Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
Please take a moment to read our updated TOS, Privacy Policy, and Forum Rules.

Tips on how to pack for college?

DeeYooDeeYoo Registered User Posts: 41 Junior Member
edited July 2012 in College Life
I've read a bunch of lists online on what to bring for college but not how to actually pack it all. I've gone dorm shopping and decided on most of the stuff I want to take but I'm not sure on how I'm going to pack it all for move-in day.
Are there any general college packing tips someone can give me.? Like how should I pack shoes like boots that don't bend (ie. Hunter Boots)? Or how do I pack hangers and where should I pack my sheets? What should I do with my toiletries and how should I pack fragile/important things (ie. laptop, dishware, etc.)?
Sorry if some of these may sound obvious, but I've never packed this much stuff so advice would be greatly appreciated.
Post edited by DeeYoo on

Replies to: Tips on how to pack for college?

  • icedragonicedragon Registered User Posts: 2,170 Senior Member
    Ever been on a road trip before? Same type of thing.

    For fragile stuff, pack them in your towels and bedding. Normally, I would use a tote for those types of things.

    Bendy shoes can be stuffed into odd spaces and the boots, well, you can pack stuff around them.

    I do suggest putting all tolitries (shampoo, conditioner, anything liquid) into plastic bags just in cas ethye decide to leak.
  • LadydonniLadydonni Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    Using Spacebags for your clothes, towels and bedding because you can fit more in your suitcase and trunk. Things like dishware, shower caddy, and alarm clock should go in your trunk as well. Your laptop along with electronics should be in your carryall.
    If you have a lot of shoes, use a portable shoe storage, which will fit under your bed.

    unless it's an specific type of toiletries , I would suggest buying stuff like toothpaste, soaps and shampoo at your school's bookstore or local drugstore so you dont have to worry about it leaking.
  • AUGirlAUGirl Registered User Posts: 2,890 Senior Member
    I found it much easier to just go ahead and take all of my clothes that are on hangers and leave them on hangers. I folded probably about ten at a time and put them in a storage tub. I carried the storage tub, then when I got to my room, I opened it and just started pulling out the clothing by the hangers and hanging them up. Took wayyy less time and took about as much space.

    For things like bowls, plates, and anything else I was worried about breaking (like my alarm clock), I wrapped them in my towels. I used my laundry basket to hold a lot of different stuff.

    My mom has this massive suitcase, and I filled it with food, clothes, and other things. I unloaded it all when I got to my room and then sent the suitcase back with my mom. I had all of the stuff without all of the bulkiness of storage containers that I didn't need or use.

    Consider just about anything to be a storage container. Even tennis shoes can hold random things like pens or band-aids or whatever.

    Just make sure you have good zip-lock bags for your toiletries and you should be good to go.
  • MissManda42MissManda42 Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    If you're running low on shampoo/soap/toothpaste/etc right before you move, just leave what you have at home and buy the new stuff when you get to the local store at campus. That way you're not buying it twice or have to worry about things leaking or breaking.

    If you're packing boots that will bend, grab some old magazines from around the house and roll them, slipping them down the boot. That will help keep the shape during the move. When you unpack, you can leave them in the boots until you wear them or just recycle them when you unpack them.

    Take the vehicle(s) into consideration when you go to get boxes or totes. Nothing is more annoying than getting your totes packed up and ready only to find the things don't fit in the trunk or back of the car.
  • fluteloopfluteloop Registered User Posts: 278 Junior Member
    I put socks in my boots to help save space, something to think about! If you have a fridge or microwave, fill them with stuff. A suitcase can take up space, I didn't use one. I would take everything you are sure you are going to use out of the packaging (desk lamp, clip lamb near bed, drying rack, etc...). I had a backpack that I had in the front seat on the car with me that I had wallet, laptop, important documents, breakables wrapped in tshirts, and then my flute gig bag that stayed with me (in case you have people who unload a car for you). Good luck!
  • keabie18keabie18 Registered User Posts: 414 Member
    I'm wearing my hunter boots on the plane and just hoping it rains that day. Also, keep in mind that Bed Bath and Beyond and Target both have free shipping if you spend over $75, so you can order dorm stuff online and have it shipped to your dorm
  • MissManda42MissManda42 Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    I would recommend marking your boxes/bags/totes somehow. I used masking tapes on the totes I have done already with my name, building name, and floor name as well as a Box letter. I'm keeping track of what I put where so I know where to find things when unpacking. That way if I need say a knife as an impromptu screwdriver, I know they're in Box A. (My main totes are the same color). You can probably do something similar with luggage, but I don't know how well masking tape will cling to them.

    fluteloops's suggestion about socks in the boots makes more sense than the magazines. You'd get rid of magazines, but not those socks.

