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In which we share our essentials checklist for what to pack when moving into a college (or university) dorm! Have some of your own to add? Let us know in the comments! (A special thanks to the many folks who have sent in requests for this video. We'll be back to our regular non-university videos next week. Hope this helps!)

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"Books Give Us the Panoramic Spectrum" Poster:

"How to Do Laundry":

can opener, coffee maker, earplugs, ethernet cable, hangers, lamps, power strips (/surge protectors), printer, umbrella.

"How to Adult" is a "life skills" edutainment channel brought to you by Executive Producers Hank Green and John Green. Subscribe for new videos every week!


Created, Written, and Hosted by:
Emma Mills & Mike Martin
Mike is also a Young Adult novelist. His book, THE END GAMES, is available at all online booksellers, including
Indiebound ( ) and Amazon: (

Directed and Edited by:
T. Michael (Mike) Martin

Executive Producers:
Hank & John Green

(Intro plays.)

Emma & Mike: Hey!

Emma: So adulthood doesn't just happen all at once, it's definitely a transitional thing, and for some people the kickoff of that transition is leaving home for college.

Mike: We've been getting a lot of questions about what you should pack for college, so let's have at it.

Emma: Let's talk housewares. You're gonna need sheets, but you should check with your campus housing office about the size of your dorm's mattresses before you purchase, because a lot of dorm beds are twin XL. How XL is XL? Can you get away with a standard twin sheet set on an XL mattress? According to you'd probably be okay with a standard twin flat sheet, which is like the one you lay over yourself, but a twin XL mattress is actually 5 inches longer than a standard twin, so you're gonna need a twin XL fitted sheet.

Mike: Your dorm issued mattress may not be as comfy as you'd like, so a mattress pad can really help. Keep in mind that some mattress pads can fit onto a bed like a fitted sheet, so if you know that your mattress is an XL, look for an XL mattress pad as well.

Emma: Those mattress pads can make sleep-time swell.

Mike: Yeah, cause a bad mattress can just feel hell.

Emma: Are we rhyming on purpose?

Mike: Yeah, we got a rap surplus.

(Emma & Mike laugh.)

Emma: Other things to consider:

Mike: A trash can.

Emma: Paper towels/assorted cleaning supplies. Now we don't endorse any particular product but I know a lot of people in my dorm used Swiffers, or Swiffer Wet Jets, to clean the floor. I also liked to have a broom and a hand broom and those, like, Clorox bleach wipes, to clean the bathroom.

Mike: Cups, bowls, plates, set of silverware.

Emma: Snacks to keep yourself going. I always kept around granola bars, mac and cheese, ramen. We should probably recommend fruits and vegetables as well, but those are probably available in your dorm cafeteria.

Mike: Laundry basket and laundry soap.

Emma: Hey, what if you're not sure how to do laundry?

Mike: Well, then you can watch our How To Do Laundry video!

Emma: Let's talk bathroom! Are you sharing with a suite? Are you sharing with the entire floor? If the former, you may want to invest in a trashcan for your bathroom, for a shower curtain if it didn't come with one already, I always liked having one of those shower, like metal shower racks that you put over the shower head, that everyone can keep their shampoo in.

Mike: If it's a communal bathroom you may want to invest in some shower shoes and a caddy to carry your stuff back and forth. Either way, bring a towel.

Emma: Appliances! This is something you're gonna want to ask your school's housing office beforehand to find out their official policy. Are you allowed to have a microwave, a rice cooker, a hot plate? In general a mini-fridge is usually acceptable, but definitely check before you make a purchase.

Mike: A mini-fridge is one of the things you may want to discuss with your roommate before you move in. Some other things you might want to discuss include an area rug or an iron and ironing board.

Emma: If you're able to share some of these items it may save you both a bit of money in the long run.

Mike: Now how about decorations?

Emma: In my opinion, you can never go wrong with a good old fashioned cork-board.

Mike: Maybe some pictures? To hang those up you can use those wall strip sticky things or maybe some blue painters' tape. Maybe an inspiring poster about books, now available at

Emma: Curtains! If you want curtains but you don't want to damage your walls you can always use a tension rod to hang those up within the frame of the window. The dorm is basically your home while you're at school and I know that this is something I struggled with when I was starting out in college: I felt like home was my home, and the dorm was just the place where I lived.

Mike: But the concept of home in adulthood is portable. Change is almost always hard, even change that's really good. One thing that's very important to remember is that time is going to pass, no matter what you do. So you should use the time to move toward the future that you want. And we think that that is as good a definition of home as any. Trust us, it's gonna be okay.

Emma: And that's all we've got for you today! If you've been down this road before, please leave your expertise for us in the comments section below, I know the future uni-goers would definitely appreciate it.

Mike: In the meantime, we just wrote our catchphrase on the dry erase board right outside this room, but our RAs made us erase it.

Emma: Thanks a lot guys.