Acoording to long distance movers in Dallas, moving to college is exciting, but packing your belongings in boxes and leaving home can be tough. 

Add in a long-distance move, and everything gets more complicated. Whether you’re moving to another state, across the country, or abroad, use these tips on what to pack and what to leave behind when going away to college.


Where to Start

Before you start your pre-school shopping trip and packing everything you own, ask for a list of items provided by your school, as well as a list of things not allowed. Some dorms might come with a microwave or have one for general use in the dorm lobby. 

Often microwaves are not permitted in the individual dorm rooms, but mini-fridges might be, so it’s important to know what is and is not allowed. 

Other items that vary by the school include:

  • Hot Water Kettles
  • Hot Plates
  • Space Heaters
  • Extension Cords

If you know you’ll be coming home during seasonal breaks, only pack for one season at a time. You only have a limited amount of luggage, so don’t try and take everything all at once. Take summer and fall clothes for your first semester and winter and spring clothes for your second semester.

When rooming up with someone, check to see what items they’re bringing so you don’t double up. Items like mini-fridges, TVs, and microwaves can be shared by two people. They’re also bulky and take up a lot of room, so you don’t want to double up.


Figure out how you’re getting to your long-distance destination and pack accordingly. If you’re traveling in a car, you can pack much more than if you’re limited to two suitcases on a flight.


Long Distance Tips

Consider Shipping

When you’re traveling long-distance, only taking two suitcases may not be practical. If that is the case, you’ll want to have items shipped to you. For these things, ask yourself what you will not need for several weeks or months after you arrive. 

Shipping is best saved for things that take up a lot of space and can’t be taken with you on a plane or even stuffed inside your fully-packed car. Keep in mind when you get to your dorm room that items will be coming and leave space for their placement or storage. 

When considering how to arrange the shipment of items, either box them up and leave with family or friends to ship to you, or hire a moving company to do the heavy lifting.


Plan 3-6 Months Out

When packing, it’s best to think in seasons. Ask yourself what you’ll need for the next three to six months. Be sure to include essential items you’ll need for the upcoming seasons. 

how to pack for college

You won’t need every jacket, scarf, and coat you own. Take a jacket and coat and a few scarves, so you’ll have what you need and minimize as much as possible. 

Pack your clothes by season so you can see exactly what you’re taking and make sure you have enough. If you’re tempted to pack an item you haven’t worn in a year, leave it at home. 

If you miss it:

You can take it back the next time.


Buy Locally

There are numerous items you won’t need to pack and take with you that you can buy locally instead. Not only will you save money by not shipping them, but you’ll save space by not taking them with you in the first place. 

What items can you buy when you reach your destination?

  • School supplies and toiletries. These are plentiful nearly everywhere around the world.
  • Textbooks. Purchase them once you’re at school and have them shipped to your college mailbox.
  • Microwave or mini-fridge. These are both heavy, bulky items that take up space when moving long distances and can be purchased upon arrival.


Long-Distance College Packing List

Here’s everything you’ll want to pack for moving to your dorm. 


Bed and Bath

Most dorms have extra long twin size mattresses, so you’ll want XL twin sheets, a couple of pillows, comforter, and mattress protector. Take two changes of sheets so you can wash one set and use one. 

You won’t need more than a pillow or two since you’ll be on a twin bed, and one comforter is often enough to keep you warm. Bring a light blanket if you’re a cold sleeper. 

Take two large bath towels to go from the showers back to your room.

what to pack when moving to college


Here are a few items you may find come in handy for your new dorm.

  • Bed Risers (for beds not attached to the walls)
  • Duct Tape
  • Earplugs/Eye Mask
  • First-Aid-Kit
  • Flashlight
  • Light Bulbs for Lamps
  • Pain Medication such as Tylenol and Advil
  • Small Sewing Kit
  • Small Tool Kit
  • Removable Wall Adhesive



What would a dorm room be without some décor? Think of bringing items like an area rug, posters, pictures from home of friends and family, twinkle light strands, and a piece of favorite décor from your room.


Cleaning Supplies

Many of these items can be purchased upon arrival, including:

  • Handheld Vacuum
  • Disinfectant Wipes
  • Small Trash Can
  • Paper Towels
  • Surface Cleaner
  • Laundry Detergent and Dryer Sheets


Appliances and Accessories

  • Laptop and Case
  • Desk Lamp
  • Extension Cord and Power Strip
  • HDMI Cable
  • Earbuds
  • Phone Charger
  • Mini Fridge
  • Microwave
  • Fan



  • Athletic Wear
  • Jeans and T-Shirts
  • Comfortable and Dress Shoes
  • Formal Outfit 
  • Hangers
  • Shoe Organizer
  • Seasonal Jacket or Coat
  • PJs
  • Business Outfit
  • Rain Boots
  • Sunglasses
  • Umbrella


What Not to Pack

  • Tons of T-shirts: Your college will give you a few most likely
  • Your Library: Bring a few favorites you know you’ll enjoy reading.
  • School Supplies: Buy it when you get there.
  • Coffee Maker: Unless you’re sure you’re going to use it.
  • Extra Towels and Bedding: Two sets of sheets and towels are plenty.


You Can Do This!

The end goal is for you to feel at home even though you are away from home. Bringing too much unnecessary stuff can leave your space feeling cramped and claustrophobic. 

Use this article as a guide to help you narrow down what you need to take and what you can leave at home. Enjoy this exciting time in your life! 


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