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Packing For Freshman Year Of College!

Last updated February 13, 2020

Heading off to college for the first time can be overwhelming. What do you bring with you? What can’t you bring with you? How are you going to get all of your stuff there? If you live close to your school, you’ll more than likely need a car or two to help you move. If you live out of state, it can get a bit tricky.

Most schools provide a list of approved and prohibited dorm items on their websites in the housing section. You’ll want to print that list while you’re packing to make sure you’re in line with the given restrictions before you get to campus. If you show up with restricted items you may be asked to take them back home. Because we’ve been there, we can give you some tips on exactly what to pack for college.

Let’s start with in-state students. If you won’t need to take a plane to get to campus, consider the following generally approved items to include while packing for college:

Even if your dorm room is not an apartment style room with a kitchen in it, there will more than likely be a kitchen in your dorm hall that will be accessible to all residents. If you like to cook, you’ll be able to utilize this space! Just be sure to keep all of your cooking supplies in your room for safekeeping!

** These items may or may not be allowed on your campus and if they are allowed on campus, there may be some restrictions in reference to the kind/type of the item. Typically, students are allotted a certain amount of energy usage per room that you’ll have to share with your roommate. These items tend to use more energy than what is usually permitted and are therefore banned on some campuses (especially the microwave). To find out the specifics, check your school’s housing site or call the residential office.

Nonperishable snacks are good to keep in your room for those nights when you don’t feel like cooking, going to the cafeteria, or want something quick to eat between classes.

If you’re an out of state student and plan on taking a plane to college, unfortunately, you won’t be able to bring all of these items with you. You’ll need to pack the essentials such as clothing, important documents, and other small items from home to keep with you in case you get homesick like photos or other items of sentimental value. Once you get to campus, you can go shopping and find all the items listed above.

Here are some useful tips to make the most of your suitcase space:

1. Roll your wrinkle resistant clothes (jeans, T-shirts, undergarments, and cotton pants) instead of folding them. You’ll be able to fit more this way.

2. For clothing that is prone to wrinkles (blazers, jackets, dress shirts), fold them in half and drape them on top of the rolled clothes.

3. Wear your bulkier clothing (sweatpants, sweatshirts, etc.) on the plane so that they don’t take up too much space in your luggage.

4. Look for the nooks and crannies of your luggage to stuff undergarments like bras, socks, and underwear.

5. Use the 5,4,3,2,1 rule. Five shirts, four bottoms, three hoodies or zip up jackets, two pairs of shoes, and one suit or dress. Adjust the list to suit your needs. Don’t forget to throw in at least one bathing suit.

6. Get rid of the “if I need it” or “just in case” mentality. If and when you need something, you can buy it when you get there.

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