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Top 10 things to not bring on move-in day

Here are the things you can leave off your packing list this fall semester

1. A fan

While bringing a box fan might have been a good idea a few years ago, most dorms now have air conditioning, so your fan will probably end up collecting dust. Even the renovated old dorms allow each room to have control over their AC unit, so you can kick up the cold air on particularly hot days. If you like fans for the white noise, you can use an app like White Noise or a  playlist substitute that can recreate this effect without taking up physical space. 

2. Bulky furniture

Since both the renovated old dorms and the new dorms are furnished with comfy chairs and desks to relax and study on, there is a good chance you will find all the furniture you need. If you still opt to bring an additional comfy chair for your dorm, consider bringing a foldable chair that can be stored away when needed. This also makes it easier to pack in your car and bring into your room. 

3. An alarm clock

Though many packing lists suggest you bring an alarm clock, you will be just fine with the one on your phone. Even if you prefer a separate device to wake you up, it may not be feasible if you plan on lofting your bed or do not have a bedside surface to put it on. Plus, phone alarms are more flexible with how many alarms you can make and the sounds that play. 

4. More than one formal outfit

Trust me, you are probably only going to need one nice outfit you can wear to a job interview and that’s it. No one, except maybe your roommate, will notice that you wear the same formal outfit once every month. As someone who brought more clothes than I needed my first year — including three dresses that I never even wore — I recommend you be selective with which clothes you bring. 

5. Sleeping bag 

I know this sounds weird, but I vividly remember many people recommending that I bring a sleeping bag in case I want to have overnight guests in my dorm. In my two years living in dorms, I have never once had an overnight guest. Even then, you can make do with pillows and blankets on either the floor or, if you are in a suite style dorm, your couch. 

6. Cluttering decor

While Squishmallows and Funko Pops are cute, they could end up taking up valuable space on your desk or nightstand. Try to keep these items at a minimum and opt for decor that either goes on the wall or can serve a second purpose, such as providing light or organizing other items. Cute postcards on your wall and mugs to hold pens are just as good at making your space look cozy while also justifying the space they take up. 

7. A bunch of blankets 

This one is definitely coming from experience. I get cold quite easily, so I thought that I would definitely use the three blankets I brought with me. However, I quickly found out that an electric blanket and just one throw blanket was enough for when I got too cold. As much as I love drowning in a sea of blankets, I also hate how much room they took up in my drawers when it was too hot to use them. I would recommend only bringing one throw blanket and one blanket you wouldn’t mind getting dirty to use when sitting outside. 

8. Tons of food

Barracks Shopping Center can be quite intimidating during move-in weekend, but getting all your groceries out of your car, along with your dorm essentials, is even more intimidating. I would suggest only bringing the food items you know you can’t get in Charlottesville, and save the rest for either the day you move in or the week following.

9. Reading pillows

Reading pillows are a great idea in theory, but in practice they are rarely used and take up space. If you enjoy doing work in bed, you can use two pillows to achieve the same effect. Even if you do use it often, it will end up taking a lot of space when you aren’t using it and will probably be kicked off your bed in the middle of the night. 

10. Television

This is quite controversial, but unless you are living in upperclassmen housing such as Lambeth — where study spaces with TVs are sparse — then I would not suggest bringing one with you. Especially in cramped first-year housing situations, the appliance itself will take up precious counter space provided by desks or dressers. Instead, opt for an HDMI cord so that you can connect your laptop to the TVs available in study rooms and lounges. 

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