To Bring or Not to Bring? 5 Things To Consider When Packing For College
When I first left for college, I had no idea what to bring for my dorm room. I only knew that I wasn’t going to be home until Thanksgiving, and that anything that couldn’t be easily shipped to me, I probably wouldn’t get.
As such, I way (and I do mean way) over packed! This was a continuing trend for the next three years, although it severely lessened this past semester. It’s something you can easily justify, thinking “well, I’ll never know if I may need this,” but when it turns into something that you never use and takes up space, that’s a problem. Here are some tips to keep your dorm room uncluttered:
- Keep it simple. This may sound obvious, but I brought a ton of knick-knacks, decorative things, and stuff that I wanted but rarely actually used. Quite frankly, you don’t need that didgeridoo (which I did bring). Decorations, unless they’re wall oriented or have their own, safe spot, don’t really have a place in the dorm. If they are wall based, make sure you hang them up when you first get there, before laziness sets in, and they’re just gathering dust on your floor.
- If possible, take a look at your dorm before you move in. Or if you can’t, many schools have on their website either a map and pictures or a full scale virtual tour. That way, you can see exactly what kind of floor space and lighting you’ll have. This could be a big saver for furniture, as well as any lamps you may or may not want to bring. Any desks, closets that the school provides will be there for you. This will also give you an idea of what you can store, and where you can store it. In short, you’ll save a lot of heavy lifting and shopping in this case.
- Talk with your roommates. Besides coordinating the colors of your bedspread (if you so choose), talking to your roommates will guarantee that you don’t have two microwaves, fridges, and anything else that you don’t need multiples of. In dorms, space is extremely limited, so you do not want to be taking up any unnecessary space.
- Check your storage space. More importantly, check to see what space you can use for storage. Bringing bins with you, either for anything that doesn’t have a home, or just to be ready to pack up at the end of the year. Additionally, your closest are important. I’ve taken about two weeks of clothes each year, and each year, my drawers are considerably full. Condensing clothes to only what you’d wear, even if that means seasonally, can save you a lot of closet space.
- Be prepared. Create a first aid kit, one that is specifically tailored for you. This will save you any emergency runs for cough syrup or aspirin late at night. Bring cleaning supplies when you first move in and leave to clean the dorm room, and disinfecting wipes and paper towels to use it. Also, consider taking bungee cords, tools, and fold up dollies or carts. The tool kit can be simple, limited to a wrench, a Phillips and flathead screwdriver, a hammer, and a flashlight. If you need to move or fix anything, you’ll be ready for that as well.
All it takes is some preparatory work, and you’ll be ready for the whole school year.