Insider Tips on Packing for College: What You Need, What You Don’t, and What You’ll Wish You’d Brought!

Insider Tips on Packing for College

All of the omnipresent Back to School! sales are an occasion for excitement for many students, as well as a potential cause for trepidation. College upperclassmen might be well versed in the art of packing, but freshmen might have a hard time knowing what’s worth packing for your first year of college and what you’ll want to leave behind. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed trying to navigate those Back to School sales, or you want to know what to steal from your mother’s linen closet, here’s a little bit of help.


Unfortunately, the extensive collection of twin-sized sheets in the linen closet back home might not be much use to you. Many colleges these days have extra-long twin mattresses, which is good news for those who are a little taller, but it also means you’ll have to buy new sheet sets to fit the mattresses at your school. When you’re looking through the sales, make sure you go for Twin Extra-Long.


Your college dorm is going to be your home away from home, so you’ll want to be sure you bring plenty of entertainment. But only for when you’re not studying, of course. The most important deciding factor for what to bring is its weight: do you want to have to load it into a car several times a year? Do you want to lug it up multiple flights of stairs? You’ll also want to think twice about bringing along your media collection, including movies and music. It may be worth the investment to subscribe to streaming services such as Spotify for music or Netflix for movies. Discs can be heavy; you’re better off leaving them at home.


This is one case where some planning might be in order. Get to know your future roommate(s) a little bit before the semester starts, and coordinate with them: find out who’s bringing what. For example, you will most likely only need one mini-fridge for the room. Some colleges will also allow you to bring a hotplate or even a microwave; make sure you’re not each bringing the same things, and be sure the one you do bring is appropriate for the amount of space you’ll have.

ECF Blog Furniture

If you’re not sure what furniture will be provided for you, take the time to call or email your school before you arrive on campus. Chances are good you’ll have a desk and a chair, but given how many hours you’ll spend at your desk doing research, you might want to consider bringing your favorite chair from home.


Speaking of desks, planning for your computer needs is also going to be an important part of packing for college. You’re almost certainly going to prefer a laptop, since desktops are cumbersome and difficult to transport. Laptops are highly portable, and you can take them to the library when you need to escape from a noisy roommate.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it should be a good starting point. Remember to visit our blog regularly for great advice about getting the most out of your education, whether you’re going to a traditional college or you’re giving online colleges a try. And as always, if you need help finding the best online schools that offer courses in your field of study, we’ll be standing by.


Photo Courtesy of Temple University Housing