It’s now only one month till move-in (!!!!), which means the thought of dorm shopping has probably crossed your mind two or three times. Or fifty, if you’re as nervous and clueless as I was last year.
While superstores are jumping to protest how you need need need the million decor options they offer, let’s set the record straight. The secret to packing for college is actually to avoid overpacking, which will leave your room cramped and your wallet cranky.
Here are 10 things I promise you’re better off leaving at home or on the shelf:
I came in with five t-shirts, and picked up eleven more during the school year. With limited closet space, sixteen hangers did not need to go to t-shirts. Bring one or two to start the year with if you really want, but seriously, free t-shirts are inescapable so long as you keep your eyes open. (Hint hint, we’ve even got free Carolina Housing t-shirts if you stop by our Pit table this summer..)
- Desk Chair
You get a chair, and you get a chair! All on-campus residents are provided with desk chairs. You’re welcome for the extra space in your moving van and room.
- Anything on the “not approved” part of this list.
I mean, it’s not approved. D’oh.
- School supplies
Does this one surprise you? Okay, there are supplies that are handy to start the year off with, like pencils and a few notebooks. However, by the end of Fallfest, you’ll probably have picked up a fistful of new pens. By the end of the first week of classes, you’ll probably realize the five binders and three gluesticks you bought a month in advance are going to sit unmoved on your desk. Wait till after the first or second day to get an idea of what you’ll really need for your classes.
- Roommate Duplicates
My first-year roommate and I planned ahead on who would bring the mini fridge, microwave, television, rug, etc. and what we would or wouldn’t want to share, which saved us some headache (what would we have done with two bulky microwaves?) and kept us in conversation before the year even started.
Each student gets $40 worth of printing money at the start of each semester, and I’ve rarely seen anyone run out. CCI printing is located practically everywhere on campus (read: every South Campus residence hall), so you won’t have to go far to retrieve your paper that you’re printing at 3 AM. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.
- Fancy Silverware or Cutlery Sets
Because most first-years have meal plans, dining halls are great places to meet or meet up with friends! Dining in your residence hall is definitely handy for those wonky weather days or late nights, but those aren’t so common that you’ll need a full Lily Pulitzer silverware set. Disposable dishes come in handy, can be easily restocked, and won’t suck up your time needing to be washed in a shared sink area.
- Clothes For Every Season
Breaks are a blessing for many reasons, one of them being the ability to swap your wardrobe. Don’t make your chunky knit sweaters and tank tops fight for closet space—you won’t be needing both at the same time. It also means you don’t have to spend more money on two extra sets of hangers.
- Bed Risers
I had my bed raised to the highest non-lofted setting, which was definitely high enough for the storage containers and suitcase I brought. If you need it higher, all-out lofting is always an option. There’s also no guarantee that the bed risers will fit the bed posts, so if you’re still dying to get them, just be sure of the dimensions before buying.
- Bulky Suitcases
Would you bring giant bulky rocks to hunker in your room? If not, don’t bring giant bulky suitcases either. If you read #9, you might be thinking, didn’t you just say you brought a suitcase?? Congratulations, you read correctly. You do need luggage to haul your belongings, especially if you come from out-of-state like me. The golden rule here is to opt for luggage that folds, bends, or nests. Think pancakes or Russian matroyshka dolls.