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Part of dorm essentials is packing right and packing enough, but not too much. This week on Haley’s College Dorm Essentials, I will give you some do’s and don’t’s of packing including what to bring, what not to bring, tips on how to pack, as well as some of the most commonly forgotten items.


  • Use your plastic storage boxes to pack and stay organized.
  • If you are driving to college, put the heaviest items at the bottom when packing your car (just be smart when loading your car and don’t shove everything in and force it to fit)
  • Pack so you make move-in day smooth and simple!
  • Use collapse-able bags/suitcases to pack–if you’re able to fold them up its much easier and takes up less space when you store them away.
  • For extra little things like room decor, accessories, desk stuff, jewelry, use bags that you will use in every day life such as a tote, your backpack, etc.
  • Leave things like your hangers in the box you bought them in so that it’s organized and easy to transport
  • Put your bedding in a plastic storage case or use the pillow cases to hold your sheets, etc.
  •  Make a running list over the next few weeks before you go off to school so that anything you think of you write it down and when you go shopping for supplies or you are packing, you will have it all written down
  • Print out a check list (there are so many online)


  • Wait until the last minute; you will be really overwhelmed. If you start early, you can be organized, sort through what you do and don’t need, etc
  • Pack all of your clothing. If you have a few articles of clothing that you always say you’re going to wear but never do, don’t bring those.
  • Pack a lot of high school stuff like yearbooks, t-shirts, etc. You might think that people will want to look at it, but that will be one time and then it will be just an extra thing in your room taking up space, leave that at home to reminisce.
  • Bring a ton of books. Chances are you won’t have time to read them and they will take up space. Choose your favorite and save the rest for winter/summer break.
  • Bring candles/extra furniture/alcohol paraphernalia. Many schools do not allow you to have candles, so don’t bother packing them and then having to store them away. Extra furniture will be a waste of space (I brought a fold up chair that was used one time). Alcohol paraphernalia like shot glasses may have to be stored away as well so be careful when you’re choosing what memorabilia you want to bring.


Think about what you can’t live without in your own room and bring that, but remember that dorm rooms are small and you have a certain amount of space to contain everything, so choose wisely.

It’s okay if you forget something!

REMEMBER YOU’RE LIMITED WITH SPACE: do you really need to bring 5 pairs of sweatpants? Be picky.

Stuff that always gets forgotten/Stuff that may come in handy:

  • umbrella
  • power strip
  • USB Flash drive
  • scissors
  • stapler (if you have a printer)
  • 1 plate/bowl/spoon/fork
  • power
  • safety pins
  • tape
  • coffee mug
  • bed risers
  • mattress pad
  • copies of important documents

Check out other essentials to see what you need to pack for college this coming fall: wall decor, coffee maker, cozy blanket, pillows, speakers and lighting.

What tips do you have for packing for college?

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