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What to bring to UC Berkeley (dorm living)? What not?

90smix90smix 464 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
Cal offers a "checklist" of what you must bring: https://housing.berkeley.edu/move-in-checklist

But... that seems like a lot. Can any UCB students who have lived in the dorms help me out, what on this "must bring" checklist is NOT necessary?
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Replies to: What to bring to UC Berkeley (dorm living)? What not?

  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 3985 replies86 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    There’s quite a few things on that list that you won’t need, depending on which dorm you are staying at:

    Television - no one watches TV anymore. Get a subscription to Sling or equivalent if you must and watch on your laptop.
    Printer - not needed, plenty of wireless printers around, plus everyone uses electronic means to turn in work.
    Ethernet cable - everything is wireless
    Fridge/microwave - some dorms like Blackwell already provide one. Otherwise you have to rent it, don’t think you can bring your own.
    Bicycle - debatable whether this is needed.
    Lock for shower - my kid’s dorm Blackwell didn’t have lockers, not sure about the other dorms
    Mattress pad - debatable whether this is needed. At Blackwell, the beds are pretty high to climb up as it is, so adding 3” won’t help.

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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 3985 replies86 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If you happen to be at Blackwell (probably most other dorms too) I highly recommend bring a bookshelf or a stackable organizer that you can put in the closet. The closet is where you will put most of your stuff like books and snacks, etc. (I recommend the 4’ high Flipshelf that you can find at Staples). Chances are you’ll have more than enough space in the closet so don’t waste the space.

    Important things to bring - laptop, shower caddy, slippers. Blackwell does not have a desk next to the bed, so my kid had one of those wall outlet organizers to put his phone on at night.
    https://www.amazon.com/socket-outlet-additional-hardware-required/dp/B07Q3KSZVX/
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  • 90smix90smix 464 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    @ProfessorPlum168 THANK YOU SO MUCH! I am actually in Martinez Commons but your posts have helped a lot, I think it's similar for most dorms.
    I was considering a printer but you've convinced me otherwise, plus it'll just take up too much space!
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  • joginthefogjoginthefog 13 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Much thanks for the helpful info...have added the outlet shelf and a flipshelf to amazon list for Unit 1 kid this fall. (in the olden days we used milk crates...)
    Does anyone really have a landline telephone in the dorms? And to confirm - no need to bring garbage cans? Thank you!
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 3985 replies86 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @joginthefog no need to bring garbage cans, 2 are provided in the room. Also, for the closet space/Flipshelf, that only pertains to Blackwell, not sure about the closet space situation in other dorms - it's possible there may be built-in shelves or other solutions already in other dorm closets.

    In Blackwell, there actually appears to be a phone and ethernet port on the wall in my kid's room, but they don't seem to be activated. This hearkens me back to the old days when I had to somehow arrange a time to call my friend living in a dorm and they would have to run to the RA's room since the RA was the only one with a landline.
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  • joginthefogjoginthefog 13 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    @ProfessorPlum168 - thanks again! I may be bothering you on other threads (kid is undeclared Engineering) and it is my own 25 year reunion year for Berkeley (transfer student to business and lived off campus) so I am useless to her. But Landlines - lol! Our housemates shared one - hilarious trying to get phone time with 6 other females and their boyfriends etc. Daughter stares at me blankly when I mention signing up for classes via "Telebears".
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  • UndercrackersUndercrackers 865 replies2 threadsRegistered User Member
    100% agree with @ProfessorPlum168 's tips. I'd include/comment (looking at the list from the link you provided):
    - collapsible laundry basket (BB&B): great for hauling folded laundry and are only a couple of inches high when collapsed down.
    - small fan: for the few Berkeley nights that are VERY warm as school starts in August (unless Martinez has A/C - D was in the apartments there 2nd year and I couldn't tell you...).
    - lock for lockers in bathroom: don't bother - even if your bathroom has them, most kids just lug their stuff to/from their room in a tote.
    - long charger/extension cords: you never know how far away the closest outlet is to where you will be in the room.
    - plates/cup/silverware: one of each is plenty. You have no room for multiples, and it will prevent dirty dishes lying around for very long (unless you plan on eating chili out of a frisbee). Have fun washing up in the bathroom sink!
    - water filter/pitcher: pretty sure the dorm lobbies have filtered water dispensers to refill water bottles (if Unit 1 Freeborn had one, the rest must as well, because Freeborn is the OG Cold-War era dorm).
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  • Walter924Walter924 191 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    My parents saw the list and gave me a landline telephone and ethernet cord. Weirdest waste of space. Just don't

    Also brought a scooter. Used it twice. Too hilly, and it took up a lot of space in the car on the way to Berkeley and back.
    My roommates brought the water filter thing and gave up on using it within 2 months.
    Desk lamps: good idea if you stay up late, otherwise depends on room lighting.

