Skip to main content
UNC-Chapel Hill sophomore Taylor Coffey sits in her residence hall.
UNC-Chapel Hill sophomore Taylor Coffey has compiled a list of tips and helpful hacks to make your residence hall feel more like home.

Moving into college can be stressful. No matter how much you prepare for move-in day, you’re probably going to forget something! UNC-Chapel Hill sophomore and Carolina Social Influencer Taylor Coffey has created a list of useful products and helpful hacks she wishes she’d known when she moved into her first-year residence hall. Hopefully her list will make your move-in day less stressful and help you create a new home that you love.

Command Strips and Hooks

Trust me, if you think you have enough Command Strips, you probably don’t. Using nails, masking tape or products that damage paint to mount anything to the wall is prohibited in the residence halls. So if you want to hang up any cute posters, lights, etc., it is important that you have the correct tools to do so. Command Strips and Hooks come in many shapes and sizes, so find which ones are best suited for your decorations.

Surge Protectors

Much like Command Strips, you can never have enough surge protectors. Depending on how you set up your room, the electrical outlets might be in inconvenient places. In order to design your room the way you want and make it efficient at the same time, it is best to come equipped with many power extension strips. Just be sure you’re using 3-prong surge protectors and extension cords — 2-prong household extension cords are not allowed.

Curtain rod and curtain for your bathroom

This hack is specifically for those of you who will live in a suite. If you’re living in a suite, you’re going to be sharing a bathroom with other people, and unlike the hallway-style residence halls, the toilets are not separated from the sinks and showers. It is extremely important to have another curtain rod and curtain to separate the toilet from the rest of your bathroom. This simple hack is key when it comes to privacy. You can thank me later! (Check out Carolina Housing’s “OK To Bring” List in the Move-In Guide linked below for more info.)

Other sources of lightning

This one might seem a little bit odd, but it is something you want to prepare for. Sometimes the lighting within the residence halls can be a little harsh. It is extremely beneficial to bring other sources of lights, such as a table lamp, desk lamp or even a floor lamp. These extra sources can really set the mood for a relaxing study-sesh! You’ll want make sure your desk and floor lamps are single-bulb, and not halogen or multi-bulb lamps.

Another Command Hook in your shower 

This is another hack for those of you who will be living in a suite. A lot of people don’t know about this hack, but my suitemates and I loved it! If you place another sturdy Command Hook in the corner of your shower, you will be able to hang some of your shower necessities. Whether it is a towel or your shower caddy, the Command Hook will allow you to keep your belongings off of the bathroom floor.

Another curtain and curtain rod for your closet

I know what you’re thinking. Yes, another curtain rod and curtain. However, this is a great way to camouflage your clothes from being seen within your room (or even to hide the mess in your closet) if you’re living in HoJo, Craige, Ehaus, Avery, Parker or Teague. This is just another hack that will help you make your room look a little more put together!


Headboard for your bed 

OK, so this one might be just a little bit extra. But if you’re like me and want your room to look extra cute, this is a great idea. My roommate and I even got matching headboards just to really complete the look. Of course, a headboard is not a necessity but definitely adds to the cuteness as long as you don’t add holes in the walls or bed frames!



Batteries are extremely important when it comes to your residence hall. The majority of the products I bought ran off of batteries. This includes my TV remote, my lamp, my LED lights, etc. Trust me on this one! You’re going to need way more batteries than you think!

Knowing what is best for you!

This part is definitely the most important hack. As mentioned before, moving into a residence hall for the first time can be stressful. Hence why you’re trying to make sure you’re as prepared as possible. Yet, it is important to know that some products/hacks don’t fit everyone! Do not feel obligated to buy every single thing that is suggested — whether it is from this list or from any other source. Sometimes it’s best to wait until you move in to see which products or decorations you need. Everyone’s vision and goals for their residence hall are different, so don’t feel like you need to follow every single piece of advice you’re given. Ultimately this space is going to be your new home, so it’s important to create a place that best suits you. Congratulations and here’s to joining the Carolina family!

Editor’s note: for even more helpful information, key dates, a packing list and answers to more frequently asked questions, download the Carolina Housing 2019-2020 Move-In Guide.

Comments are closed.