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What to Bring with you to School

Not sure what you will need during your first year here at Iowa? Don’t worry, we have you covered! This list will help you figure out just what you will need for your first year living on campus.

Keep in mind, however, that you will (most likely) be sharing the room with someone else, so think small! Also, you may want to communicate with your future roommate to decide who will bring what shared items (for instance, the refrigerator, TV, and futon).

The Essentials:

  • Appropriate clothing—think in terms of a number of items of lighter clothing, which can be layered as it gets colder and shed as it warms up. Bring hats, gloves, and boots for winter.
  • Academic supplies (backpack, pens, notebooks, etc.)
  • Computer, laptop, or tablet 
  • Bathrobe, shower shoes, and a small bucket for carrying toiletries
  • Bedding: blankets, pillows, and sheets (all beds require extra-long sheets, 36" x 80"). Please visit the UH&D-endorsed linen program.
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Clothes hangers
  • Desk lamp with LED or CFL light bulbs 
  • Fan (for good circulation and white noise) 
  • Laundry basket/bag, detergent, and supplies
  • Towels, washcloths, and toiletry items
  • Power strip
  • Reusable water bottle, cutlery and plate
  • Bike, helmet, and bike lock (UI is a silver level bike friendly university)

Personal Documentation

  • Insurance information (health and renters) 
  • Photo identification
  • Proof of employment eligibility if you plan to work 

For The Room- Shared Between Roommates

  • TV, plus coax cable cord for TV
  • Refrigerator/microwave (five cubic feet and nine amps or smaller- no personal refrigerators allowed in Mayflower or any room with supplied kitchen)
  • Futon for extra seating
    • 80'' wide or smaller will fit under a lofted bed
  • Small Energy Star rated and approved appliances

What NOT to Bring 

  • Alcohol or alcohol containers
  • Candles, incense, toaster ovens, pizzazz, hot plates, or grills
  • Firearms, fireworks, or explosives
  • Halogen lamps (all styles)
  • Pets, except fish
  • Space heaters
  • Illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia
  • Hoverboards
  • Tobacco and electronic cigarettes
    • May be stored by not used on campus
  • Wireless printers (incompatible with UI-DeviceNet)
  • Google Chromecast (incompatible with UI-Devicenet)

Think Green During Move-In

  • Pack with reusable plastic bins or laundry baskets.
  • If you must use cardboard boxes, make sure to save or recycle them after moving in. 
  • Consider purchasing natural non-toxic products, used items, local, fair trade, or organic when possible. 

Rent a MicroChill

Renting a MicroChill combination microwave and refrigerator through College Products is a green solution for your room. The MicroChill will be placed in your room prior to move-in and you will just need to return it at the end of the year. You can order a MicroChill at,

Electrical Appliances in Your Room

All appliances must be in good working order. Do not overload electrical outlets with adapters or extension cords. All extension cords must be UL approved. Rooms are not wired to permit the use of any large electrical appliances including room air conditioners (unless supplied by the university), large refrigerators (over five cubic feet and/or drawing more than 9 amps), space heaters, etc. Halogen lamps are also prohibited. For safety reasons, we recommend using only appliances with an auto shut-off feature.


The university does not provide insurance for student belongings. Students and/or their parents should consult their current homeowner's policy to determine if a student's belongings are covered through a current policy. A renter's insurance policy can be purchased as part of a homeowner's policy or you can purchase insurance through companies specializing in property insurance for college students.

The university does not assume any liability for loss, damage, or theft to the personal property of the resident, except as may be caused by negligent acts of its employees. If you believe that a loss was due to negligent acts, contact your area coordinator.SaveSave