5 Things to Buy After You Move In

You have a lot of stuff to bring down on move-in day. Save yourself the space and the hassle by waiting to buy these 5 things after you move in.Last week I put up a list of all of the things that I (or my roommate) brought and used in our dorm in my Ultimate College Packing List. Seriously, everything on that list was actually useful. But, I didn’t bring it all down on move-in day. In fact, I think it’s a mistake to not wait until after you move in to buy some of your stuff. This post is all about the 5 things I didn’t bring in until after I moved in and give a bit of an explanation as to why it’s better to wait. So let’s get started.

1// Trash Can

My roommate brought a trash can down day one and quickly found out that our room already had two trash cans – one under each desk. She still kept hers throughout the year and it was nice to just have one communal trash bag to take down but we would have been fine without it. In fact, it probably would have freed up some of the limited space under the desk or under the bed (where we kept the communal trash can).

A trash can is a small enough purchase that you can definitely wait to buy after you move in. In fact, it’ll save some much-needed space in your car for other things. And you probably won’t know whether you’ll need a trash can until you move in. So just wait until you see where you’ll be staying.

2// A Rug

It’s usually pretty easy to figure out whether or not your room is going to be carpeted with a simple Google search. And honestly, even if you have carpet, you’ll probably still want to have a rug because the carpet is likely to have the cheap stuff.

If you’re likely to get a rug, why am I telling you to wait? The answer is very simple: the layout of your furniture is going to determine the size of the rug. There really isn’t a point to putting a rug under your furniture, especially because it’s likely to be a relatively difficult task to lift the furniture. Just wait until you’ve figured out the layout and then get a rug to fit the space that’s going to see a lot of foot traffic.

3// TV

Honestly, I don’t feel like this is a worthwhile purchase for most people but I ended up with one as did many of the people in my dorm. But it’s really important to see the layout of the space before you buy and bring a TV with you. Dorms are tiny, don’t take up valuable space with a TV. And, more importantly, the TV’s that usually fit into a dorm room are only slightly larger than your laptop screen. You’ll probably end up watching movies and shows on there any way.

Wait until you move in and see the room to decide what size TV you can fit. And unless you’re an avid TV watcher and have a way to set up a large-ish screen in your room, I would say it’s probably best to skip this purchase all together.

4// Hanging Closet Organizer

Like I’ve said, dorms are tiny. Dorm closets are even smaller. If you have a lot of hanging clothes to store, then a hanging closet organizer is just going to be in the way. And you never know if your desk is going to come with enough drawers to use part of it like for clothes storage.

Wait until after you’ve put all your hanging clothes up to see if you even have room for your hanging closet organizer. If you do, this one from Walmart doesn’t take up too much space and this one comes with extra side pockets.

5// Printer

So apparently, there are universities with free printing….

Not going to lie, I’m a little salty about this. But it’s fine. I don’t mind that I needed to buy a printer to save money or anything.

Regardless, you shouldn’t buy a printer unless it’s absolutely necessary. I was printing several pages at least 3 times a week and printing wasn’t exactly cheap at my college. But if you’re taking classes where you print stuff about once a month, then by all means, don’t buy a printer. Save yourself the money and the space in your cramped dorm.


Waiting until you move in buy these 5 things is going to save you a few dollars in your first year. Fortunately, there all things you can buy quickly if you find that you need/want them. And, if you don’t need them, that extra money can go to buying your textbooks because that’s a special kind of expensive.

What things did you wait to buy until after you moved in? Does your school offer free student printing?