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Packing for college is probably one of the most frustrating things in the world. Not only are you trying to figure out what you’ll need for the next few months, but you’re also limited on space.

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The most important thing to remember is that whatever you bring with you to college also has to be able to come back with you at the end of the school year. So, assuming that you will collect more belongings over the course of the school year, you could be bringing back twice the amount of stuff that you came with. Keep this in mind as you’re packing.

The first time packing for college is always the most difficult, but it will get easier the next few times you have to do it. Make sure to allot enough time to pack – procrastinating packing will only cause you major stress!

1. Clothing

I brought way too many clothes my freshman year. To be honest, I don’t even think I wore half of it.

To avoid making my mistake, really think about the clothes that you’re packing. If you haven’t worn it in a few months, what are the chances that you’re going to wear it again? Use this time as an opportunity to go through your closet and donate the clothes you don’t need anymore to charity.

Pack smart based on the weather for where you’re going to school. If you are going to school in a warmer climate, you probably won’t need a whole lot of fall/winter clothes until at least November or December. You’ll be able to go home between now and then and switch out your wardrobe.

2. Tech

Double and triple check you’ve got all the cords and other accessories. Do you have all the chargers, cords and batteries you need? The worst thing you could do would be to bring your printer but then not have the necessary cords you need to get it to work!

You should also consider buying a power strip that has surge protection built in. Since outlets will be limited in your dorm room, you’ll need it! The surge protection factor is important – it will prevent you from starting a fire in your dorm room.

3. Toiletries

Remember that you are going to be starting out on a completely clean slate. There won’t be shampoo if you’ve run out of yours and you won’t be able to borrow your sister’s hair dryer all the time. Make sure to pack any and all toiletries and beauty products that you’ll need.

If you’re able to, and if you have the extra room, consider buying extras of shampoo/toothpaste/etc. That way, if you’re stuck without a car on campus, you won’t have to worry about how you’re going to get to the store. Also, don’t forget to pack the medicines that you need. If you’re going to be using a hall bathroom, you’ll probably want to buy a shower caddy so that you can carry everything you need to the bathroom easily.

4. Etc.

In addition to all of the above, you’ll also want to make sure to pack the following items. It’s easy to forget some of this stuff, but you’ll definitely need it!

  • Laundry basket
  • Detergent/dryer sheets
  • Trash can/trash bags
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Storage bins (you can slide these under your bed)
  • Hangers
  • Iron/iron board
  • Kit with Band-Aids
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