“Packing for college” – just the words can strike fear into the heart of even the bravest students. Even current college students who have already done it once (or more than once) can get nervous about packing up everything they’ll need to take to school.


It’s a challenging task, and for good reason – how do you pack to spend nine months of the year in a new dorm, apartment, or house? You aren’t moving permanently (most likely), so you don’t need to take everything, but you also don’t want to move into your new place and realize you forgot something important. You certainly don’t want to be that student who brings too many pairs of shoes but only three pairs of socks. But how do you go about planning and packing so that this doesn’t happen?


First things first, do your research – will your dorm room come with a desk lamp, or do you need to provide your own? Is your room carpeted or should you bring your own rug? Are there limitations on how large your microwave or minifridge can be? Try to find some pictures or even a short description of what will come in your new place so you don’t show up with things you don’t need or can’t use.


Then, think about what you use on a daily or weekly basis. The obvious necessities like a toothbrush or a hairbrush might come to mind, not to mention things like your clothing or makeup. But what about the not-so-obvious supplies? You don’t want to forget your cell phone or computer charger. Although they may be easy to replace with a quick trip to the store, you don’t want to realize at the worst moment that you don’t have them with you.


Below are just a few more things that are easy to forget,but are definitely good to have in a college dorm:


  1. Rain gear. Unless you’re planning to drive everywhere in college (and probably even then), you’re going to want to bring a good jacket, an umbrella, and maybe even some rainboots. You don’t want to get stuck without a jacket or umbrella when you’ve got somewhere to be and it’s pouring outside.
  2. A second set of sheets. You probably don’t need more than two, but when all the washing machines are full and you really need to change your sheets, a second set will come in handy.
  3. Yes, batteries. You won’t realize you forgot them until something stops working and you find out you need batteries to get it going again. Save yourself the trouble (and a run to the store) by bringing some with you when you move in.
  4. Something professional. It’s easy to think of college as getting to go to class in sweatpants and a t-shirt every day until you have an interview or a formal presentation and realize that you have nothing to wear. You may only need it once or twice a semester, but you’ll be glad you brought it.
  5. Extension cord and/or power strip. Outlets are often limited in dorm rooms, or they’re in hard to reach places that make plugging in your phone or laptop charger difficult. Make things easier on yourself by coming prepared with an extension cord or a power strip.


Don’t get to college without the things you need – take some time to plan and think about what you use before you pack, and avoid any unnecessary stress and wasted space in your new dorm or apartment!