The Ultimate Guide to Packing for College
Summer is already coming to a close! Where has it gone, eh? All panic aside, the time has come for you to really get excited about college! If you’re anything like us, you’ll be putting off the chore of packing until the last minute. But luckily for you, we’ve had years of practice from helping new students turn up on the big moving-in day, so here are some top tips on how to get sorted. No fuss!
THINK SMALL, NOT BIG
You’ve gotta be realistic about how everything is going to fit into your new room. Bring plenty of clothes, certainly, but maybe just bring a small selection of your book and DVD collections. Realising you’ve brought far too much stuff is a bit of a crisis moment. You’ll feel silly to say the least!
Also, you’ve gotta take into account how you’re actually going to get all this stuff to your new college. You don’t want to be sandwiched in the backseat of a car, or maneuvering trillions of bags on public transport.
WHAT’S ESSENTIAL AND WHAT’S NOT
To help you minimise your bits and bobs, it’s a good idea to break things down into what’s essential and what’s really not. That award you won for being the class clown when you were fifteen just isn’t necessary!
Save space in your bags by thinking ahead to what you could buy when you arrive – huge bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel will only add extra weight, when really you can stock up at the supermarket just round the corner when you get there. Same goes for that giant bag of pasta and the year’s worth of baked-bean cans your mum is trying to offload on you.
On the flip side, a couple of the things you won’t want to forget are all your coursebooks, stationery to get you started (forget about stocking up on pens though – you’ll pick up tons of these during Freshers’ Week!), bedding, and towels.
When it comes to clothes, be sensible but also pack for the whole semester. It might be sunny when you’re packing but it’s definitely not going to be shorts-and-t-shirt weather all year round. If you’re an international student, who obviously won’t have the luxury of nipping back home every weekend to get extra things you might need, packing for the seasons is especially important.
FIND OUT WHAT’S INCLUDED FIRST
Whether you’re living in halls, a houseshare, or your own studio flat, make sure you know what’s included before you go splashing out on things it might already have. Most accommodation will come fully fitted with a toaster, a microwave, and a kettle, so you probably won’t need to worry about those bulky electrical items. Even if your accommodation doesn’t come with these, it might be worth holding off until you get there in case one of your new housemates has brought these along with them – you don’t need five kettles under one roof!
However, you will want your own pots and pans, kitchen utensils, plates, and mugs – but remember, you’ll only be cooking for one, so you don’t need all the kitchen supplies in the world! Don’t be afraid to improvise as well, it’s part of the fun of college life.
ADD HOMELY TOUCHES
With all this talk of things that aren’t essential, it might sound contradictory to tell you to pack a few little knicks-knacks to decorate your room, but really, these things aren’t likely to take up too much space in your bags.
Posters, photographs of your pet dog and the like can be easily slotted in with your clothes. It’s always nice to add a few little personal touches to your new room – after all, you’ll be there for at least the next nine months!
You’ll definitely accumulate more bits during your time at college, and plenty of photos of your new BFFs, but don’t be shy to make your house a home from the outset. Having familiar bits and bobs around you also helps to ease the homesickness pangs.
AVOID TAKING VALUABLES
You’ll want to pack your laptop of course, and where would you be without your phone?(!) But other valuable items are probably not worth taking with you to college. As you’ll likely be living with a lot of other people, accidents can happen, so the last thing you want is for something pricey or precious to get damaged.
On that note, don’t forget to get general contents insurance that covers your laptop too. There are a lot of good deals for students, so just have a surf on the web to find the best plan for you.
NEED MORE ADVICE?
If you need an extra helping hand with anything accommodation-related before you arrive, give us a shout! For more tips on prepping before the big move, take a look at our blog – we’ve got everything study tips to daytrip ideas to help you get a true feel of Dublin!