How To: Pack for College

By Christina Jones 06.21.2012 blog

Well done! You completed the college search, submitted college applications and essays, filled out financial aid packages, and now, you?re anxiously waiting to get to your college campus. But if you?re planning to go away from home this fall for school, don?t forget you?ll have to pack.

Packing for college may be a bit overwhelming, especially when you realize not all your belongings will fit into your new dorm-sized space, or your car for that matter. But with this “How-To” on packing for school, your move might be much smoother.

Start Early

You may want to start a month in advance. This may be your first time away from home for months at a time. Don?t save your packing for the last minute. Save yourself the anxiety, and make this process as stress-free as possible.


Just the Basics

Pack your clothing first in a suitcase, and bring clothes hangers too. Because your closet at school is compact, it?s best to pack about three weeks’ worth of outfits. Multi-layer hangers and hanging shoe and sweater racks are great; they are space-saving and will keep your small closet organized.


Some Essentials

Laundry: You?ll need laundry detergent, dryer sheets, bleach, a laundry basket and maybe a drying rack.

Study area: Pack a dry-erase board, a bulletin board, a trash can, desk lamp, stationary, and of course, do not forget your laptop and all the basics that go along with it.

Washroom: No skin touches the floor or shower walls ? be sure to bring bath slippers, a toothbrush holder, and a bathroom tote that will hold your bath soap and other shower necessities.

Bedding: Bring two sets of bedding just in case one gets dirty, but confirm your bed size before you buy sheets for school. Most dorm bed sizes are twin extra-long.


Shared Appliances

Discuss with your roommate (if you have one) shared appliances each of you will bring, such as a television, stereo, vacuum, flashlight, first aid kit, and iron. Also, check with your school to see if they can accommodate you with a mini-fridge or microwave.


Don’t Over-pack

You may consider bringing sports equipment along, but many colleges have great facilities, gymnasiums, and intramural teams you can join in order to have access to really great equipment. You may also want to bring memorabilia, such as photos, posters and other things that remind you of home in case you grow homesick. Bring a few photos that you can post on your bulletin board, which will save you space.


More Tips

  • Take things you?ll need and grab moving boxes in a range of sizes. For fragile items made out of glass, use bubble wrap or newspapers. Pack heavier items in smaller boxes.
  • Pack items that belong to a particular room or section of a room together in a room-labeled box. For instance, if you have school supplies in one box, you should label it school supplies and have only such items in that particular box ? it makes unpacking easier.
  • Running out of room is common. Remember you can always buy things like laundry detergent and dish washing liquid, once you?ve reached your college destination.

For a printable college packing checklist, click here. You can also find more advice on making a dorm room feel more like a home, here.

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