Student-Suggested Packing List

Provided in Room:

  • Desk and desk chair
  • Wastebasket and recycling bin
  • Bed and mattress
  • Dresser/Closet
  • Mirror
  • Ceiling light
  • Bookshelves
  • Room telephone

Provided in Common Areas:

  • Common area television lounge (with a TV and DVD player)
  • Kitchen (complete with sink, full-sized fridge, refrigerator, microwave and stove/oven unit)

Not Allowed

  • Pets (except fish)
  • Waterbeds
  • Candles/incense
  • Halogen lamps
  • Hot plates
  • Appliances with open heating elements
  • Lofts
  • Weapons/firearms/firecrackers
  • Nails (use Command Strips or sticky tac to put posters/decorations up instead)

What to Bring


  • Pillows
  • Blankets
  • Sheets
  • Mattress pads are nice; they make beds more comfortable.

Make sure you buy bedding that fits onto Twin XL beds (80” long). 


  • Minnesota starts out warm, gets very (very) cold, and then gets warm again. Pack accordingly.
  • A heavy coat and all of the appropriate winter accessories are a necessity, but you won’t really need the most intense of that stuff until winter term.
  • Though Carls generally dress informally, you will want some nice outfits to dress up in.
  • In addition to all of your normal clothing, it’s also good to bring fun things for costumes (Halloween, themed parties, etc.)


Bring bath products that you know you like and that you’re used to using. If you’re flying to school and need more than 3 ounces, you can purchase most common products here. Some brands may not be available locally, however.

  • Shower caddy
  • Shower shoes
  • Face towels (so you don't have to dry your face with paper towels)
  • Bath towels
  • Washcloths
  • A first aid kit and thermometer


  • A laundry basket or bag
  • Laundry detergent
  • A drying rack is also really nice to have – you save money on drying and you can hang up your mittens and scarf after a snowball fight or sledding adventure.

Carleton’s washers are front-loading, high efficiency machines. You can buy detergent that is specially formulated for this type of washer. You can also buy laundry detergent that is formulated for cold water washing (better for your clothes and better for the environment!) Get the ultra-concentrated detergent as well so you need less detergent per load.


All the dorms have internet access, so you can have a computer in your room. Most students do bring their own. However, there are computer labs (both Mac and PC) all over campus, so you can get by without one if necessary.

Carleton offers free unlimited black-and-white printing to all students. Students need their OneCard to print in the public labs. Printers are located at the Libe, CMS, LDC 243, Mudd, Scoville, Sayles, Willis, and Cassat Hall.

Surge protectors are good for keeping your electronics organized – make sure you get one with an on/off switch so you can turn off unused electronics.

Other Appliances

You can have your own mini-fridge and microwave in your room, but the extra space you’ll save by not having your own is totally worth the two-second walk to the lounge.

Also, every lounge has a TV with cable and DVD player. There’s no cable in your room, so the only reason you’d want a TV in your room is to watch movies or play video games. Computers work just as well for watching DVDs.

Important documents

If you’re working on-campus, you’ll want two forms of ID (passport, original Social Security card, certified birth certificate, driver’s license). You’ll also want a blank check for payroll purposes (your pay will be automatically deposited into your bank account).

Things to check with your roommate about (sharing is great!)

There are a lot of things that seem like they’d be nice to bring to college, and then you show up and find that your roommate(s) brought the same items along. Three whiteboards for your door? Maybe not so great. Here’s a suggested list of things you should chat with your roommate(s) about before deciding to bring them:

  • Microwave/fridge (although not necessary due to the floor kitchen)
  • TV (although not necessary due to TV in lounge)
  • Floor lamps
  • Rug (although most halls are carpeted)
  • Memo board/dry-erase board for door (not necessary in Musser, Myers or Cassat (except 4th Myers)
  • Kitchen supplies (baking sheet, mixing bowl, etc.)
  • Place settings (plates, mugs, cups, silverware, etc.)
  • Hair dryer
  • Printer (although not necessary)

Buying Local

Although it’s nice to get all of your college shopping out of the way at home, you should remember that the businesses of Northfield provide many items that you may want for your dorm room. When you buy from Northfield vendors, you contribute to the local economy, support the relationship between the College and the city and reduce the need to pack, ship and transport products.

Energy Use and Energy Star

Due to the large amount of energy used in the dorms, students are encouraged to be thoughtful in purchasing appliances for their rooms. Sharing large electronic items that use a lot of energy with roommates is a great way to cut down on general energy use. The EPA's Energy Star rating system is also a good guide for purchasing efficient appliances. Most major appliance manufacturers make products rated by Energy Star. Look for the Energy Star label or ask the salesperson about efficiency standards when shopping for dorm-related items such as irons, refrigerators, light bulbs, lamps, and other appliances. Carleton facilities and Sustainability Assistants provide compact fluorescent light bulbs at no charge to students as well.

If in doubt...

If there are things that you use daily, bring them with you! This list is just a suggestion and a starting point for your packing. Feel free to also contact your RA about what you should/shouldn’t bring.