Follow This Dorm Unpacking Guide And You Will Have The Best First Day In The Dorm!

First Day in The Dorm Unpacking Guide

So, the big day is finally here! You have done everything right – graduated, found the perfect college and packed like a pro for moving in the dorm. But before you start running through the halls of the dorm, you need to set up your room. In order to do it the right way, you’ll need some help as unpacking can be harder than packing. I know it might sound silly. And maybe now you are thinking “all I need to do is to open the boxes and take everything out”. Wrong. You have just made your life much more difficult by not following holly dorm unpacking rules.

But do not worry, you are not the first one who thinks that way. As a matter of fact, most of the college newbies unpacked improperly at their first day in the dorm. To tell the truth, I was one of them and it just made my dorm life more complicated.

To get back to the point, I am here to help you. I am presenting you the ultimate dorm unpacking guide – all you need to know on your first dorm day.

Follow this dorm unpacking guide and you will have the best first day in the dorm!

The first day at the dorm can be a challenge. But it can be fun as well.


Either you will be living alone, or with a roommate, your room is your new palace. Here you will be sleeping, studying, eating and last but not least – having the best time ever. Therefore, you need to figure out how you will arrange your new mansion.

Analyze the room

In order to unpack like a pro, you need to see what your options are first. The only thing that is definitely there is the bed. Other than that, you need to check are there any shelves, closet, nightstand, or other furniture parts. Once you do that, try to visualize how you will organize your belongings in order to make your life easier.

Stay organized

In order to hasten the unpacking process, it is very important to follow the packing checklist. This way you can check off things you took out of the boxes and stay on track with the dorm unpacking. Ideally, you can make a new list that will help you find your belongings later on. You can consider this as your inventory list that you will update during your stay in the dorm.

Use packing list and inventory list during dorm unpacking. This way you will be sure everything is out.

Making an inventory list will help you keep a track of your belongings.

Tidy up the room

It is a common mistake to think that cleaning the room comes last. It comes as the first and last thing to do. By following this tip, you’ll have your things placed on the clean spots and it will postpone next cleaning schedule.


Now that you finished preparations, box opening can finally begin. Hopefully, your boxes are labeled so you know exactly what is in each box.

One category at the time

First, make categories in your inventory list. This will help you during the unpacking process, but it will also ease your future updating of the inventory list. Categories should actually be different parts of the dorm room. Here are my categories, but you can change them to fit your needs:

  • The bed
  • Nightstand
  • Shelves – if you have more than two, you can label them as Shelf 1, Shelf 2, Shelf 3, etc.
  • The Closet
  • The bathroom
  • Drawers

It is now important to follow the category list and start unpacking by the exact order as it is written down in the inventory list. Do not proceed to the next category before finishing previous, as that can mess up the whole dorm unpacking process. So do not start opening the boxes with your clothes before you completely finish with the boxes in which you have packed your books that will go on the shelves.

Stay focused and stay organized. This way you will have no troubles during dorm unpacking.

Make a plan. Visualize how you want to arrange your dorm room.

What to do with empty boxes?

A couple of hours have passed and everything is right where it should be. Good. But now you have a room full of empty boxes and no idea what to do with them. Nevertheless, I have the solution to this small problem of yours.  The first thing you need to do is to fold up the boxes as soon as you empty them. Do not proceed to the next box until you fold the previous one and put it off to the previously designated space.

After you finish with unpacking, do not just throw away those boxes. Instead, act responsibly and find the closest paper recycling bin. This way, not that you will solve your problem, but you will also help the environment. If by any chance there is no such recycle bin in the dorm neighborhood, you can take boxes to the closest post office building and participate in the USPS recycling program.


When it comes to the living with the roommate, opinions are divided. To be honest, the best part of my dorm life experience was having a roommate. Not only that he help me through some rough times, he also became my best friend. But not everyone was so lucky. In either case, dealing with a college roommate doesn’t need to be hard.

Set up ground rules

The first thing you should do if you are going to have a roommate is to set up ground rules. Make a plan for the morning bathroom use. Split the closet. Place separate laundry bags. Just be polite and open to suggestions.

Ask for help

On your first day in the dorm ask your roommate to help you with the unpacking. Not only will you finish faster, but it is also a great way to get to know each other. Tell him or her about the inventory list, I bet you he will love it!

Now when you have successfully finished the first day in dorm unpacking, you can sit back and relax – you deserved it. And keep that inventory list updated. It is time to start your college adventure and I am sure you will love it, as there is no such experience as dorm life.