Things to Consider Before Packing for College

Packing for college can seem like a mysterious process. One of the best things to consider is what your roommate(s) will be packing. If you coordinate with them ahead of time, each of you can reduce the number of things that are in your space as well as decrease the amount of money you have to spend. The other area you should explore is your college’s Residence Life web page. That resource should include room dimensions and layouts, prohibited items, as well as helpful tips and tricks for on-campus living. Finally, spend some time looking into the stores that are in your college’s town or city. In case you forget something, you will know what your options will be for finding those items locally.

Things to Coordinate with your Roommate:

  • Couch/futon
  • Refrigerator (look into any size regulations set by your college)
  • Other furniture like lounge chairs (foldable ones work best to save room on space when not in use)
  • TV and TV stand (a small end table or bookcase works well)
  • DVD/Blue-ray player
  • Small broom and dustpan
  • Mini vacuum and/or Swiffer
  • Small trashcan and trash bags
  • Printer (only if you think you might run late to class on the day a paper is due, or if you don’t want to do the mad dash to the library when you have to print something)
    • Ink and paper
    • Cord that connects your printer to your laptop, if you don’t set-up the printer on a wireless network

Visit your college’s Residence Life web page:

  • Learn about items that are not permitted in dorm rooms (i.e. microwaves, candle warmers, toasters, etc.)
  • Look for a list of the furniture that is included in each room: desk, desk chair, dresser, etc. Ask if you can remove any of the furniture you don’t want to use, or if it has to stay in the room.
  • Find out if the beds are lofted (like the top bunk of a bunk bed, but with space underneath which would allow for more flexible room configurations) or if the beds have risers (something that goes under each corner so that there is some space underneath the bed, which would allow for storage).
  • Is there an AC unit (on the wall or in the window)?
  • How do students pay for laundry? Do you need quarters, or do you load money onto a laundry card?
  • Is there Wi-Fi or will you need an Ethernet cable?

Now that you’ve asked good questions and planned for the packing process, you are ready to start packing! Go to the next blog post to learn what you should bring to college.