You Don’t Need to Pack Everything


Some of you may know that I have a relatively healthy and active Pinterest page.  I pin a few things every day.  In the last few days, I have noticed others pinning lists of what to bring to college.  Well, I’m going to take this in the opposite direction and give you a few suggestions of what to leave at home.


  1. Talk to your roommate. Ok, so that’s not an item you will leave at home, but it will help.  Communication with your roommate early on helps avoid duplication in large items.  Even if you haven’t met before, you should talk about what each of you is planning to bring.  Is one of you bringing a TV?  Is someone bringing or renting the mini-fridge?  What about an iron?


  1. An ironing board. An ironing board is a large and bulky item.  You don’t need it.  Some residence halls have a common board and iron on each floor.  If you feel you must, my suggestion is to get a mini board.  You can purchase one at Target or Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  If you get one of these, unscrew the little legs (or leave it folded).  Now it is not only flat for packing, but you can wedge the board in a half open dresser drawer to bring it to a semi-decent height.  OR you can iron on your bed.  However, let’s face it, even if you have an ironing board, are you going to use it?


  1. Clothes for all seasons. You don’t need to take everything at once.  You will not have room for it in the little closets.  Pack for the current season, with a couple of transitional pieces for layering.  Plan to take home out-of-season clothes during the break and return with in-season items. Rotating clothing makes you think you have an entirely new wardrobe.


  1. Dishes and utensils. Ok, I have found that this suggestion is a matter of preference, but you don’t need an entire eight-piece set.  If you decide to bring dishes, you will only need about two sets with dish washing soap and towels.  If you don’t want to wash dishes in the tiny bathroom sinks, may I recommend paper plates and utensils?  You could share this purchase with your roommate.  The downside to this plan of action is that other members of the floor may decide to “borrow” from you at all times.  AND, it’s not the most environmentally friendly.


  1. Pots and Pans. This one I just don’t get.  What and why are you cooking?  If your hall has a kitchen, they will most likely have pots and pans to borrow.  If you think this is a necessity, look into what your building has first.  Of course, this suggestion and the dishes (above), are more for those living in the residence hall rather than an apartment.


  1. Luggage. Ok, so if you decide to use luggage to pack your clothing, you may want to send it home when your parents leave.  There will be little room to store large suitcases.  If you’re lucky, some residence halls have a storage space for out-of-state students to store luggage, but don’t plan on it.  I recommend duffel bags and soft-sided luggage that can be folded, flattened or rolled for storage.  Large trash bags and your laundry bag work for transportation too.


  1. Sports equipment, for non-athletes. If you played a sport in high school, but will not be playing in college, the likelihood is that you won’t need your equipment.  Leave it at home.  If you join an intramural team, bring it then.


  1. Non-academic books. Some people just love books.  I get it.  However, they are cumbersome and bulky.  If you can’t live without them, just bring your favorite three. Unfortunately, your complete boxed set of Harry Potter should stay home. You will have plenty of books from class, and you really won’t have time to read anything other than textbooks.  Also, don’t order your books too soon.  You may change classes. You can get books within the first week without much trouble, giving you more room in the car.


  1. Shoe organizer/drying rack/bean bag chair or other bulky items. Think about it, where are you putting this stuff?  If it’s an over the door shoe organizer, will your roommate be using it too?  Will the door even shut?  Under the bed is prime storage real estate. Is this the best usage of this space?  And that drying rack!  Although it’s not heavy, when assembled, it will be in everyone’s way.  And if the drying rack is in the way – the comfy bean bag chair will be too.


  1. High school spirit wear. I know, this sounds harsh, but the reality is – you are in college.  You will shortly find out that most students dress in college spirit wear.  Students will even wear college clothing from other schools, but NOT high school stuff.


Your college space is probably going to be smaller than your at-home space mainly because you will be sharing half of it with someone else.  Think carefully.  If you say to yourself, “I may need that.” Chances are, you won’t.

Tell me what you have learned to leave at home.

Leave a Reply