With move-in day looming on the horizon, a mere two weeks away for most of you, I’m sure you’re completely bogged down with lists of essential college items. Well, while we have a list of stuff like that here, this list is going to be a little different. In fact, this is a list of stuff you should leave at home.
To be fair, everyone’s college experience is different. So, I can definitely think of situations where someone might need most of these things. For example, if you’re rushing a sorority, you might need more formal clothes than the average GDI. If your goal is to have the prettiest dorm on the floor, knick-knacks might really be an essential college item. That being said, dorms are veryfuckinsmall. If it’s feasible for you to at least leave any of these things home until you need them, that’s probably a good idea.
“Essential College Items” You Don’t Actually Need
High school t-shirts
I guess these land on your essential college items lists because they remind you of home. But honestly, bring your favorite and leave the rest at home. You’re going to get so many free t-shirts that your drawer will be stuffed before you know it. And just like with ex-boyfriend t-shirts, fully moving on from high school involves leaving the past in the past. No one wears high school t-shirts in college. You’ll thank me for this.
Clothing that needs to be ironed
Some college lists will tell you to bring some nice clothes. It’s true, you might need to dress up for things like job fairs, sorority recruitment, etc. But until that one day, they’re folded away somewhere getting wrinkly
On that note– an iron and ironing board.
We just discussed how you won’t use it and honestly, you don’t have the space for it anyway. If you need it once in a semester, someone on your floor will have one that you can use. These do not qualify as essential college items in my book.
Your tuition already covers a certain amount of printing pages per week. Bringing your own printer is like buying a product that’ll help you waste your tuition money. Plus, once you run out of ink once, it’ll be a giant clunky dust collector for the rest of the year.
A ton of decor
Like printers, lots of decor sounds like a great idea until you realize the only purpose it serves is to give you something to dust. Knickknacks that don’t serve a purpose will eventually just clutter your brain in such a small space, and you don’t want that.
Nice bags don’t qualify as essential college items because you’ll only need them twice– for move-in and move-out. And hopefully, your parents can bring them for you. Just keep a couple duffel bags you can roll up real small and take out for weekend trips home.
I had an entire bin of DVDs in college, and I thought they were essential because it was only the very beginning for Netflix. But now that you have Netflix and Hulu and Prime Video, etc., this is somewhere you can save space as well!
Tons of food
Many lists of essential college items will tell you to load up on snacks, but I’d take this with a grain of salt (some snack humor for ya). Don’t fill up on snacks when you or your parents are already spending thousands on a meal plan. Unless you have allergies, maybe devote one drawer to your absolute favorite snacks that aren’t available in the dining hall.
When I was shopping for school, Bed Bath and Beyond was advertising plastic plates and silverware as “dorm essentials,” and I fell for it. My mom warned me, but for some reason I never thought of how weird and gross it would be to wash dishes in a dorm bathroom. They collected dust for the entire year. I didn’t use them once.
Of course, the exception to this is if you’re moving into a full apartment rather than a little dorm. Or if you’re very environmentally conscious and don’t feel comfortable using paper plates and disposable cutlery.
Excessive numbers of pleasure books
You just will NOT have time unless you’re literally the most avid reader out there.
Like nice luggage, you’ll only use a toolbox on move-in day and move-out day. Your parents can bring this for you.
Anything the roommate already has
Coordinate with your roommate!! Everyone’s dorm lists say to bring a fridge, but duh, you only need one per room. So check with your roommate to make sure you’re not both wasting a ton of your money on things the other already has.
You like to think you’ll vacuum every week. You probably should vacuum every week. But you won’t. With everything on your plate in college, if you do it once a month, that’s pretty good. And someone on your floor will have taken their dorm lists seriously enough to have brought one you can borrow.
The reason they don’t give you more is because the room doesn’t fit any more. Don’t bring extra chairs, futons, etc., until you’ve seen the room and know you can fit it.
You don’t need to pack your winter coat on move-in day when you won’t be needing it until November. Ask your parents if they can ship seasonal clothes to you, or bring them back from a weekend at home. Don’t try to store every clothing item you have in that tiny closet.
Bulky storage containers
Some type of storage container is definitely going to be a college essential, but don’t bring it until you’ve seen the room and gotten some measurements. You don’t want to have to lug a giant storage box back down four flights of stairs after finding out it doesn’t fit under your bed after all.
Cleaning supplies other than Clorox wipes
Clorox wipes are actually essential college items. Seriously, they’re so versatile. They’re good for quick dusting and sanitizing, they’re cheap, and you can use them on almost every surface in your dorm room, especially if you have shared bathrooms that get cleaned by an employee. You really don’t need anything else!
*See bulky storage containers*
My freshman year roommate brought her field hockey stick or lacrosse stick or whatever she played, and it stood up against the wall for the entire. year. It moved once on the first nice spring day, and only so she could take it around the hall and ask it anyone wanted to play with her. She ended up putting it back because no one else had one.
Stuff with exposed heating elements
Candles, obviously. But also some coffee pots, candle warmers, etc. Some schools even have limit on microwave and lamp wattage. My school suffered a fatal fire a few decades ago, and they no longer allow tapestries or anything with cloth minus bedding. Check the rules, folks! What one list calls essential might be totally against your school’s rules.
Excessive school supplies
College school supplies are not like high school. You won’t need a there ring binder, notebook, and folder for each class. Get one five-subject notebook, some colorful pens for color coding notes, highlighters, and post-it notes.
All four of your high school year books, three of which you don’t make an appearance in
Any other collections you have
Harry Potter books, shot glasses, Disney pins, leave ’em. Aside from the space issue I’ve made abundantly clear, shit happens in college. You don’t want shit to happen to something you’ve been building for years.