some formal outfits for special events or interviews, as well as clothes for warmer weather during the first half of the year. Be practical when it comes to shoes. You might love that pair of six-inch heels for a night out, but you will find they are not very comfortable for walking around university in.

Kitchen gadgets

If you use a communal kitchen or have a small kitchenette in your dorm room, you will need these essential kitchen gadgets to make your life easier. You should invest in at least four plates and four bowls, and be sure to check that they are microwaveable, as well as a 16 piece cutlery set to go with your crockery. A wooden spoon, silicone spatula, colander, scissors, and a recipe book will all be useful, especially if you are going to be cooking the majority of your own meals yourself. Invest in a good knife and chopping board to make cooking easier. A good cheese grater is essential for those cheesy pasta bakes you will be making, as is a casserole dish. Ask your parents to give you a simple recipe book or write down how to make your favourite home cooked meals.