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Essential Packing Tips for Students Moving into College Dorms

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Stephanie MialkiGuest Blogger
September 09, 2016 · 1.1k Views

High school is over and now it’s time to move out into the real world on your own - college! Let’s face it, this is a super exciting and a super scary time, all at once. While we can’t hold your hand through the entire moving out and moving on process, we can at least help you with the packing process! Take a look at these top 3 packing hacks for students moving into college dorms.

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1. Find out what the school provides, what they allow, and what they prohibit.


Some schools provide more than others. You might show up to college and find nothing in your dorm room, or you might be pleasantly surprised to find your dorm room fully furnished with all the extras, including a refrigerator and a microwave! In order to best prepare for either one of these situations, just call the school and find out what they provide for you, before you start the packing process.

Also be sure to find out what items are prohibited, as many colleges prohibit potential hazard items like space heaters, hot places, and extension cords. While obtaining this information, make sure to take notes and make lists of what you can and can’t bring, as well as what you should and shouldn’t bring, according to the school. Once you have this information, you can expand upon it and create another list of what you’ll need to pack.

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2. Only pack the essentials.


First of all, there is most likely a convenient store or supermarket located right next to your school, so don’t worry about packing items like paper plates, paper towels, garbage bags, groceries, and the like. If you get to college and realize you’re missing some things, just make a quick trip to the store to pick up whatever you forgot. In addition, consider holding off on things like curtains and rugs, as you might want to check out the size and layout of your dorm room before purchasing these items. Instead, focus your packing list on the essentials: clothing, toiletries, towels, and bedding. In terms of bedding, find out what size bed is in your dorm room before buying sheets, and then buy two of them, just in case. As far as clothing, only pack for the season. Most students return home for holiday break before a new season begins, so they can switch out their wardrobe at this time.

The main thing to remember when making your lists and packing your stuff is that everything will be okay, as long as you have the essentials. If you realize you forgot something, or need/want something after all, your parents can always mail it to you, you can get it when you go home for break, or you can buy a new one online or in-stores.


3. Pack creatively and efficiently.

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You’ve made your lists; you’ve figured out what you need to bring with you and what you can leave home; and now it’s time to start your dorm room packing! The best way to do this is to consider the unpacking process, and then plan and pack accordingly. Here are a few of our favorite packing tricks and tips:

  • Put all liquids, powders, and gels in ziplock bags so they don’t leak all over everything else if they happen to open up in the moving process.

  • Use empty toilet paper rolls, twisty-ties, egg cartons, or plastic wrap to keep all of your jewelry separated, neat, organized, and untangled.

  • Use empty toilet paper rolls, twisty-ties or plastic wrap to keep wires and cords neat and untangled.

  • Roll clothes, instead of folding them. This keeps them from becoming wrinkled and it takes up much less room.

  • Use space-saving, sealable bags to keep your rolled clothes air tight and compact.

  • For hanging clothes, leave them on their hangers, and simply stick the hangers through the bottom of a trash bag, pulling the trash bag down over the clothes. This saves tons of time when it comes to packing and unpacking.

  • Stick socks inside your shoes to prevent them from becoming squished and misshapen. Plus, now you don’t have to worry about packing your socks!

  • Wrap your fragile items in sweatshirts, jackets, towels, or bed linens to keep them protected. Kill two birds with one stone!

  • Throw your towels and linens in garbage bags, and use a marker to label the bags. This is much more sensible than packing these things into boxes, as the bags can be easily squished down in the car for easier packing.


stephaniemialki profile picture
Stephanie Mialki is a mommy of two under two, a fitness enthusiast, and a digital marketing guru. She spends all of her spare time….oh wait, what spare time? She has a passion for business building and has successfully assisted more than 20 entrepreneurs start their own companies.

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