Pack Light for Move-In Day Aside From New Necessities

What to bring to campus on move-in day

If you’re unsure about a certain item, follow the “when in doubt, leave it out” school of thought when packing for move-in day at Kalamazoo College.

If you consult Kalamazoo College students and alumni about living in K’s residence halls, you’ll hear a common theme: Less is more. Bringing fewer non-necessities to campus on move-in day helps students avoid clutter, clean more easily and provide themselves with more personal space when the term starts.

That theme is especially important for first-year students joining the K community on Tuesday, Sept. 8. It’s good to consult Residential Living’s list of what to bring to campus for common essentials before arriving for orientation, but packing light is advisable.

A few decorating supplies are reasonable, some students have said. Still, make sure you adhere to the list of prohibited items. And remember, you can buy many of your necessities – such as school supplies, cleaning supplies, toiletries and supplemental lighting – in Kalamazoo stores and thrift shops after you take a visual assessment of your space if it lightens your load when you’re traveling.

In contrast, you will definitely want to pack some precautionary items this year as a result of COVID-19. Make sure to bring:

  • Several face masks. Cloth or disposable masks without ventilation valves that fit snugly yet comfortably over your mouth and nose work best, and are required in shared interior campus spaces.
  • A thermometer. Students will be expected to self-screen on a daily basis to ensure they’re aware of any symptoms that could be signs of COVID-19, making this a necessity.
  • An air purifier. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, air cleaners or purifiers reduce indoor air pollutants including viruses without sacrificing indoor comfort.
  • Alternative bedding and towels. In addition to what you bring for daily use, spare sets will be convenient should students need to be quarantined.
  • A travel or duffel bag. Students who are recommended for quarantine will need one for their personal items.

Outside the prohibited items, what you bring to campus is ultimately a personal decision. But if you’re unsure about a certain item, follow the “when in doubt, leave it out” school of thought. You can always have something shipped to you, order it online, buy it locally or bring it to campus after winter break.

We’re excited to welcome the incoming class to the Kalamazoo College family. Thank you for choosing K!

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Andy Brown

About Andy Brown

As the Director of News and Social Media, Andy shares the stories that distinguish Kalamazoo College through social media, the Web and the news media. Contact him at