Moving out to college is an emotionally challenging experience for most, and in an attempt to cling on to the old way of life, we try to bring as much of our home to campus. The lack of experience regarding life on campus grounds also leaves students confused about the belongings they should transport with them, and ‘just to be on the safe side’ they often pack a lot more stuff than they actually require.
Let’s remember that a dorm room provides considerably smaller space than your house or apartment. At the same time, shipping costs increase based on the dimensions and weight of your belongings, and you will end up overpaying for the transportation of things that aren’t exactly useful. To help you avoid this, we have compiled a student’s guide to packing for college.
Start with the essentials
Take a moment to note down a list of items that you currently utilize on a daily, maybe weekly basis. This list shouldn’t contain any “I don’t need it, but it would be nice to have it” items. Clothing pieces and footwear, for instance, that have remained in your closet for years don’t represent a necessity, are heavy and require a lot of space which is not readily available in your dorm room.
Sticking to one, maximum two overcoats that works in different kinds of weather, a pair of sturdy boots and a pair of comfortable sneakers – okay, you can bring the flip flops too – is more than enough. Learning how to dress in layers will allow you to best any type of weather.
Evaluate your means of transportation and luggage capacity
In the event when you’re traveling to the campus site by plane, the maximum bag dimensions and weight are decided by the airline company’s policy. There’s no going around it, unless you plan to pay extra luggage fees. However, when you’re going there by car, the trunk size and the number of suitcases you plan to bring comprise the two primary criteria. Cars provide more flexibility, but don’t get carried away and over-pack.
Send the dorm room furnishings a week in advance
Blankets, bed sheets and a comfortable mattress should already be in your dorm room when you finally get there. The best option is to send them in advance via a hired moving service, and confirm they arrived at the destination with the courier. That is, unless your college supplies these amenities and it’s against the rules to bring your own. Check the college’s policy for more information.
Don’t forget to bring a small ‘survival kit’
Survival kits are of tremendous help before you actually get to unpack your belongings. They should include toiletries, medication, a clean change of clothing and your documents. It wouldn’t hurt to throw a couple of candy bars in there, in case you get hungry and you have yet to find the location of the campus’ cafeteria. The survival kit should always be in your possession, so don’t pack it at the bottom of a suitcase.