Deciding What to Bring to College: Tips & Tricks

Going off to college is a major milestone, and it can come with a lot of uncertainty. There are a lot of unknowns, such as who you’ll meet and where your education will take you. But one thing that doesn’t have to be uncertain is knowing what to bring to college as you head off for the first time.

“The best thing you can do is make sure you have the basics covered,” advises Dawn McMullan, the mother of two sons who both attend college in different states. “Start with the things that you can’t do without.” That includes things like prescription medications, eyeglasses, retainers, and maybe a favorite photo or two. “Make sure you have the things you can’t just go out and buy,” she advises. “Most things, however, can be replaced or bought once you’re there.”

If you’re packing for college for the first time, here are a few things you probably want to include:

Underwear (Lots of It)

If you’re moving far away and won’t have the option of taking laundry home on the weekends, then you’re going to need more underwear than you have right now. Research shows that college students typically only do their laundry when they run out of clean underwear, so the number of pairs you take with you may closely correlate with the number of trips you take to the laundry room.

Seasonal Clothing

If you’re going to college close to home, then you may not have to think about the weather. However, if you’re going to a region with a different climate, the weather may be completely different than your home climate. Do a little research into what kind of weather you can expect, and pack accordingly. For example, if you live in Texas and are headed to Connecticut in the fall, odds are good you can leave the flip-flops and shorts at home and pack jackets and boots instead.

Personal Stuff

Since you’ll be sharing your bathroom with other students, you want to make sure you have the right personal items as well as a caddy or bucket for carrying them to and from the shower. Things to add to this list include a bathrobe, towels, shower shoes, and, of course, your soaps, shampoos, and hairstyling essentials.

The Right Décor

Are you going to be living in a dorm? In off-campus student housing? Will you have a roommate? These are all things to take into consideration when you’re planning what you need to bring.

If you’re going to have a roommate, regardless of whether it’s a dorm room or an apartment off campus, you can help things run smoother by coordinating your packing lists in advance. This can prevent you from bringing duplicates or things you don’t need. If you’re thinking about decorating adventurously, definitely talk about your ideas upfront.  

Dorm rooms typically come with standard furnishings, so you won’t have much choice about what size bed you have or the type of furniture in your room. If you’re living off campus, then you’ll have more flexibility and can choose the type of furnishings you want. However, rather than buying new furniture or lugging items from home to your new place, consider renting furniture. That way, you can select the furniture that’s right for you, have it delivered, and then schedule a pickup when you’re done. When you’re ready to make your move, let CORT Furniture Rental make it easy with student packages that are affordable, convenient, and designed to suit your individual style.

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