    Try and pack like items together, so when you go to unpack things will go smoother. You won't be digging through multiple totes for just a few items to put together your desk space or bed that way.

    On the taking things out of boxes, this may not apply to everything. So far the only thing STILL in its box is my lamp. I have a floor lamp/reading light combo and I'm leaving it in its box until I get to my room. It takes up much less space that way and I don't have to worry about it breaking.

    If you're taking any extra bags, like a duffel bag or sports bag, don't fold them up and haul them empty. Make use of them and then store them in the room somewhere.

    This may have been said, but use your towels or extra bedding to cushion things you're worried may break. I plan on doing so with my Xbox if I'm the one to bring it.

    When you go to pack the bedding that will go straight on the bed, pack it in reverse. Put the last items like your comforter or blankets on the bottom of the pile and the first item on top of the pile be it a sheet or squishy mattress pad. That way you're not digging through the pile to get to the first things you need.
  • kenzie1992kenzie1992 Registered User Posts: 1,003 Senior Member
    Hangers are such a pain to pack. If you've got the room, pack clothing on hangers like someone else suggested. I did that since my college was driving distance so I had enough room. If you're trying to fit stuff into as few suitcases/boxes as possible for plane/shipping purposes, roll clothing tight and buy hangers when you get there. Depending on how much you hang clothing, it may save you up to a medium box worth of space (it would for me, I hang EVERYTHING) and you can get hangers pretty cheap.

    If I were an RA, I would start a hanger recycling program where on move-out day there would be a place for everyone to donate hangers they don't want to pack up and at the beginning of the next year we could just bring that box back out for students moving in to take what they need.

    I have a love hate relationship with hangers.
  • DeeYooDeeYoo Registered User Posts: 41 Junior Member
    Thank you so much for all the replies the advice! I'll keep all these tips in mind when I start compiling and packing my stuff. Depending on how much space I have for my clothes, I'm probably just gonna throw my hangers in a wide shopping bag and put all my clothes in a suitcase. But if I'm in need of space I'll definitely just keep clothes on the hangers and pack them in the car.
    I thought about wearing my boots the day of move-in to avoid having to pack them and potentially take up space, but that's only if it rains. It'd be a bit awkward to wear them if it's a perfectly sunny day.
  • keabie18keabie18 Registered User Posts: 414 Member
    Haha yeah I'm just going to have to suffer the awkward looks and all, and change out of them as soon as I get into my dorm. But I'm flying and have very limited space, so if you're driving you'll be able to just stuff them with socks like others mentioned.
  • MissManda42MissManda42 Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    I'm back with a question of my own now.

    What is the best way to pack a TV so it doesn't break or get damaged? I have a 32" flat screen that may be going with me. My roommate and I haven't hashed out the details since she's on holiday right now, but one of us will no doubt bring the TV and the other the Xbox. It'd be riding in the back of a Dodge Journey with my totes and bags for about 45 minutes, not including town traffic, to get to the dorm.
  • icedragonicedragon Registered User Posts: 2,170 Senior Member
    Do you still have the original box? If not, I'd wrap that sucker in some good padding and make sure nothing heavy is around it (say stuff clothes or towles or bedding around it).
  • Sparkles21Sparkles21 Registered User Posts: 493 Member
    I found it much easier to just go ahead and take all of my clothes that are on hangers and leave them on hangers. I folded probably about ten at a time and put them in a storage tub.

    This is what I did. It worked really well for me. Another useful tip is to use reusable cloth bags to put your clothes in - you can ball them up and store them all together and shove them under your bed or whatever. That can be used for clothes you don't need to hang up, like gym clothes and sweatpants.
  • aqsewfqqaqsewfqq Registered User Posts: 474 Member
    I put my clothes on the hangers too! Convenient and something easy to put on top of everything else in the trunk. I also put a garbage bag over them (cut a hole for the hangers) and then tied the hangers together in groups of 10 or so, much easier to carry.

    If you're flying, hangers are super cheap, I would recommend just buying them when you arrive.
  • LeftyLouLeftyLou Registered User Posts: 624 Member
    Spacebags are amazing!
This discussion has been closed.