Space Savers: Things to Leave at Home


Packing for college can be a daunting task, one that can take days to accomplish. Then there is the problem of packing up the car and finding there is barely enough room for me to squeeze in with my parents.  Following this realization, I take a look at everything I have and wonder if I took too much. And the answer is always yes. So, here is a quick list of things students think they need to bring, but can quite honestly be left at home.

  1. Excessive leisure reading:  Beyond three or four favorites, this item takes up more room than people would believe.  By all means, take your favorites, or that new book you’re dying to read. Just so long as you remember to be conservative with the number you take. And if you can’t narrow it down, think about maybe investing in a space saving e-reader.
  2. Extra furniture:  Beanbag chairs and the like are usually fine. However, those of you thinking about buying that futon or bringing that extra couch you reupholstered this summer, think again. These items take up precious floor space that could be used for storage.
  3. Eight thousand different outfits:  Students think they will wear every article of clothing they own while at college. They pack it all. Sit down and just take the essentials with maybe a few frivolous articles. There is not a lot of room to store it all, and chances are, most of it will not be worn anyway. (And if you need more, parents can always ship it out through the mail!)
  4.  Valuables or cherished items:  Hey, accidents happen in the dorms. Someone knocks over a glass of juice all over your high school yearbook or a scrapbook a friend made for you right before you left. All of a sudden it’s ruined. Or you lose that watch your Great-grandfather gave you while playing soccer on Kayo Field. Things happen, so be wise with what mementos you bring along.
  5. Nightlights:  You will be sharing your bedroom with other people. Some students are not okay with their room being lit at night. If you’re a student who needs a light to sleep, make sure to check with your roommates ahead of time to see if they mind or not. It will lead to less confrontation later on, since the other roommate(s) can get blindfolds to sleep if need be.
  6. Food:  College food scares a lot of students, but that does not mean that they should come to campus with a truck full of food and snacks. There is a grocery store right down the street, the C-store on campus for late night snack cravings and there are plenty of food options on campus for them to choose from.
  7. Air conditioner/space heater: Besides the fact that students cannot have them in their rooms, they are just bulky and unnecessary. The rooms have windows and a fan or two can cool them down. And all the buildings have heat. So, save the space in the car and leave these large items at home, because they won’t even make it into the dorms.
  8. Anything that won’t fit into storage/last all summer in storage:  If you’re coming from far away and taking your items home at the end of every year is an impossibility, take storage into consideration while packing. Be smart with the size of the items you bring and how long they can be stored in any given place.
  9. Candles/incents/scented oils:  Again, these are not allowed in the dorms. Opt for air fresheners that do not require a flame, such as Febreeze or Renuzit crystals. Also, check with your roommates before buying a specific scent!
  10. Avoid doubles: This is a classic mistake of getting to school and realize both you and your roommate brought a mini-fridge, a microwave, a television and a vacuum. Simple communication with your roomie before moving in can solve this so you can save space in the car and the dorm.
  11. Anything forbidden in the student handbook:  This one should be obvious, but there may be one student out there going, “I can totally sneak this item in!” Well, don’t. It’s silly to try and sneak things in, because there is a huge chance of getting caught and getting in trouble. Remember, these rules are in place for safety and other important reasons. If there are any questions about what is in the student handbook, check it out here

With these tips in mind, take a second look through everything packed and ready to go. You may find things that aren’t totally necessary to bring along. Talk to your roommates and make sure you aren’t all bringing the same items. But, bundle all the rest up and get it loaded in the car. Just keep in mind you’re on your way to college- but be sure to leave enough room for yourself.



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