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Packing for College

Things to Consider

Before you start packing for college, it is important that you figure out exactly what to bring to college. There are several factors that can play into this decision:

  1. How large is your residence?
    If you are moving into an on-campus dorm, you are likely going to have very limited space. Chances are you are not going to be able to fit that recliner that your mom has been trying to get rid of for years.
  2. What does your roommate already have?
    There is no point in having two microwaves. Well, that point is debatable, but you’ll have plenty of late nights to ponder it. Coordinate well and you will not waste space and money on unnecessary items.
  3. How are you going to move all that stuff?
    If you just have one large item that is keeping you from being able to fit everything you own in your car, it might be time to consider leaving your race car bed behind.


With these factors in mind, you are ready to start packing for college life. It is a good idea to organize your move by categorizing the items you will bring:

  1. The Necessities
    These are things you will obviously bring with you, but it can be helpful to take stock of them to see how much space they are going to require. This includes anything you feel you cannot live without. You obviously need clothes, but you may not need all of them. This is a good opportunity to go through your stuff and decide what you have outgrown.
  2. The “Maybe I can just buy these when I get there” Category
    The more you can fit into this category, the more free space you will have to pack. This includes anything you do not already own that can be easily acquired near campus. It is a lot easier to buy a couch near your school than to get one locally and haul it across the country. This holds true for fragile items, such as glasses and dishes, and perishable or easily acquired items. Buying groceries in New Jersey for your move to school in Arizona is not the brightest idea.
  3. The Judgment Calls
    Before you start to pack your entire childhood stuffed animal collection, ask yourself if you really need all those furry friends in your new apartment. If you cannot picture yourself using something on a regular basis, you probably do not need it. Be sure to let your parents know if you are leaving something at home that you would like to see again at some point in the future. These things have a habit of disappearing.