Freshman Mistake #1: Overpacking

Packing was one of the easiest and most stressful parts of being an incoming freshman. I have a propensity to make lists. I make lists for almost everything I do, so packing for college was no exception!

One day in mid-July I sat on my bed with a pad of paper and my favorite pens and started to make a list of everything I thought I needed to bring with me. The list started small at first; basic items like “clothes” and “shampoo.” But, because I like to be thorough about everything I started to do research. I watched dorm haul videos on YouTube of what other girls bought for college, I watched college advice videos about packing and I even went as far as going onto the Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond websites to check out their college packing checklists. Finally, after about three weeks of research and writing and re-writing lists I had finally created the master list.

Not to toot my own horn but this list was absolutely perfect. I had sub-categories and sub-categories to sub-categories that would make my mother proud (a self-proclaimed organizational expert). The list ended up being three pages long back-to-back. The first page started with the title “College Packing List” (creative right?) and then moved onto the sub-categories. Clothing was first (tee-shirts, camis, pajama shirts, long sleeve shirts, pull overs, sweaters, cardigans, button-ups, sweatshirts). Then I did the same thing for every other type of clothing I owned. Once I was finished clothing, I moved onto bedding and everything I needed for my bed (comforter, throw blanket, pillows, sheets, mattress pad). Toiletries were next, then desk and classroom supplies and finally miscellaneous items. You get the idea.

No one I talked to had a list nearly as long or extensive as mine and they all told me I wasn’t going to need half of the stuff I was packing. I heard that same speech from so many people that the main mistake freshman make is packing too much stuff.

Boy, were they wrong. I’m glad I made the master list because everything I packed I have used at least once since I’ve arrived on campus. I think this happened because before I put anything on the list I made sure I could think of a not out-of-this-world situation where I would need it. So it wasn’t too farfetched to bring a roll of paper towels when I spilled my coffee all over my desk one morning when I got back from class. And to be honest, I would have rather brought too much stuff and never used half of it then not bring enough and have to buy it all after my parents left. Even after packing my master list I still forgot one thing. A pencil sharpener.

I wouldn’t worry about packing too much. If you think you might use it then bring it because it’s better to be safe than sorry. I’m the only one of my friends here on campus who hasn’t mentioned at least once a day that they needed to go to CVS or Target to pick something up that they forgot. That includes food. I went grocery shopping the day before move in and bought a ton of food to bring with me. Enough to fill up a 64-liter container.

Once the master list was finalized, shopping for everything and packing everything so I would be ready for move in day was easy. I did everything in less than a week. Making a list of everything you need to bring is an awesome way to stay organized so you don’t forget anything when you leave home especially if it’s something important to you like an old quilt or your favorite pair of shoes.

Xox Tori