Smart “Essential” Packing

This page is your go-to guide for creating a list of essential packing for college.

Save time and space by packing for college with only the essentials. This allows you to be more flexible in case anything causes your campus to shut down. Double-check to see what your college allows and provides already to make sure you have enough of what you need and not extra. Essential packing for college can be as simple as using 5 boxes.

Box 1 will consist of your most used materials that will help you do your schoolwork and keep you safe while on campus:

  • Computer (pack it in the box it came in or in a computer bag for added protection)
  • Notebooks
  • Textbooks
  • Writing materials
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Masks
Add textbooks to your essential packing list for college.
Add textbooks to your essential packing list for college.

Box 2 will have your dorm essentials including:

  • Bedsheets/pillows
  • Mirrors
  • Reading lamp
  • Calendar and other organizational tools

Box 3 should include appropriate attire and personal hygiene products:

  • Variety of clothes (consider different weather)
  • Shoes
  • Accessories
  • Toiletries (non-liquid)
  • Laundry supplies

Box 4 will be filled with useful things that make you feel more at home and/or things to entertain yourself with:

  • Wall decorations
  • Decorative pillows/throws
  • Rug
  • Games
  • Speakers
  • Literature (Books, E-readers)

Lastly, Box 5 can be used for any overflow from the other boxes, as well as:

  • Kitchen supplies and dishware (pots, pans, can opener, silverware, etc.)
  • Storage containers
  • Emergency equipment (batteries, flashlight, etc.)

Check to make sure your dorm allows you to bring cookware. Sometimes college dorms provide students with kitchen supplies so you don’t have to pack your own. Things like an Instapot or microwave can be helpful on days you can’t or don’t have time to leave the dorm room.

Plan Your Move

Good job packing up your essentials for college. Now, it’s time to figure out how to get it all to your dorm. If access to a vehicle is limited or if you simply do not want to bother with all the hard work, consider using Collegeboxes. Collegeboxes is a company owned by U-Haul International, Inc for student storage, shipping, and moving. They combine U-Haul’s network of storage facilities, Moving Helpers, and truck rental locations to provide high quality and economical storage, shipping, and moving services to students nationwide.

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