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10 Things NOT to bring to college

Call me the queen of over packing. If the weight limit is 50 pounds for an airline I guarantee you my bag will be 49.9 lbs. I figure out the number of days I will be gone and then basically multiple that by 2 and bring that many numbers of outfits. A girls gotta have options right?!

I always see those people on planes and wonder how the heck they are able to fit everything in a carry on!!

So now you can imagine what packing for college was like for me. I took over our bonus room and basically had a mountain of stuff waiting to go. I think my roommate was a little overwhelmed when she first walked in and saw all my stuff. Luckily, when it was all organized, it fit right in nicely.

However as the year went on, I realized there were a lot of things I bought to college that I literally never used. They just took up valuable space that could have been filled with something else. Space is at a premium in a dorm, so don't waste an ounce of it !

Here are a few things I would reevaluate bringing before you load your car with all your stuff!

1.     Off season clothing- with closet space so limited, it’s crucial that you make the most of every inch (literally). I would highly highly suggest not taking your entire closet in August. Bringing your clothes in season allows you to have more room in your closet and makes it that much more fun when you switch your closet out and have a whole new wardrobe! Are you really going to wear a thick cashmere sweater in August anyway?

Instead: During breaks bring home the clothes that are slowly going out of season and bring back the clothes for the upcoming season!

2.     Plates / silverware- I made this mistake. I bought adorable plastic Lilly Pulitzer plates last year and to be 100% honest, I didn’t use them once. Whenever I wanted to eat something other than dining hall food the last thing I wanted to worry about is more dishes.

Instead: My roommate and I bought paper plates and plastic silverware and used that all the time. Instead of having to do dishes in a tiny sink and worrying about dish soap, I highly suggest reconsidering bringing nice plates and silverware. Trust me on this one. As much as you want those cute pink plates, they will be a waste of space.
3.     Dust Buster- I tend to be a major neat freak. Luckily, both my roommate and I were both pretty clean when it came to our dorm room (my room at home on the other hand is a completely different story…). However no matter how much we tried to keep our dorm room clean, friends were always walking in and out and tracking dirt in. I considered buying a dust buster before going to school and I’m so glad I didn’t buy it because there is no way it would have been able to vacuum my entire dorm room. I would have had to get on my hands and knees trying to get up the dirt all over the room!

Instead: Get a mini size vacuum. It makes it so much easier to vacuum your room when you can use a regular vacuum. You can buy a mini vacuum tons of places like bed bath and beyond and target and they are so convenient!

4.     Books- I brought so many of my books from home. So many novels that I convinced myself I would have time to read. I don’t think I read one of them…

Instead: Limit yourself to maybe 5 books. They take up so much room on your bookshelf and you’re already going to have so many books from classes. Unless you really think you are going to read all of them, I highly suggest limiting the number of books you bring.

5.     Ironing board- I hate ironing. I suck at it, and I honestly just hate everything about it. Unfortunately, I had to force myself to do it on a weekly basis. Ironing boards are big and bulky and even the mini ones take up precious room.

Instead: I guarantee you that someone on your hall will have one that you can borrow, or some halls even have built in ironing boards! Luckily on my hallway we had a built in ironing board so no one needed to bring one! But if you are still convinced you need one, I would advise talking to your roommate and coordinating so you don’t both bring one!
6.     Sports Equipment- I played both tennis and lacrosse in high school, and I was convinced that I would have enough free time to play tennis and lacrosse! HA! Both my tennis racket and my lacrosse stick sat in the back of my closet all year…

Instead: If you really believe you will use your sports equipment I would try to keep it to a minimum and maybe only bring it during the seasons when it’s nice out! There’s no point in having it sit in the back of your closet (like I did) November- March when it’s too cold to even possibly use it!

7.     Drying rack-Simply put dorm rooms are small and there is no convenient place to hang or stand up a drying rack. You are going to have to get creative and find places to hang your wet clothes. I actually brought a drying rack to school and ended up bring it back home still with the tag on it during fall break so my mom could return it.

8.     Bed Risers-I had my bed raised about halfway, so I could fit my dresser and some storage containers. I even had trouble getting up on my bed at that height! My mom and I brought bed risers with electrical plugs in them and when I moved in I learned that they didn’t even fit my bed posts!

Instead: Most schools offer where you can have your bed raised halfway, which is what I did. I also had my dad put really small gray paver stones(lowes or home depot) under each of my bed posts so I could fit my storage containers better (you can kind of see them in these pictures)! They were a really inexpensive option !

9.     Pots and Pans- I honestly did not cook one meal all year. Now I am not the biggest chef but I don’t think anyone really did much cooking on my hall. You just get so busy and end up going to the dining hall for most meals!

Instead: If we ever wanted to cook my RA office offered a service where you could use any of their pots and pans at any time. It was super convenient and made it so we didn’t have to keep an entire pots and pans set in our little dorm room!

10. Bulky Luggage- Between weekend trips and fall breaks at home you are going to want some kind of luggage. Preferably luggage that is easy to store but still holds a lot. You are not going to have any space for bulky suitcases anywhere in your dorm no matter how hard you try.

Instead: Keep foldable duffle bags in your room! They make for the perfect travel bag and take up practically no room to store!

What would you suggest not taking to college?





  1. Instead of an ironing board, I recommend a steamer! They are super cheap and take up zero space! And considering I don't know how to use an iron, it's perfect!

    As a about-to-be-college-senior, I 100% agree with all of these! Especially the books & sports equipment. Free time probably won't be spent reading!

    Michaela || The Monogrammed Midwesterner

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