Prepare early for moving in, starting dorm life

Saige Heyer

Moving into the dorms can be both exciting and overwhelming, so make sure you make a plan and bring only what you need to make the process go a bit smoother.

Once you get your housing assignment, make sure to get in touch with your roommate. This will not only help you get to know them, but it will also give you a chance to figure out which items each of you need to bring as the rooms are not big enough to accommodate two of everything.

If your roomate is an upperclassman, he or she may have most of the items you’ll need, such as a minifridge or microwave, so you might not need to purchase these things.

If both of you are new students, make a list of what each of you has and a list of what you’ll need. You can then decide who will be responsible for which items.

The Department of Residence at Iowa State has certain rules as to what students can and cannot have in their dorm rooms. Below are lists of some of the things to bring and what is not allowed. For a complete list, visit

What to bring

• Bathroom basics

• Bedding

• Shower caddy

• Shower shoes/flip-flops

• Towels and washcloths

• Clothing

• Can opener

• Cleaning supplies

• Dish soap and sponge

• Laundry supplies

• Microwave

• Minifridge (see requirements on the Department of Residence website)

• Paper towels

• Dishes

• Trash bags

• Alarm clock

• Lamp

• UL-approved surge protector strip 

• Computer purchase and warranty information

• Driver’s license and social security card

• Financial aid forms

• Medical insurance information or cards

• Vehicle insurance and registration, if applicable

• First-aid kit

• Tool kit

• Umbrella

Not allowed

• Air conditioners

• Candles and open flame devices

• Ceiling fans

• Cut trees

• Dry ice

• Kegs

• Extension cords

• Flammable or toxic fluids, chemicals or gases

• Halogen lights or lamps

• Hot tubs

• Pets other than fish

• Satellite dishes

• Smoke or fog machines

• Space heaters

• Sun lamps

• Traffic or street signs without proof of purchase

• Waterbeds

• Weapons

• Wireless router or hub

Once you and your roommate have figured out what each person needs to bring, it’s time to coordinate moving in. You don’t necessarily want to move in at the same time as it can become a bit chaotic.

Since most of the dorms don’t have elevators, make sure you pack in smaller boxes you can carry on your own.

The Department of Residence provides the Move-In Crew. These students volunteer their time to help others move into the dorms.

The Move-In Crew helps with everything from carrying boxes and furniture to simply holding doors and giving directions. They are available Tuesday and Wednesday of new student move-in from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The fall 2014 move-in schedule can be found at