Skip to main content

How to Pack for College

People talk about packing for college as though it were a major life event, like getting married. It’s not. Here are some tips on how to put objects in boxes.


  • Step 1: Learn what you can't bring Find out what items you’re not allowed to bring. Your college probably lists these restrictions online.
  • Step 2: Contact roommate Contact your future roommate to discuss what each of you is brining. Some objects you only need one of.
  • Step 3: Start w/ basics Start with the basics: bedding of the proper size, a towel, toiletries. Don’t go overboard—you will still be capable of purchasing objects once you leave home.
  • TIP: Dorm rooms often have unusual bed sizes, like 'twin extra long.' Don’t buy sheets until you know what will fit.
  • Step 4: Don't pack all your clothes Don’t pack every bit of clothing you own. You’ll probably go home for fall or winter break, so you can pick up what you need then.
  • TIP: Going to college is a unique opportunity to change your identity. Pack accordingly—sometimes it’s better to be without an object than to have something that’s embarrassing.
  • Step 5: Consult packing list Consult a packing list to remind yourself what else to bring. Your school probably sent you a list, and there are plenty online.
  • Step 6: Pack light Pack as few heavy objects as possible. You will be carrying around everything you bring for the next four years.
  • TIP: Don’t bring more than a few books from home. You won’t have time to read them, and books are very heavy.
  • Step 7: Load up & go Load up your stuff and get going! If you’re shipping boxes, call the admissions office to find out exactly where and when you will be able to pick them up.
  • FACT: In 2004, a homeless NYU sophomore spent 8 months living out of a 'bookcase'—sleeping overnight in the basement of the campus library.

You Will Need

  • Possessions
  • Boxes to put them in

Popular Categories