Take It or Leave It! The Essential Guide To Packing For Freshman Year
Wouldn’t it be nice to blink your eyes and simply transport your entire room at home into your new dorm digs? You wouldn’t have to make those tough choices about what to bring and what to leave behind.
Because we’re just shy of such awesome technology, we’ve put together a list of the basics you’ll need to cram into your parents’ car, take on a plane or have shipped.
1. Appliances and electronics
Before you beg your parents for that $300 mini fridge, ask your roommate(s) what they plan to bring. Your room will be too small for two of everything, and why spend money on something if you don’t need it?
Besides your computer, phone and Bluetooth speakers, you’ll probably want to pack at least one extension cord, a fan, an alarm clock, a handheld vacuum, and a lamp that clips to your desk or bed. Instead of an iron, consider getting a steamer so you can get the wrinkles out of your clothes while they’re right on the hanger.
2. Dorm goodies
A couple things you may not know: Some dorm mattresses require extra-long sheets, so typical twin sheets won’t fit. Also, most schools will charge you for any damage to the walls, including small holes. That means double-sided tape will be essential if you want to hang any calendars, posters or décor.
As for the must-have items in your dorm room, pack hangers, blackout curtains, towels, a trashcan, throw rug, broom and bed risers (to create extra storage). Don’t forget to bring a wheeled hamper, laundry detergent and dryer sheets.
3. Bike and other sports gear
If you’re really into a particular sport, bring basic gear (e.g., a basketball or tennis racquet). Because most freshmen aren’t allowed to have a vehicle on campus, consider packing your skateboard or bike. And don’t skimp on the bike lock, as bikes tend to be one of the most stolen items on campuses.
4. Health and beauty
You’ll likely remember your toiletries, but don’t forget the essentials for bathroom and shower sharing: a bathrobe, shower caddy and shower shoes.
In terms of health products, stock up on pain relievers, cold and allergy medicine, adhesive bandages, a thermometer and a heating pad, if it’s allowed.
5. Dishes and Food
Microwavable dishes that double as storage containers will be staples your first year. You’ll also want to bring a few plates, forks and spoons, a mug and water bottle, a sharp knife, and a serving spoon.
Bring some snacks and meals with you to buy you some time before you have to run out to stock up.
6. Seasonal gear
There’s no such thing as a one-season state. Pack for every type of weather just in case: rain boots, layered coats, an umbrella and a raincoat work everywhere.
Check your student handbook or look online to see if any of the following items are restricted: pets, plants, cars, appliances without automatic shut-off, hot plates, grills, ungrounded extension cords (must have three prongs), electric blankets, incense, candles and aquariums.