What NOT To Pack For College

There are a few things you should not pack for college

Flickr user Adam Kuban

As you’re making your packing list of what to bring to college this year, you’ll probably write down quite a few items that you end up not wanting to bring or you shouldn’t be taking to the dorm at all. Here are a few things you should definitely not pack for college:

Prohibited Items

Your college no doubt has a list of prohibited items. This list varies from school to school, so it’s important to research this topic to ensure you’re not bringing any of them. RA’s will often come into your room to inspect and you can get in trouble if you have a prohibited item.

Some things that tend to go against the rules are candles, space heaters, microwaves, hot plates, and incense. If you can’t find this list online or in your paperwork, make sure you call the housing department on campus.


Pets also tend to be prohibited, but some students try to sneak them in anyway. You absolutely won’t be able to hide a cat or a dog in your dorm! On top of that, your pets will be unhappy cooped up in such a small area.

However, some students will actually try to take fish, lizards, gerbils, or a similar animal to their dorm. These also tend to be prohibited. Even if they’re easier to hide, it’s not worth the risk—especially with room inspections or maintenance. It’s best to not take on any pet care or bring any furry or scaly loved ones from home when you’re moving into your dorm.

If you really want to / need to have your pet, look into pet friendly colleges that allow animals in the dorms.

All of Your Items

Over-packing is one of the top mistakes students make when moving to their college dorm. While you want to bring necessities and a few things related to your hobbies or favorite entertainments, you don’t want to pack everything you have. For example, you most likely have quite a few books; Don’t pack them all. Pick and choose a few favorites or novels you haven’t read yet.

This suggestion goes for most hobbies. If you play video games, you don’t need to bring three consoles and the 100 games you own. Or every single craft you enjoy taking part in in your free time. You’ll always be able to bring stuff back to your home after the first semester and take new things with you after the winter break.

This suggestion also has to do with any collections you may have. Whether it’s knick knacks, Funko figurines, or 10 seasons of your favorite TV show, leave them at home. You can absolutely bring one or two things like this, but taking everything will help you run out of space quickly.

Dorm rooms don’t tend to be spacious and you will have to share this tiny space with another person. Be respectful and pack smart. It’s important to be realistic about the free time you will have and not pack every single item you have or enjoy.

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