It’s Day 7 of The Freshman’s Guide to College, and today we’re talking about packing for college!
Confession: I never actually lived in residence! I moved straight from my parents’ house into the basement of a condo that I rented with 3 other Christian girls (great experience, btw. I highly recommend it). That being said, my best friend Hillary lived in residence her first year and I spent quite a bit of time there visiting, and then have shared a bathroom with 3 other girls for the last two years, and then moved into a very small apartment with my husband. So I have some experience with living in small spaces and making every inch count!
Even though I’ve never lived in a dorm room myself, I’ve asked a bunch of my friends who did and thought back on my experiences listed above, and I have compiled a list that can hep you as you’re trying to figure out what to bring and what to leave as you go to college this fall!
The way I’m going to go about this is go room-by-room. Of course, in a dorm, all of your rooms normally in a house are crammed into one small space in a dorm room, so I hope that I can help you not over-pack! This isn’t a complete list, because there are so many out there, but these are the things I wish I had known when I was first packing for college!
So let’s get started!
BRING: your favourite hot drink
Yes, you have the cafeteria, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to put on a kettle of tea without having to go all the way to the caf! Bring 2 or 3 of your favourite mugs, a small kettle, and a selection of tea and you should be good to go! The best part is, that can all fit into one small box, so it doesn’t take much room up at all.
LEAVE: anything used to cook things
No grills, no hot plates, nothing. First off, it’s probably against the rules, but secondly, it takes up a ton of room, makes the dorm room smell, and is a hassle to clean. You may think I’m crazy for putting this on the list, but I know at least 4 people who brought huge grills and mini-fridges and they just used up space and really weren’t worth the effort.
LEAVE: your 500 cute graphic tees from high school
When you’re in college, you don’t have all that much space for clothes, so leave behind your t-shirts, 7 pairs of sweats (you only need 1 or 2 max), and 9 hoodies.
BRING: a capsule wardrobe
To combat the challenge of having limited clothing storage space, try to pare down your clothes to make a capsule wardrobe! Figure out what items of clothing look best on you and are very versatile and only bring those! You don’t need to have a new outfit every day. Just bring what you need.
BRING: a great pillow and duvet
You need your sleep in college, so don’t skimp out on a great pillow and duvet cover. Sometimes pillows are included with the dorm room apparently, but they aren’t good quality so use them as decorative throw pillows instead!
BRING: a cute lighting fixture
Studying at night is inevitably going to happen, so make sure you aren’t straining your eyes! Instead, look at finding a great desk light in a cute colour to accent your room and keep you from getting study headaches!
LEAVE: the comfy chair
I had a lot of friends who brought bean-bag chairs, or statement chairs for their dorm room to make it look cute and homey and didn’t even have room for it. Leave it!
BRING: some fun games
Board games and card games are always a great way to make friends, and they’re a fantastic way to wind down after a stressful week. So find some of your favourite games and store them in the top of your closet out of the way! They’re space-efficient, and are a great way to relax.
BRING: a few houseplants
Having something living in the room can brighten it up like nothing else and freshen up the air! This is obviously a personal preference, but I love having something living in the room and for me it’s worth having a little less space on the windowsill.
LEAVE: Refills and your “what ifs”
This is the thing that I really wish I hadn’t brought with me. I have curly hair, so I have 500 bottles of hair product that are each only 1/3 used, and I brought all of them. I mean all of them. I had 4 bottles of conditioner with me when I first moved out, and I only used 1 the first semester. Why didn’t I just bring one?! You’re going to go home for Christmas, so why not leave some of your extras there and only get them when you need them?
BRING: personal hygiene essentials
This is truly JUST the essentials. The stuff you need to be able to smell nice and have clean hair. I just make sure that it will all fit inside of a shower caddy! For me, this includes: shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, loofah, lotion, tweezers, nail clippers, deodorant, teeth cleaning essentials, and razors.
My first year, even though I brought about 500 bottles of hair stuff, I actually completely forgot razors and didn’t have time to run and get any for the first two weeks. So my first day at school I had super fuzzy legs, and I was just so happy that it was cold enough to wear jeans. I called my mom in utter despair over my tortured predicament and she just laughed at me. Looking back, of course, it’s funny, but at the time I was a first-year and I was so scared that no one would like me and I didn’t want to be known as the girl with the fuzzy legs!
So when Schick® contacted me about writing a back-to-school post with an opportunity to share their Schick® Disposable Razors, I thought it was quite ironic, but I was very happy to make sure none of you have the same uncomfortable experience I did!
So Connor and I went to Walmart and went shopping! The Schick® disposable razors were easy to find on the shelf, and I love the packaging! I chose the Schick® Quattro for Women since it has lots of great refills for sensitive skin!
If you’re interested in getting some Schick® disposable razors, you can get them at a very affordable price at your local Walmart store!
So, all in all, here are all of my personal hygiene essentials in my shower caddy! They all fit, and it makes showering so much easier without leaving bottles of everything all over the place. (Roommates don’t like it when you do that.)
And as a little treat, here is an infographic of my college packing list!
Enjoy this post? Check out the rest of The Freshman’s Guide to College:
- Freshman’s Guide to College Day 1: Back-to-School Shopping
- Freshman’s Guide to College Day 2: Choosing your Course Schedule
- Freshman’s Guide to College Day 3: Saving on Textbooks
- Freshman’s Guide to College Day 4: Making Friends
- Freshman’s Guide to College Day 5: Roommates
- Freshman’s Guide to College Day 6: Exams
- Freshman’s Guide to College Day 7: Packing for College
- Freshman’s Guide to College Day 8: Staying Healthy in School
- Freshman’s Guide to College Day 9: Time Management
- Freshman’s Guide to College Day 10: Staying in Touch with Family and Friends
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Schick®. The opinions and text are all mine.