Packing Advice From A Mom Friend

Olivia Dimond, Managing Arts & Leisure Editor

I am the Mom Friend, always looking out for everyone and ridiculously prepared for any situation, meaning my room is filled to the brim with supplies. Your dorm is going to be your home for the next nine or so months, so you want it to be a place that feels comfortable and inviting, but also clean and self-sufficient. I’ve compiled a list of items that may not have seemed obvious at first, but I think will help you make the most of your new space.

*updated as of Aug. 14, 2021

  1. An ID holder. This can be your wallet, something attached to a lanyard or key fob, or a sticker on the back of your phone. You’ll want something that will keep your Bates ID on your person and close at hand, as you’ll be using it quite often. I personally use a phone sticker from the college store for both my ID and my laundry card.
  2. A boot tray. It snows in Lewiston from approximately Halloween to Easter, with some give and take on either side. While your coats, gloves, hats and scarves are important, I think the boot tray actually reigns supreme. Having a dedicated spot in your room for wet or sandy shoes helps prevent tracking water, dirt and sand across the rest of your room, which is especially important in carpeted dorms. If you don’t want to buy one, you can reach out to your building’s custodian and see if they have any up for grabs!
  3. Reusable shopping bags. The statewide ban on single-use plastic bags went into effect on July 1. Stores, including Walmart, Hannaford, Shaw’s, CVS, and Walgreens, still offer thicker plastic bags at check out, but each one will cost you at least 5 cents. To avoid the fee, bring two or three reusable bags and keep them by the door (or in your car if you have one).
  4. Games. This can be anything from a deck of cards to board games to a Frisbee you can throw outside. It’s a great way to bond with your roommate(s) and hallmates!
  5. Paper towels. It’ll save you precious seconds of spill damage if you don’t have to run to the bathroom to grab some.
  6. Safety pins. They’re the type of thing you never expect to need until you do, so I suggest bringing a few, just in case. (This is the item I’m most frequently asked for!)
  7. Tools. Like the ID holder, this can come in a variety of different forms. If you have a pocket knife that includes things like screwdrivers or scissors on it, then bring that. If you wear glasses, a normal screwdriver will likely be too big if your frames’ arms get loose. The small size is good for other things, too, like Apple products.
  8. First Aid kit. Band-Aids, allergy medicine, cold and flu medicine, cough drops, hand sanitizer, washable or disposable face coverings, tissues, ointment, thermometer, rubber gloves – whatever you need. Even though you will not be required to wear a face covering after your first negative test, many businesses across the country are reinstating mask mandates and you don’t want to be caught unprepared off-campus.
  9. Cooking utensils (bowls, cookie sheets, pots, measuring cups, etc.) Most residences have some sort of kitchen or kitchenette, but they will not always have communal supplies. If cooking or baking is something you enjoy, have a plan to bring or purchase items and have a spot to store them.
  10. Some sort of personal light. Whether it’s a string of them or a desk lamp, a small light is important if you and your roommate are on different sleep schedules. You may think a string or two of fairy lights will suffice, but test their brightness at home first. While you don’t want a light so bright that your roommate can’t sleep, it still needs to actually help you see!
  11. Batteries. Check what type your major electronics need in advance, and that includes things like your car key fob, if you’re bringing your car. If you have a rechargeable battery, they’re a great thing to have on hand – just make sure you have all the right cords.
  12. Something to sit outside with. The weather will be nicest in the fall semester and you’re going to want to hang out outside with friends. Hammocks are a common sight along Alumni Walk and the Historic Quad, but a beach towel or blanket works, too.
  13. Personal items from home. This doesn’t have to be extensive, but a few knick knacks or pictures from home can help make your space feel more comforting. If you’re putting anything on the walls, Command hooks and strips are the way to go. Extra blankets and pillows make your bed much more comfy, too.

This list is not exhaustive, nor is it all mandatory. At the end of the day, bring what you deem as most important and part with what you don’t expect to need; everyone is different!