What Not to Pack for College

Hey y'all!

I'm sure we've all seen the typical campus checklists for freshman going to college. Dorm life is exciting, but it's always important to keep in mind that the rooms are fairly small. I was lucky enough to live in apartment style dorms so I had a big room to myself, but most college students don't!

Since you have limited space, you really don't want to take stuff that you won't use. If you feel like there's something you actually do need, you can purchase it when you're already at school. I'm here to help you with what you 100% won't need to take to college with you. You can thank me later.

college packing list essentials dorm room university


1. Bed lifts : I really don't know anyone who was allowed to actually use these in their dorm room. A lot of colleges specifically state you can't use bed lifts. Plus most of the time, you can lock/loft your bed so that you'll have plenty of space underneath them anyway.

2. Ironing board / iron : I said this in one of my previous posts!! I actually made the mistake of bringing one with me, like one of the HUGE ones, not a miniature one. I seriously can't tell you enough that instead of hauling along a big heavy board, just purchase a handheld garment steamer. They're way more practical and take up barely any space!

3. Thumbtacks : Um hello! The first rule of basically any and every college is that you're not allowed to put holes in the wall, or you might not even be able to if you have a cement wall. Save yourself the stress and just bring some 3M hooks with you.

aka stuff you should buy if you end up feeling like you're missing it

1. Drying rack (for your clothes) : I know some people who actually did use these, but if you're living in a tiny dorm, your roommate isn't going to be too happy that you didn't just spend the extra dollar on drying your clothes in the dryer. If you have some items that you don't want to shrink, then I understand needing this, but a typical college student doesn't really need it.

2. Backrest : I had a desk in my room that I personally preferred to use over sitting in bed while doing homework. If I did sit up in bed, I had more than enough pillows to support my back and head. If you're planning to buy a lot of throw pillows, then you probably won't need this.

3. Safe: Hopefully you won't end up feeling like you need to purchase this! I had a desk that you were able to add your own lock to, so I never needed one. But I'd like to think the typical student doesn't need a safe. Maybe if you have a sketch roommate...


1. Don't waste precious room in your car by packing school supplies. College is so different than high school. A majority of the stuff you used then you won't need now. Plus I promise that you won't need highlighters the first day you move into your dorm, so don't just bother packing them. Wait to purchase them when you actually have started class. (This helps so you don't have to make 100 trips to Target)

2. If you have roommates, figure out who's bringing a printer. They kind of take up a large space when packing. You don't need to each bring one, or you don't even need to bring one at all. It's super convenient to have, but all college campuses have places to make use of a printer.


1. When you finally start college, your style is probably going to change. I know mine sure did! I ended up purchasing basically a whole new wardrobe once school began. So just keep in mind that you're going to want to still have space for new clothes.

2. If you're planning on joining a sorority, then don't bring a ton of t-shirts from high school with you. You're going to end up purchasing shirts with your own letters and such, so you'll have more room if you don't take the other stuff with you! Just as a general rule, I'd probably leave the high school stuff at home. It's usually a clear indicator of who's a freshman.

3. Change out seasonal clothes when you go home. For example, I knew that I would be visiting my parents before it was going to get cold in Alabama, so I left all of my heavy coats and jeans at home in Texas. Then when I went home to visit, I was able to switch my summer clothes out for fall/winter clothes.

4. Don't take everything in your closet. Most of the time, college kids just dress like bums. 99% of the time you can find me wearing XL t-shirts and Nike shorts with a pair of tennis shoes. More than likely, you'll probably wear that to -- It's kind of the best part of college. So don't feel like you need to take everything you own because you probably won't end up wearing it.



  1. I love your list. I had a foldable drying rack that I kept in the back of my closet but I completely agree that it was mainly used for when I actually wore real clothes like sweaters in the winter. Jess at Just Jess

  2. Yes!!! My school had beds with built in lifts, and I'm so guilty of bringing an ironing board but no iron!! I think we all get excited by all the dorm stuff at Target, then later realize we didn't need half of it.

    1. Honestly Target is to blame for me spending way too much on dorm stuff. Everything is just too cute, I can't say no!

  3. I ended up getting a mini steamer instead of an iron, and I am so glad I did. I got a few friends who bought one too after borrowing mine. They're a great essential, and very affordable!
    xo, Syd

    1. The steamer is seriously the number one thing I recommend to people! My friends all borrowed mine too 😂