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First-time college students share plans to decorate their dorms
Shopping for a dorm room or apartment can be another burden some students have to face.

College move checklist


Pillows and pillow protectors, mattress pad, mattress protector, mattress topper, 2-3 sheet sets, comforter (down or alternative), duvet cover/duvet clips, body pillows/covers, blanket/throw, backrest


Towels (2-3 sets), shower tote/caddy, flip-flops/shower shoes, toothbrush case, soap case, scale, hair towel, shower curtain and rings, bath rugs, soap dish

Personal care and grooming

Hair brush, hair dryer, hair straightener/styler, makeup mirror, razor/hair removal tool, robe/shower wrap, slippers, electric toothbrush, cosmetic organizer

Kitchen tools and dining

Plates and bowls, cups and mugs, utensils, water bottle, travel mug, food storage, can/bottle opener, bag/chip clips, water filtration pitcher and filters, coffee maker, microwave, electric kettle/hot pot

Storage and organization

 Hangers, hooks/hook racks, bed lifts, over-the-door mirror, double closet rod, bedside shelf/caddy, underbed storage, stacking drawers, shoe storage/racks, storage cart/bins, storage trunk, accessory organizers, cap/purse organizer, drawer organizers, duffel bag, Ziploc Spacebag, curtain/panels, tension curtain rod, clip rings

Ready for anything

Batteries, first aid kit, flashlight, sewing kit, tool kit, umbrella, safe

Laundry and cleaning

Laundry basket/pop-up hamper, laundry detergent, laundry stain remover, drying rack, iron/steamer, ironing board, trash can and bags, all-purpose cleaner, cleaning cloth, hand duster, hand/stick vacuum, broom and dustpan, step stool, room fragrance/odor eliminator

Room decor

Area rug/throw rug, decorative pillows, door stop, fan, floor lamp and light bulbs, lounge seating, ottoman, picture frames, string lights, wall art, wall-safe adhesive, window curtains

Desk organization

Desk lamp and light bulbs, clip lamp and light bulbs, bulletin/dry erase board, lap desk, desk organizers

Electronics and audio

Surge protector, extension cord, alarm clock, laptop lock, earbuds/headphones, portable speakers, coaxial cable, HDMI cable, ethernet cable, Fitbit


Leaving the nest can be a difficult process for parents and their baby birds.

And as recent high school graduates head off to college, shopping for a dorm room or apartment can be another burden.

While some students choose to stay in state, others head off into the world. Getting a U-Haul and packing it with their new belongings is a challenge many students face.

Eighteen-year-old West Hall graduate Mackenzie Smith has a different approach.

Since she’s moving intercontinental to sunny California, Smith is purchasing her new possessions once she arrives Aug. 21 at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

“I’m actually buying everything (when I get out there) rather than shipping it all there, since I’m flying (to California),” Smith said.

Some of the items she’s looking forward to purchasing are bedding and chairs.

“(I’m getting) a lot of random things that I didn’t think I’d need, but I definitely need, like a clock, rug, laundry basket ... and some fun stuff, like plants and some room scents,” she said.

And while she’s looking forward to her new habitat and classes, she’s still sad to say goodbye to her Gainesville home.

“I’m a little nervous to leave my family and boyfriend, but who’s excited about leaving the people you love, right?” she said.

Like most freshmen, Smith will live in a dorm with a not-yet-assigned roommate near Union Square.

“I’m not sure who she is yet,” Smith said, adding roommates are selected at random.

While Smith is heading across the country, Abbey Adams headed just north of the Georgia border. She will leave Aug. 18 for Sewanee the University of the South in Tennessee and will live in a dorm during her entire college career.

“The school I am going to, we have to live in dorms all four years,” the Buford High School graduate said. “I kinda like it, because it’ll keep me closer to the students.”

The teen, who will play volleyball for Sewanee, plans to decorate her room once she arrives on campus.

“I still have to find decor to match my roommates,” Adams said.

However, she has purchased some of her new dorm haul, keeping to a budget of less than $1,000.

Most of her dorm items came from department stores such as Kohl’s and Target. Adams also said her mom, Kristi, has been helping her out with her selections and finances.

But the teen is still missing a few things.

“I haven’t thought about clothes yet,” Adams said.

Mia McKensey has thought about it all before moving to Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs.

The West Hall graduate and her mom, Michelle, went shopping to buy all of the items she would need.

“Dorm shopping was so much fun and easy,” McKensey said. “I’ve pretty much got everything except storage bins and a mini fridge.”

The 18-year-old Flowery Branch resident was especially excited about her comforter.

“It’s perfect,” McKensey said, describing her purple, black and yellow bedding from Ross for $20. “It has a really pretty design that I was looking for.”

For more tips and a checklist of items for college dorms, visit or