The Ultimate Guide to Packing for College

If there’s anything I remember about getting ready to go to college, it was wondering what to bring. Movies and TV shows always make such a big deal about packing for college, so I felt like I really had to get it right. My big question was: what do I actually need? Now that I’ve had two years of dorm life behind me, I’m here to share my knowledge on what to bring to college.

The rest of this post is available on my college site, College Compass. As of August 2016, all my college help posts and downloadable have been updated and moved there to help you navigate your college years! To read more about this decision, read my announcement.

Read the Rest on College Compass

Sara Laughed

Hey hey! I'm Sara, an American writer living in the Netherlands and working as a product manager.

  1. Erin says:

    Hi! This is a great list 🙂 I’m moving into my dorm (as a freshman) in a couple weeks and I can’t wait. I just wanted to comment on this and add one or two things.

    First, a couple of these I must say I won’t be paying attention to, but for good reason and not because it’s not wonderful advice. I already got a mini-fridge because I have to take medicine with food, and I like to keep an ice pack and a few basic snack items (like yogurt) on hand. Plus, if I need to keep something cold or my suitemates do, there’s a spot for them! Not to mention the fridge was $35 from an old acquaintance who didn’t need it anymore, so it was a heck of a deal.

    Also, I’ll add that if you’re staying in a dorm with tile floors or otherwise hard surfaces, get a nice fluffy rug. I have epilepsy so my mom is making me get one so that if I fall out of the ridiculously high bed, I hit something soft and have less risk of injury.

    And finally, looking at your college’s dorm specs online is important. They’ll have a PDF or image with the layout (my dorm even has a couple different furniture position ideas), list of items you can and cannot have, and size restrictions for things like mini fridges.

    Honestly the only reason I know all of this stuff is because my brother is about to go into his third year of college, and he had to economize much more since he’s gone across the state, unlike my down the road!

    1. Sara says:

      I love your advice! Thank you for sharing! I will actually be updating this post soon (since I’ve now been through one more year of college than when I first wrote it), and I’m planning on making it more comprehensive. Thank you for adding your thoughts!

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