Remember These: College Packing

Packing for College

Packing for college – especially as a freshman – can be a bit daunting.  There are many helpful checklists on the internet, but here are a few handy items that aren’t always mentioned.

  1. Sleeping Bag – college can be a season of road tripping and visiting. Having a sleeping bag makes it easy to host a guest on the floor of your dorm room. An extra pillow is handy too.
  1. A Small Duffel Bag – backpacks are great for books, and suitcases are great for moving in, but most of the time, a small duffel will be just what you need for a weekend trip.
  1. Long Phone Charging Cord –an outlet isn’t always nearby, so keep a 6ft cord (or longer) in your backpack for when you need to charge in the library or the nearest coffee shop.
  1. Laptop Lock – yep, laptops are commonly stolen. Don’t leave your computer unattended in the library or dining hall, and keep it locked up when your computer is in your room and you are not.
  1. Command Hooks and Strips – most dorms don’t allow you to nail or tape to the wall, and when the year is up, these easily peel off with no damage to the paint.
  1. Storage Containers – bring some “structure” to keep your belongings organized:

* bins that fit under your bed or on top of an armoire

* an organizer to hold your desk accessories (e.g. a drawer insert or a lamp that has sections for supplies)

* an “over the door” organizer (but beware the clearance at the top of the door, sometimes they don’t fit)

* hangers (bring at least a couple that are plastic for hanging wet items)

* a shoe rack (not necessary, but nice to have)

* a towel rack (you will have wet towels)

* a “kitchen” bin or basket for holding snacks, K-cups, paper products, etc.

* a double closet rod like this if you have limited width and/or a hanging closet organizer like this.

* a make-up storage container (also nice to have a small mirror which you can put on your desk or dresser for applying make-up)

  1. Small Décor – this can be a rug, wall art (I love the reusable photo wallpaper from WeMontage), or a string of white lights for some ambiance. Always check with your school regarding specific restrictions.
  1. Headphones, Earplugs, and/or a White Noise Machine – dorms can be loud, and not everyone is on the same schedule.
  1. Laundry Detergent Pods – large containers of powder or liquid can be a pain to carry around. Pods like these are easy to use.
  1. Water Bottle and Mug – something you can easily identify as “yours.” Also, if you don’t have a sink in your room, it can be handy to bring a pitcher so you have water when you wake up in the middle of the night and don’t feel like walking down the hall.
  1. A “Lockbox” – for keeping your most important possessions: cash, passport, copy of your insurance card, driver’s license, etc.
  1. Trash Bags – many forget to bring these and they always come in handy. Small ones work well as a liner for your trash can, and larger ones are convenient for packing quilts, towels and clothing when you move in.
  1. “Emergency” Kits –first aid, tools, sewing supplies, medicines. It’s surprising how often you need them.
  1. Plenty of Underwear. You can put off doing laundry, but you need fresh underwear, so bring plenty.
  1. Shower Flip-Flops and a Robe – you will want something to wear to/from the bathroom, and trust me that you don’t want to walk into a dorm bathroom with bare feet.
  1. Milk Crates – these are great for packing, and easily serve as bookshelves or a nightstand once you’ve moved in.
  1. Surge Suppressor Strip – there are never enough conveniently placed outlets in dorms. Check with your school before packing an extension cord, as many dorms do not allow them.
  1. Rain Boots and a Good Umbrella – you are going to be walking in all kinds of weather, so be prepared.
  1. Lysol Wipes – you’ll be glad you have them.
  1. Membership to Amazon Prime and/or NetflixAmazon Student (students get a free 6 month trial) gets you free shipping, so you can quickly get anything you forgot. And leave the DVD collection at home… streaming takes up less space.
  1. “Back-up” Supplies – your parents’ stash won’t be available, so think ahead and bring things like batteries, staples, printer ink/paper, and pencil leads.
  1. Clip-on Febreze –clip them onto your fan or heating/AC vent.
  1. Can Opener – a can of soup is handy, but make sure you can open it!

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Got a suggestion not on this list? Please comment and let everyone know!

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photo credit: Cal Berkeley Dorm [ unit one ] via photopin (license)