It’s getting real, folks. Your student is off to university, and you’re suddenly left wondering how you went from filling the cart with diapers to dorm room decor in less time than it takes to say, “let’s go Eagles!”

I know how you feel! Two summers ago, I (Rebecca) was moving my son into his dorm room at Biola and found myself in a flurry of questions, both about major things like, “am I ready to be an empty nester” and the nitty gritties like “how many bins fit under a dorm bed?” or “will he actually use the lint roller we packed?”

Dorm room prep can be a doozy, so we’ve compiled answers to 50 college move-in questions (inspired by Grown and Flown’s list) to make sure you can waltz your way through Walmart and spend time doing what really matters — enjoying these precious pre-college moments with your student.

Student in Stewart Hall is all moved in

Dorm Room Details and Storage

1. Room dimensions and sample room photos are available on Biola’s website for each specific dorm room to help you plan how to use the space.

2. The hanging space available inside the wardrobes we provide is approximately 30 – 34 inches wide and 20 – 22 inches deep. This allows space for approximately 25 clothes hangers in each wardrobe. Wardrobes vary somewhat in size across campus. 

3. Hanging racks like the shoe rack picture below offer creative ways to use space in wardrobes.

4. Bed height can be standard, low, captain, lofted or bunked (your student gets to choose!). Bed risers are NOT allowed in Biola dorms. Captain height beds allow for plenty of storage space; the dresser we provide fits perfectly under a captain height bed.

View bed height options and furniture dimensions

5. Desks and desk chairs are provided in each dorm room.

6. Dressers come in each dorm room.

7. Bookcases come in each dorm room.

8. Downloadable floor plans are available for rooms in each building with cut-outable (is that a word?) furniture. Find these on each dorm’s page (first-year dorms linked below).

9. Tiered rolling carts are an efficient way to store non-perishable snacks and supplies like paper towels, silverware, plates and bowls.

10. Under-bed storage drawers or bins are a fantastic way to free up space in the rest of the room. Standard twin beds are 80 inches long and 42 inches wide. From floor to bottom of rail, beds have the following available space:

  • Lowest height: 9 inches

  • Standard height: 2 feet

  • Captain height: 31 inches

  • Loft height: 5 feet 9 inches

11. Suitcases or duffle bags can be slid under the bed and used for storage. Our recommended method for moving and packing is to use blue zippered IKEA bags! These bags are not rigid, so they’re easy to pack, and they fold down to take up very little space when not in use. They also have handles and backpack straps for easy carrying.

12. Heating is provided in each room to keep the rooms warm on cold days.

13. Air conditioning is provided in each room to keep the rooms cold on hot days. Your student can also bring their own portable fan, if they’d like.

Room Supplies and Decor

We’ve curated a FREE Official Biola Packing List, available for download!

14. Twin sheets fit on the mattress we provide, but if your student is taller than 5’9” they may want to request a Twin XL bed.

15. Mattress toppers come in a wide range at many price points and styles and can make for a more comfortable night’s sleep (many Biolans say these are a must-have!).

16. Overhead lighting is provided in each room. A desk lamp would be useful. A light by the bed may be useful as well. If your student places their desk beside their bed, their desk lamp could function as their bedside light.

17. Mini-fridges are allowed, maximum of two per room, each limited to 95 watts or .8 amps (usually about 1.8 cubic feet), or one larger refrigerator per room limited to 190 watts or 1.6 amps. Your student will want to coordinate with their roommate(s) to discuss if they will bring a mini-fridge.

18. Televisions are allowed, maximum of 150 watts (usually 32” or smaller). Your student will want to coordinate with their roommate to see if they desire a TV and, if so, who will bring one.

19. An alarm clock may be useful for your student, or a cell phone alarm may suffice.

20. Power/strips or surge protectors are helpful to plug in multiple items. Biola prohibits regular extension cords. It is much safer to have a surge protector with a long power cord as plugs are often scarce and may be inconveniently positioned. (Make sure you check the outlets on a surge protector to see if they match your students needs – the one by Belkin has 2 AC Outlets, 2 USB-A Ports, and 1 USB-C Port plus has 4000 joules of protection.)

21. Decor from home is a great way to make your student’s dorm feel more like, well, home. The way your student and their roommate(s) decide to set up their room will drastically affect how much wall decoration space they have.Most current Biolans confess they brought too much, so perhaps your student may want to begin with just a few things. We suggest your student estimates that their personal wall space to decorate will be about 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide.

