Packing List

When you check into your residence hall room at American University, you check into a safe and secure space with your peers. Along with your floor, building, and campus communities, it is now your home. If you are sharing a room with roommate(s), we encourage you to reach out to coordinate bringing items you might share.

In Your Room

  • Twin bed (full if in Nebraska Hall)
  • Desk and chair
  • Closet or wardrobe
  • Dresser
  • Bookcase or hutch
  • Wired and wireless connectivity
  • Cable television connectivity
  • Access to a kitchen on each floor (except in Nebraska Hall)
  • In-hall support staff

What Not to Bring

  • Steam vaporizers
  • Weapons
  • Fireworks
  • Pets, except small fish or unless approved through Academic Support and Access Center
  • Illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia
  • Bed risers (must rent bed lofts via AU)
  • Microwaves (must be rented from MyFridgeRental)
  • Halogen lamps
  • Open-coil appliances (toasters, hot plates, space heaters, etc.)
  • Grills, including George Foreman
  • All candles and incense
  • Extension cords
  • Space heater
  • Hot plates
  • Electric kettle

* Nebraska Hall residents should bring cooking appliances for their living units.

Items restricted from use in your room

These items may only be used in common area kitchens. Each common area kitchen has a microwave, but many students rent a personal MicroFridge for their room.

  • Coffee maker, including Keurig
  • Hot pot
  • Popcorn popper
  • Rice cooker

* Nebraska Hall residents should bring cooking appliances for their living units.

What To Bring

Get a printer-friendly version of our packing checklist!


  • University documents
  • Photo identification
  • Backpack and school supplies

For your room

  • Twin sheets and pillowcases (full sheets for Nebraska Hall)
  • Pillows and blankets
  • Alarm clock
  • Non-halogen desk lamp
  • Surge protector with long cord
  • Bath towels
  • Shower shoes or flip flops
  • Toiletries (shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc.)
  • Toiletries caddy
  • Headphones
  • Hangers
  • Laundry bag and detergent
  • Small vacuum
  • Trash and recycling bins
  • Dishes and glasses
  • Eating utensils
  • Water pitcher

* Nebraska Hall residents should bring kitchen equipment and cleaning supplies.

* Cassell, Centennial, East Campus, and Nebraska residents should bring bathroom cleaning supplies. 

Out and about

  • Reusable water bottle
  • Reusable travel mug
  • Reusable tote bag


  • Laptop computer
  • Iron and ironing board (use in laundry room)
  • HD compatible television (smaller than 28") and coaxial cable
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Posters and removable adhesive
  • Refrigerator (smaller than 4.5 cubic ft.)

Remember, you will need far less than you imagine. Many necessities can be purchased at either the Campus Store or the P.O.D. (the campus convenience store), both of which are right on campus. Make your move-in motto: "When in doubt, leave it out."


Think stackable. Consider bringing your belongings in multiple smaller boxes rather than one big box or plastic bags. Additionally, stackable, reusable containers can act as storage and help you during move-out. If you bring cardboard boxes to campus, please flatten them and place them by our waste bins located in the hallway or trash room.

By using reusable containers, you support the University's goal of sending zero waste to landfills and incinerators by 2020. In 2012 alone, the University recycled 25,000 pounds of cardboard during student move-in!

Fragile materials? Instead of purchasing styrofoam peanuts that do not break down in landfills, try packing with your clothes or towels. You can also use newspaper, which can be recycled in one of our blue recycling containers in the residence halls when you finish unpacking.