Moving to College Packing List

June 10, 2022 / Posted in How-to
Madison Rogers

Born and raised in Houston Madison is a content writer who loves traveling. She has lived in different states and is always eager to share her knowledge with others.

At first, it might be challenging and overwhelming to start packing for moving to college. But learning how to properly execute the move as well as how to plan your packing list will make the process less stressful. Our guide will provide you with all you need to know about how do I prepare to move to college and what to do after moving into college.

A girl in a box
When cross-country moving to a university, you shouldn't wait until the last minute to start preparing.

The day is finally here. You’ll move out of your parent’s house and move into a student dorm, ready to begin your academic journey. It might be difficult to imagine that you will have to live on your own from now on and start being more self-reliant and independent, but relocating to university can also be fun and exciting. Don’t ask yourself questions such as – is it good to move away for college, or how will I manage to do everything on my own. Rather start preparing for the relocation on time so you won’t have to deal with anxiety about moving out.

How to Start Preparing for the Move?

Before you begin purchasing packing supplies and researching long-distance movers, read the email or letter you received from the college’s Housing Office that is intended to help students with the pre-move preparations. Every detail of the letter is vital since you have to know what you can and what you cannot bring to your dormitory.

If you want to move efficiently, don’t plan on bringing everything from your room since you probably won’t have the available space when living with a roommate. Also, if you’ll be relocating somewhere close to home, it wouldn’t be an issue if you have forgotten to box up something. But, if you are relocating long-distance, you should organize the move and bring only relocation essentials.


The First Step in Our Guide Is to Write a List for Moving Away to College

If you ensure that you write down a relocation to-do list, you will be less likely to box up something you won’t require or forget to bring an item. Also, it will be easier to track tasks and complete them one by one. Also, making more than one list can be beneficial. It would be great to have a separate list of everything you will have to purchase at the store. Relocating to a new city alone won’t be that daunting if you have everything you need to do written down.

Buy Necessary Packing Supplies and Materials

A stress-free move is only possible with the right packing supplies and materials. You will find everything for moving away for college in any retail store or supermarket. However, if you want to buy supplies for more affordable prices, check out Craigslist. Here are some supplies you should purchase:

  • Cardboard boxes,
  • Bubble wrap,
  • Packing paper,
  • Scissors,
  • Duct tape.

While shopping for different packing materials and supplies, you can take an opportunity and purchase also school supplies that you will need after the move. You will also save time if you accomplish these tasks at once. Don’t forget to buy basic pens, highlighters, notebooks, binders, folders, and sticky notes.

A girl sitting next to boxes
The first step to properly preparing for your relocation is to write down a to-do list and purchase packing and school supplies

What Should You Pack In Your Relocation Boxes?

After the excitement of relocating to one of the best cities for education wears off and you purchase all the necessary packing supplies, you should start filling your cardboard boxes with items you will require in your dorm. It’s important to decide on what kind of bedding, student supplies, and electronics you want to take with you.

If you are not sure whether you should bring something or not, coordinate with your roommate about which items you can share, for instance, a microwave or a coffee maker. Here is what you absolutely need to pack for university.

Pack Your Student Books, Study Supplies, and Electronics

Begin packing your study materials first since you’ll be primarily going to class, doing homework, communicating with classmates, and studying. If you want to stay on top of assignments and pass all the exams, you will require school supplies such as:

  • Binders, folders, notebooks,
  • Desk organizers,
  • Index cards and sticky notes,
  • Pens, pencils, and highlighters,
  • Backpack or messenger bag,
  • Paperclips, stapler, and scissors.

Don’t forget to bring your laptop and a charger. It would be best if you also brought an extra USB flash drive to back up your files. If you want to avoid losing any of your electronic devices when moving across country for college, neatly organize your chargers, headphones, and power strips.

Your textbooks should be on top of the list when you begin to prepare for the move, so ensure that you have everything you will require. The best way to pack books is to use packing paper and clean cardboard boxes. Some of your most essential textbooks can be placed in a backpack and some in boxes.

Plan to Pack Dorm Bedding

You might be asking yourself – what should I know before moving to college? Well, you should know that it is essential to ensure that you have to bring your own bedding since universities do not supply pillowcases, pillows, or large sheets. Your dorm room will most likely have a firm but not very comfortable mattress. Therefore, it is your job to make your bed as comfortable and cozy as possible because, for a successful student, rest and sleep are crucial. You should bring:

  • Mattress pad,
  • Extra-long twin sheets,
  • Pillow cases and pillows,
  • Comforter,
  • Reading pillow,
  • Bedside lamp.

Don’t Forget Cleaning Supplies and Laundry

When exams and assignments start piling up, the dormitory can quickly become messy and unorganized. You won’t have your parents at your disposal to clean up after you, so you will need to do it yourself. That is why you shouldn’t forget to get some cleaning supplies before you move. For instance, a dustpan, a broom, or even a Swiffer Sweeper would come in handy because the floor most likely won’t be carpeted in your room.

