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6 Tips on Packing for College

The big day is finally about to arrive. You are leaving home and heading off to college. You cannot take everything with you, because your new living space will be much smaller than your family home. The challenge is to pack everything you really need, and determine which items to leave behind. Here are some tips to consider when packing for college.

1. Gather Information
Before compiling a packing list, have a good understanding of the amount of space your dorm room provides. Check the size of the beds, so you know which sheets are required. Note the amount of closet space, and the size of the bathroom and kitchen area. Measure door widths and other narrow spaces to make sure your furniture is not too large to get into the room.

Read the policies of the college or university to learn whether any items are not allowed in the dorms. Most schools prohibit cooking, or using any device that could start a fire. Inquire whether the college provides moving services for incoming students.

Communicate with your roommate. Tell each other if you have any allergies. Coordinate on large items, because you probably don’t need two entertainment systems or a pair of couches in your room. This process becomes more complicated if more than two roommates are involved.

2. Clothing
The amount of clothing you pack depends partly on the size of your new closet and bedroom. You might be faced with some difficult decisions.

You are probably moving in the fall, so you won’t need most of your summer clothes for a while. You can get them when you go home for the holidays or during spring break. Remember that you can always buy clothes on or near near campus. You might find that you want to change your style. Save money by checking out second-hand clothing stores.

It has been recommended that you pack sufficient clothing to last a week. You probably don’t want to have to do laundry more often than that. Think in terms of having seven days’ worth of tops, bottoms, underwear, and socks.

You want school clothes, casual wear, and perhaps a formal outfit. Depending upon the activities you enjoy, pack a swimsuit, jogging gear, or other sports clothing. Don’t forget hats and footwear. Good shoes are important; you are going to be doing a lot of walking around campus, which is no fun on sore feet.

You likely will be doing your own laundry. For this chore, you will require powdered or liquid soap, a laundry basket, and maybe other stuff like bleach or dryer sheets. Roommates can share irons and ironing boards.

3. Bedroom and Bathroom Items
Pack pillows, including your favorite one, with extra pillowcases. You also might want two sets of sheets, a light blanket and a heavier cover, a mattress pad, and a mattress cover. Pack an alarm clock, a reading light, and perhaps a small television or DVD player for the bedroom. Don’t forget sleep clothes and slippers.

If you have inspected your dorm, you know the size of the bathroom. There may not be enough space there, and in your bedroom, for all the personal-care items you are accustomed to having. Take a hard look at what you really need for grooming and bathing. You can always buy things after the move. Your list may include a hair dryer, brush and comb, toothbrush and toothpaste, hair products, towels and washcloths, shaving materials, and toiletries.

4. Kitchen Items
When it comes to packing for the eating or cooking area of the dorm, coordination with roommates is vital. Otherwise, you could find yourselves with two microwaves and multiple refrigerators. Of course, you must first know what is provided in the room. There may already be a refrigerator.

Pack two forks, a large and small spoon, a butter knife and a cutting knife, two dinner plates and a pair of smaller plates, glasses and cups, water bottles, and bowls. If cooking is permitted and you use a microwave, take the appropriate cookware. You will need dish soap, dish towels, trash bags, a coffee pot and filters, pot holders, paper towels, food-storage containers, and plastic baggies.

5. Shared Space
Roommates need to discuss the sorts of furnishings and decorative items they want in their shared living space. Couches, chairs, coffee tables, and end tables are among the furniture options. Reach agreement on lighting and other issues. Consider a message board to hang on the wall.

This is your new home, so surround yourself with familiar items like photos and high school mementos. But make sure your roomy is OK with that picture or poster you want to put up on the living room wall.

6. Study Area
Whether it is in your bedroom or a in a corner of the shared living space, you need a quiet place to study. A comfortable chair that provides proper support, good lighting, and a large desk or table are recommended. You need space for your computer, books, and other school items.

As much as possible, you want your dorm room to feel like home. College life is stressful; your living area must be a comfortable place for you to relax. However, the limited space will force you to leave a lot things back home. Packing wisely, in conjunction with your roommates, can make the transition easier to handle.

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