College Advice

College Advice: Packing Do’s & Don’ts


Hi and welcome to A Quirky Twist! Today’s topic is probably one of the most searched by college freshmen, if not the number one search and that is packing. Packing is probably one of the hardest for college freshmen because you don’t know if you’re under-packing or over-packing. So today I have a few suggestions that I hope will make your packing easier, these are definitely not hard and fast rules you need to follow when packing just tips that I used myself last year. I have 8 tips for how to pack smarter for college move-in day.


Most of you will more than likely be going home for fall break, winter break, and spring break. These breaks are the perfect time to switch out your clothes, so you don’t have unnecessary clothes clogging up your space. If you’re familiar with the climate of your school, then you’ll know what types of clothes you need to bring with you between breaks. I only brought a few fall clothing items with me on actual move-in day and everything else were summer clothes which worked out great for me because it didn’t get cold until after fall break. Even if you can’t go home until winter break, you can still ship your out of season clothes home and have your parents ship you new ones. If even that won’t work then only bring clothes you actually wear in order to optimize your closet space.


Except a fridge do yourself a favor and bring a mini fridge it will come in handy. In this case I’m talking about big items like brooms, vacuums, and microwaves that will take up large amounts of space. Most colleges have cleaning supplies in the office in your lobby that you can check out when you need it. So save yourself some room and money by borrowing it from the office. Also if your school only provides microwaves in the lobby of your floors and not the rooms, don’t buy one for your room. It’s only a short walk down the hall and no one will be there when you want to use it, trust me. Unless you’re in a motel style dorm and you have to go outside to get to the floor lobby then buy one so you won’t have to go out in the cold or rain.


Before I ever bought any thing for school, I walked through my house and made a list of things I used on a weekly basis. Some packing lists for college will tell you to get completely unnecessary things for your room. If you’ve never used this item at home, chances are you probably won’t use it at school, so save yourself some money and don’t buy it.


A lot of home stores are probably stocking up on college dorm “essentials” right now. However it’s a good idea to wait a little longer to buy the big things so you’ll get a better deal. Last year my mom signed me up for a college freshmen sale at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, where if you pre-registered online everything was 50% off I believe. Which was great because I got a really nice mattress pad (an essential for dorm life) for around $80.


There are a lot and I do mean a lot of packing lists and videos out there. If you’re anything like I was you’ve probably looked at ten of them everyday since you graduated. A lot of them contain suggestions about the same item so if you see people mention a certain item a lot then you will probably need it. However if you look at an item on your list and think there’s no way you’d ever need that, don’t get it just because it’s on a list. Make sure to check the list your school sends, so you don’t bring something you’re not allowed to have. On the other hand don’t bring everything on your school’s list because you won’t use all of it.


Basically command strips and scissors, especially command strips will be your best friends on move-in day. Command strips will hang literally everything you brought for decoration: your calendar, your mirror, and your wall art. Command strips are also super helpful when it comes time to move out, because they come off the walls super easily. Scissors are also necessary because you’ll have a lot of packages and boxes you’ll need to open and having scissors on hand is a great way to speed up the process.


News flash you’re moving to college and not the middle of Antarctica, and stores will exist in your college town. There’s no need to bring things you don’t think you’ll absolutely need with you on move-in day. If once you’ve unpacked and find you didn’t bring something you need, your parents can take you to the store to buy it. If a need arises later in the semester you can go to the store and buy it, or get it online because you’ll still get mail in college. Basically don’t bring everything under the sun with you on the first day, because you can always get it later.


I promise you most of these things will make dorm life a whole lot easier for you:

Mattress pad: I would’ve slept on my bed without it, but it’s so comfortable and feels like a cloud

First-aid kit: you’ll always need band-aids

Cold Medicine: so when you do get sick you don’t have to worry about going to the store to buy some

Snacks: enough said

Mini fridge: cold drinks in your room, enough said

Command strips: basically a lifesaver

Shower caddy: necessity even in a suite style dorm

Shower shoes: college bathrooms=gross

Decorations: otherwise your room will look and feel like a prison

Extra storage bin (or two): you’ll probably need this to keep all your things tidy

Lamp or desk light: illuminate your room, without the hospital feel of your dorm lights

Full-length mirror: enough said

Extra towels and sheets: so you’ll always have a clean pair

School supplies: I mean you are going to school, even though sometimes that’s easy to forget

Laundry basket/hamper: to separate clean and dirty clothes

Alarm clock: sometimes it’s nice to check the time without using your phone

Extension cord/surge protector: there will only be so many outlets in your room and you will have to share

Extra chargers: chargers are expensive and you probably won’t have the money to spare when yours breaks so it’s good to have backups

A TV: can serve as a hang out spot for you and your friends

Those are all of the tips I have for packing in college, I hope this helps ease some of the future class of 2020’s worries about college. If you know anyone who will be going to college in the fall, share this post with them. And if you want to hear more about my college advice check back next Tuesday. Thank you so much for stopping by feel free to leave a comment below!


PS In case you missed it you can find last week’s college advice post here!


4 thoughts on “College Advice: Packing Do’s & Don’ts

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