Also, trash can liners and a waste basket are a must. Perhaps you will want to sweep and clean your room before ultimately unpacking when you arrive, so ensure that you have some antibacterial wipes and sprays.

What is more, you will have to take care of your laundry, too. So, remember to bring some detergent, fabric softener, and quarters. A useful relocation tip for a university move is to have a mini ironing board and a drying rack. You will save money if you don’t use a drier.

Boxes and cleaning supplies
Living on your own means that you will have to do your own laundry, so packing appropriate supplies is essential

It’s Important to Have Some Kitchen Supplies

In most universities, students have various food options, and meal plans to choose from. But, you still need to have some kitchen basics of your own. It’s true that some universities do not allow hotplates and electric burners in student rooms, but it’s good to have a mug, a plate, a bowl, and utensils so you can eat whenever you want. Also, it would be useful to have a reusable water bottle, water filter pitcher, can openers, and food storage containers.

You Will Also Require Organization and Storage Items

You will have to come up with small room ideas once you start unpacking. There isn’t enough space to fit everything and avoid creating clutter and mess. This is the main reason to move some storage containers and organization items, too. Armored trunks would be of great benefit to you because they can store a lot of stuff but at the same time serve as decor. Under-the-bed storage boxes, hangers, and hanging storage boxes will create additional space for out-of-season clothing and blankets, as well as extra notebooks and textbooks you do not currently use.

Here is a helpful video with creative storage ideas you can use when organizing your stuff.

What Should You Not Bring When Moving Out of State For College?

Many freshmen wonder – why is moving to college so hard? It can be difficult to venture out on your own and start taking care of yourself, but the move doesn’t have to be stressful and challenging if you know how to pack efficiently.

There are certain objects you should avoid packing since you won’t have enough space to put them. Of course, in your email from the Housing Office, you will have a list of what you will be provided with when you arrive. But, be careful not to make any relocation mistakes and box up anything that will create clutter.

Do Not Bring Too Much Clothing

When organizing your move, you will have to keep in mind that you must not overpack. Dorms usually have limited closet space as well as dresser space, so students won’t have a place to put too much clothing. It’s best to bring flexible clothing items that can be combined with a wide range of outfits. A smart approach is to use the layering method and ensure that different outfits are suitable for changing weather.

If you plan on going home for the holidays, you will have an opportunity to switch some wardrobes and leave behind off-season clothing.

A person placing clothes in a box
How long does it take to move into a dorm? One thing is for sure; it will take less time if you only bring necessary belongings

You Won’t Need to Box Up Your Printer

It might seem convenient to have a printer by your side when relocating to a university, but you should know that it is absolutely unnecessary to do that. Students will be provided with printing resources. Some colleges even add the fee for printing service into the cost of attendance. Also, printers are heavy and large, and you shouldn’t burden yourself with relocating large items when you already have everything on campus. You might not even have enough to pay for the ink, and when the machine can’t print, it will only take up valuable space.

Avoid Using Large Suitcases For Your Relocation

Most students believe that using a large suitcase will spare them the trouble of carrying a lot of boxes to their rooms, but that is far from the truth. Big suitcases will take up a lot of space, and you won’t really have where to put them after you unpack. They might be easy to use, but you won’t know what to do with them after the move. That is why you should be using cardboard boxes that can be later broken down and stored flat. The same goes for collapsible bins. They can be reused multiple times. A great relocation hack is to use a collapsible bin for a storage solution under the bed. This will save you space and money.

Get Help From Long-Distance Movers If You Are Unsure About the Whole Process

It might be challenging at first to box up all of your essentials and move safely far away from home. There is a chance something can go wrong, and you might end up with damaged belongings. It would be best to contact a long-distance moving company and have them provide you with relocation services as well as packing assistance. In this way, you will be much more confident about the move on relocation day, and they might even reveal to you some tips and tricks on how to move to college and organize the whole process.

Request Auto Transportation From Your Cross-Country Movers

Many students want to have their car on campus, so they usually drive their belongings in the car when they relocate. But, you will reduce wear and tear on the vehicle as well as stress from driving long distances if you have a car shipping company provide you with auto transport service. You and your parents will have peace of mind, and you will have your car on campus very quickly. The cost of the transportation of a car with an auto transport company will depend on the time of the year when it will get shipped and the distance.

Movers smiling and handing over a list
Invest in long-distance moving services if you're not sure that you can execute the move properly

With Our Packing Tips For Moving to College, You Won’t Have to Deal With Stress on Relocation Day

We have provided our expert tips to everyone who has been wondering – what should I know before moving into a dorm? Packing only the essentials for living on your own and being a successful student will make your move as smooth as possible. Remember not to overpack or bring anything that will clutter your space. If you’re not sure that you can execute the move correctly on your own, make sure to contact long-distance movers and have them help you with everything. Once you get settled in, the only thing left is to make your new room feel like home.

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