New Freshman, Here's Your College Packing List

Posted: September 03, 2021 | Author: Abbie Cochrane | Read Time: 4 minutes

student reading book in bedMoving to college can be quite the undertaking. Packing and shuffling boxes around is a long and exhausting job. The job becomes even harder when you are not quite sure what to bring to college and don’t know what to expect on move-in day.

8 Steps to Create Your College Packing List

Here are some tips to help make the transition a bit smoother and a few things that should definitely be on your college packing list.

Know Before You Go

The first thing you want to do before you begin to decide what you should and shouldn’t bring to college is to look into the town and living space you will be living in. It is very important to understand the size of the room or apartment you will be living in so you can plan accordingly.

Double-checking what amenities are included at your place will also help with narrowing down your packing list. Also, check in to see what stores are nearby and what they are selling so you can decide what can be left at home and what you can buy after the first week of classes. These simple actions can go a long way in saving you space, money and time when preparing for your move.

When in Doubt, Leave it Out

As you are packing for college move-in, it is very important to step back and ask, “Will this really be used?” When it comes to moving less is typically more. In the extreme case where something is forgotten at home you must keep in mind that similar stores that exist near your home typically exist near a college campus as well! Below is a list of items that can typically be left at home without losing out on much.

  • Printers
  • Candles
  • Snacks/Food
  • School Supplies
  • Dishes
  • Duplicate Items
  • Appliances
  • High School T-Shirts

Split it Up

If living in a double, triple or suite-style apartment sharing the responsibility of purchasing certain items is crucial. Also, resist shopping until you are moved in and can assess what is needed. This will help you avoid purchasing items that are unnecessary. Some common items to divvy up with a future roommate are:

  • Air Conditioning Unit (where applicable)
  • Area Rug
  • Mirror
  • Cleaning supplies

Make it a Family Affair

This applies to friends, too. Packing and moving in by yourself is not the most fun experience, so allow the help of family and friends to help you pack up your belongings, move heavy boxes and other bulky items. They will love traveling with you to college and see where you will spend the next few years of your life. The day goes by quicker and much, much easier. Bribe helpers with a free pizza dinner afterwards to sweeten the deal.

Dealing with the Masses

Keep in mind that on move-in day, there are a lot of other students moving in at the same time. It will be helpful to set aside plenty of time to move in to accommodate for delays. Consider arriving early so you don’t feel rushed to get everything done. If your living style provides an elevator, be aware that you may not be able to use it every trip to your room, so lift with your legs and not your back to avoid injury.

Watch the Temperature

Even though it’s the start of a new school year, midday temperatures in late summer may still get pretty hot, so pack items that won’t hold up in the heat in boxes that will be unloaded first. You do not want anything melting or exploding, or creating a mess in your car or other belongings.

Decorate Last

Hanging posters, pictures and other decorations might be the first thing you want to do once you’re moved in, start bigger and work your way down to the small items. Things like beds, couches and television stands should all be in place before the fun stuff goes on shelves or walls. Having the big items correctly placed allows for a proper flow and will help make your new small space feel like home in no time.

Be Open

Be open to your new roommates and what you have to learn from each other. It’s a learning experience, but you will figure it out. Take the opportunity to look at this through rose-colored glasses and make lemonade out of lemons. Your attitude and the way you choose to approach this exciting new dynamic is critical to a great year. After all, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”.


Going to college is supposed to be an exciting and fun adventure, so don’t forget to have fun as you prepare for one of the largest moves of your life this far! Make the most out of your move to college and enjoy the process!

Transitioning to college is a big deal, be prepared with your college packing list and before college checklist. College may be different from your current life in high school, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be amazing.


Tags: Student High School Student Life College Prep

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