College Packing Tips for Flyers

Getting accepted to college, picking a student housing complex, and social-media-stalking your roommates are some of the exciting parts about getting ready to leave for school, but packing is not. Chances are you’ve read a bunch of online blogs about what you need to take with you to school and how to fabulously decorate your new room, but chances are you haven’t considered the logistics… especially if you are flying. Flying for a move is stressful. How are you going to pack up your bedroom, bathroom, and a small kitchen and get it from your home to your new apartment or dorm? Here are some tips. 

Clean Out

Before you start packing, or even making a list, go through your belongings. What do you not use anymore? What clothes have you stopped wearing or don’t fit you anymore? What can you get rid of? Even if you are planning on keeping some things at home, take the time to go through your things and minimize them. Having fewer items to look at makes it easier to decide what you’ll want to bring with you and what you can leave behind. 

Plan Your College Closet

If you have a lot of clothes, don’t plan on bringing them all with you. Instead, pick some pants and shirts that you can easily mix to make new clothing combos. It’s wise to pack a dress or two as well, one that you can wear to parties and one that would appropriate for a school presentation. Shoes also take up a lot of space while you’re packing, so try to limit it to five pairs. 

Talk to Your Roommates

If you haven’t chatted with your roommates yet, now is the time to. It can be awkward to put yourself out there to meet someone new, but that’s what college is all about! Coordinating with your roommates can help you set boundaries and expectations early, but it can also help you learn what your roommates plan on bringing and sharing. Who knows, one of them might have a pot and pan set to share or maybe a bunch of plates and bowls. Communicating with your roommates will make it easier for you to plan what you need to pack. 

Talk to Your Manager

Before you make a list of things you’ll need to buy, talk to your dorm or apartment manager. Some rooms will have trashcans, shower rods, and shower curtains already, so you won’t need to make that purchase. On the other hand, if you do need to buy something like that, it’s nice to know ahead of time. 

Buy When You Get There

Some things, like toiletries, school supplies, and mattress pads, are hard to fly with or even ship. So, before you move, do some research on stores in the area you are moving to. If it’s possible, buy things when you get there. You can even place an order to the store so it’s ready for you to pick up. If you won’t need something right away, you can always buy it online and have it shipped to your new address. When you do buy something that you’ll be using for the next four years, make sure it’s quality. You’ll be using things like laundry baskets and storage bins for a long time, so save money early on by buying something that will last. 

Ship It

For bulky, awkward things that take up too much room in your suitcases, like snow boots or a winter coat, consider shipping them instead. This way you can have what you need without losing more room. Just be sure to talk to your manager first as some places have rules for shipping. 


There’s not always a lot of options for flying, but if you have some options, do your research to see which airlines will charge for bags and how much it will cost. The luggage you take on the plane will mostly be clothing, so this way you’ll know how you need to pack and how much space you’ll have. 

Flying for college forces you to be a little more creative with your packing strategies, but it’s not impossible. When in doubt, just buy it when you get there.

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