22. Command Strips are allowed in dorms with cinder block walls (Alpha, Hart, Sigma, Stewart). All other residence halls require students to hang decorations with small tacks or finishing nails.

23. Blinds are provided on all dorm room windows.

24. Almost all dorm floors are carpeted (except the quad rooms in Stewart Hall). Area rugs are allowed, if desired, and can help make a room feel cozier. We estimate that a 4 foot by 6 foot area rug is likely the largest you would want to bring for your room.

25. Coffee makers are permitted in rooms.

26. Couches are allowed in dorm rooms. Many students coordinate with their roommate about bringing one to make their space cozier.

27. Sleeping bags and air mattresses are helpful if your student plans on having siblings or out of town guests joining them for a night in their room.

28. Biola Classifieds is a great place to find cheap/free items like couches, fridges, shelves and more. Your student can log in to Classifieds with their NetID and password. Only Biola students, alumni, and community members can advertise on this page.


29. Robes or towel wraps are great for modesty when walking to the bathroom from dorm rooms.

30. Shower caddies are great for students living in dorms with community bathrooms.

31. Carts or countertop organizers are a good option for students who live in suite style dorms with their own bathroom to store bath supplies.

32. Towel bars are provided in each room to dry wet towels.

33. Flip-flops or shower shoes are recommended by most students for wearing in the common showers.

Our Type A friends may be interested in the Biola Housing Handbook for full housing details.

Dorm Common Areas

34. Common areas in each building have couches, chairs and tables provided.

35. A common kitchen facility is provided in each dorm with a microwave, stove, oven, and sink. Your student will need to bring pots, pans, plates, silverware, etc. if they plan to utilize the kitchen.

36. Toasters are NOT provided in common area kitchens. Your student may bring their own toaster, but they may NOT use it in their dorm room (for fire safety reasons). If your student brings their own toaster, they may store it in their dorm room and use it in the common area kitchen.

Laundry and Cleaning

37. Laundry bags are great for transporting clothes to the laundry room. We don’t recommend baskets because they take up so much space in rooms.

38. Average temperatures are typically in the 80s through October here in La Mirada. If your student plans to be back home before November, they can likely only take their summer clothing at Move-In Day and switch it out for warmer clothing during a trip home.

39. Vacuum cleaners are available for students to use in each dorm building.

40. Common bathrooms on community-style floors are cleaned by professional cleaning staff. So are common lounge spaces and community kitchens.

41. Suite-style dorm bathrooms are NOT cleaned by professionals. Students in suites are expected to clean their own bathrooms. Your student will want to talk with their suitemates about purchasing cleaning supplies and coordinating a cleaning schedule.

42. Dorm rooms are NOT cleaned by professionals. Students are expected to keep their own rooms clean and take out their own trash. We recommend students bring minimal cleaning supplies like wet wipes and dust cloths and trash bags (~10 gallon size bags). Hiring outside cleaning services is NOT allowed in the dorms.


43. Walmart, Target, Staples and Home Depot are all located within four miles of campus. The closest IKEA to campus is ~35 minutes away in Costa Mesa.

44. Consider ordering supplies ahead of time and picking them up at local stores when you arrive to save time during move-in.

45. You can also consider having your items delivered to campus. All packages are delivered to the Biola Store and can be picked up by students inside (packages must be picked up within three weeks of delivery). When ordering packages, use the following address:

[ Student First Name, Student Last Name]

[Box Number or Mail ID] (provided to students once enrollment is complete)

13800 Biola Avenue

La Mirada, CA 90639

46. Walgreens is located half a mile from campus, within walking distance. The Biola Store also keeps essentials like toiletries in stock.

47. Laptop computers can often be purchased with a discount for students from major brands like Apple or Dell. Desktop computers are also available for students to use in the Library.

Move-In Day

48. Move-In Day for most students is Friday, August 30, 2024! Your student will find their designated arrival window through an email sent to them at their Biola email address.

49. Elevators are unfortunately NOT available in any of the first year residence halls (Alpha, Hart, Sigma) or in Stewart Hall. Elevators are available in Blackstone, Hope and Horton Halls. Students in need of rooms with wheelchair access / ADA compliance should note this on their Housing Application. 

50. Move-in help will be provided by current students on Move-In Day! Students will be available to help lift heavy boxes and furniture into rooms at each dorm building.