    Definitely bring a fan for when it's 85 degrees and stuffy.
    They didn't include other clothes washing things like dryer sheets and fabric softener.

    Side note unrelated to your instance: Clark Kerr is never going to fix their dishwasher so it's going to have compostable everything for years. For all the environmentalists, bringing your own reusable plate is a grey area. Also, definitely bring a cup because instead of the 20 oz cups every other dining hall has, we have 7-8 oz cups. Dehydration for everyone.
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  • joginthefogjoginthefog 13 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Super helpful! I was wondering about desk lamps, fans etc. Thank you.
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 3985 replies86 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    FWIW, at Blackwell, all rooms have 2 ceiling fans which is a really nice thing to have.
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 3985 replies86 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    another recommendation for moving - you may want to bring a foldable platform cart for the move-in/move out. It's very possible you might not get a good parking spot and you might have to walk a couple of blocks if you're unlucky. The dorms have a few light duty carts that look like large laundry carts, but during peak times you might have to wait an hour or two to get one. I've never seen one at Home Depot or Lowe's or the like, but there are plenty on Amazon and on the Home Depot website. They all run between $40-70. I got one that could hold up to 650 lbs but I think 300 should suffice also. These carts are handy for lugging water and sod and rice bags when not used for move-in/out.
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  • 90smix90smix 464 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    Love the advice everyone, appreciate it!

    @ProfessorPlum168 Do you have any recommendations on Amazon? Are there are restrictions at Cal for what kind of carts we can bring?
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  • 90smix90smix 464 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    Also does Martinez Commons have elevators?
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  • 90smix90smix 464 replies7 threadsRegistered User Member
    Oh wait NVM found it, it has elevators! https://housing.berkeley.edu/compare
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  • BunnyBlueBunnyBlue 841 replies8 threadsRegistered User Member
    @90smix My sons at UCs liked having an inexpensive foam rubber mattress topper (3/4 inch thick) with a fitted washable mattress cover (also called a "mattress pad") over it. You can pack these in a "space bag" to take up less space. I had an old king size foam rubber topper that I cut in half to make a double layer for a twin extra long bed.
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 3985 replies86 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @90smix I got a cart via Home Depot last year, I think it was Sandusky.
    This site seems to have a good list: http://www.bestsorted.com/5-best-platform-hand-trucks/
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  • joginthefogjoginthefog 13 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    another recommendation for moving - you may want to bring a foldable platform cart for the move-in/move out. It's very possible you might not get a good parking spot and you might have to walk a couple of blocks if you're unlucky. The dorms have a few light duty carts that look like large laundry carts, but during peak times you might have to wait an hour or two to get one. I've never seen one at Home Depot or Lowe's or the like, but there are plenty on Amazon and on the Home Depot website. They all run between $40-70. I got one that could hold up to 650 lbs but I think 300 should suffice also. These carts are handy for lugging water and sod and rice bags when not used for move-in/out.

    We moved in the freshman today and we were so impressed at how organized and smoothly everything was run! Thanks, @ProfessorPlum168 for cart tip, we were able to borrow foldable carts from work and bypassed many families waiting on the curb with their items. Daughter also luckily had early check in time and a room that was on the first floor so we could run items up and down the stairs quickly too as the elevator line also took ages. Positive move in and first impressions!
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 3985 replies86 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @joginthefog I’m so happy things went smoothly for you with the move. A lot of time the move is chaotic because of a lack of preparation but it sounded like you were well prepared. I hope my kid’s move on Sunday will be just as smooth. His roommate should have moved in today, so if i were sneaky I could have gotten rid of my kid this week as he’s done with his summer class and work, and now sitting around at home acting like a prima Donna. To compound my headaches, my cousin (first, second third, 3 generations) are coming from Toronto for the first time in umpteen years in a couple of days and they all want to tour the area. And this after my wife’s sister in law was here for the past couple of weeks. My empty nest sure was a revolving door all summer, bah...
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  • joginthefogjoginthefog 13 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Goodness - your August sounds insane! Hope all the visitors enjoy happy travels, leave quickly and quietly, and you enjoy some time with your son before he scoots back to his studies this weekend. Here's to a good fall!
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 3985 replies86 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Haha they all wanted to “help” with my kid moving back into the dorm. Imagine 8 people trying to fit into a Blackwell room.
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