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Bwog’s Approved Packing List: Pandemic Edition

Bureau Chief and resident organizational expert Olivia Mitchell shares our Bwog-approved packing list for the upcoming unprecedented school year, pandemic style.

The Move-In Motto: When In Doubt, Keep It Out

What’s Already Provided

  • Extra-long twin bed and mattress
  • Wooden desk and chair
  • Clothing storage/wooden dresser

What’s Prohibited

  • Candles/incense
  • Adhesive putty, 3M strips, and double-sided tape
  • Non-college provided furniture (unless it’s small like a bedside table)
  • Halogen lamps and lava lamps
  • Hot plates, open coil heaters, toasters, or toaster ovens
  • Space heaters
  • Warming trays, pressure cookers, deep fryers (why you would bring these things I don’t know)
  • Hoverboards/smartboards/electric skateboards/self-balancing scooters
  • Extension cords
  • Fog machines (again, who would bring this)
  • Non-UL-Listed electrical devices
  • Hazardous & combustible chemicals (leave the propane at home, kids!)
  • Obviously drugs and drug paraphernalia, alcohol, and weapons
  • Mercury thermometers
  • Air conditioners, evaporative coolers, heating/cooling pads

The Basics

  • Mattress topper, sheets, pillows, a throw blanket, and a comforter with a cover
  • Toiletries, shower caddy, shower shoes (flip-flops that you use NOWHERE else), and at least 2 towels and 2 washcloths
    • Toiletries include shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush (pack two, just in case), toothpaste, floss, body wash (bar or liquid), razor (if you use it), and anything else you use to keep yourself clean and lookin’ fresh
  • Laundry detergent, laundry basket/hamper, dryer sheets/dryer balls (if you’re more eco-friendly, use wool dryer balls), hangers, Tide pens, and fabric softener (if you really think you need it)
  • ID, passport, or any important piece of identification that you need
  • A box that locks to keep important documents, precious items, and/or your shitty weed from home
  • Surge protector power strips (all electrical items must be UL-Listed), computer/laptop, USB drive, portable charger, any kind of charger for your electronic devices, and a portable hard drive (if you really need the space)
  • A fan (some dorms don’t have A/C)
  • Mini refrigerator (if you’re in corridor style living)
  • Clothing, but only enough so that you can go 2 ½ weeks without doing laundry/if you have to quarantine (bring fuzzy socks!)
  • An umbrella
  • A pre-packed bag with clothes, toiletries, spare medication, and bedding and towels (just life living in a pandemic)

Health And Medicine

  • Prescriptions and medications in their original bottles/packaging
  • In-depth first-aid kit, which includes:
    • Bandaids of various sizes (both waterproof and regular), compress dressings, a roll of adhesive cloth tape, a few antiseptic wipe packets, a roll of gauze, sterile gauze pads, ACE bandages, a pair of gloves (nonlatex, if you can find them), an instant ice pack, Neosporin, and Hydrocortisone cream
    • Ibuprofen (brand names Motrin and Advil), acetaminophen (brand name Tylenol), naproxen (brand name Aleve); do not use these pain relievers at the same time, and understand how they affect one another.
    • Diphenhydramine (brand name Benadryl), Miralax (hey, you get constipated more than you think), Dayquil AND Nyquil, Mucinex, TUMS, Orajel (if you’re prone to mouth pain), cough drops, thermometer, nail files and clippers, and tweezers
    • Sunscreen and bug repellant
    • Condoms, lubricant, and an in-depth understanding of consent and safer sex procedures (hint: you have to pinch the tip of a condom when you’re putting it on)
  • Masks: at least 3 and some machine-washable ones
  • Gloves: either surgical or regular
  • Hand sanitizer (but soap and water are always better)

Kitchen Appliances

  • A small pot and/or pan for late-night mac & cheese
  • A kettle, if you drink a lot of tea, or a coffee pot (if you like good coffee, get a Moka pot)
  • A nice big mug (mine has a ghost on it!)
  • Non-perishables for emergencies, or if you just want to eat pancakes at 4:39 am
  • Tupperware
  • A Brita filter, if you don’t like NYC tap water (which is literally from the Catskills and is some of the cleanest water in the U.S., but you do you)

Cleaning Supplies

  • Hand vacuum and/or Swiffer with inserts
  • Disinfectant and antibacterial wipes
  • Soap (I literally cannot emphasize this enough)
  • All-purpose cleaner spray and paper towels/rags
  • Febreze
  • Disinfectant spray
  • Little plastic bags to put in your little trash cans (take-out bags or grocery bags work)
  • Brush and dustpan
  • Dish soap

If you’re living in suite style living, you might want these as well

  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Plunger/scrubber
  • Dish soap, again, but with a pro tip (get a refillable glass container and use bagged soap to minimize waste)
  • Hand soap
  • Sponge/scrubber brush
  • Dishtowels
  • Some plates and silverware


  • Prints, postcards, pictures, anything you can put on the wall
  • Command hooks, painter’s tape, and thumbtacks
  • Desk organizers, glass jars, and whatever you use to organize your desk
  • Throw pillows
  • Plants! Plants! Plants!
  • Desk lamp (the lights in dorms can be pretty dim)
  • LED lights
  • A cushion for your uncomfy desk chair
  • A rug (but only AFTER measuring the floor)
  • Cute little odds and ends to remind you of home

duct tape via Bwog Archives

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1 Comment

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous It’s thermometers *with* mercury that are prohibited (not without).

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