Are you wondering what NOT to bring to college?
There are so many college packing lists on the Internet telling you what you should bring to college, but there are far fewer telling you what you shouldn’t bring.
Below are the 15 items that you don’t actually need to bring to college. Save your time and money and leave these things at home when moving to college.
1. A Television
You probably don’t really need a television in your dorm room.
Most college students just watch Netflix or Hulu on their laptops, and an actual TV is just an added expense (not to mention an added distraction.)
2. Ironing Board
An ironing board and an iron are things you definitely don’t need to bring to college. These items take up a ton of space in a small college dorm room, and just aren’t necessary.
Instead, I recommend this handheld steamer which works just as well and is extremely small and compact.
3. Prohibited Appliances
Before you move to college, check and see which appliances are prohibited.
Many dorms do not allow toasters or toaster ovens, hot plates, panini presses, space heaters, and more. Make sure any appliances you plan to bring are approved before you go!
Candles are another item that most college dorms prohibit because they can be a fire hazard. You can use a candle warmer instead (this plugs into an electrical outlet and safely releases the scent of a candle) or one of these other good-smelling alternatives:
For more candle alternatives for dorms, check out these ideas.
5. Trash Can
Most dorms provide at least one trash can for your room, so this is not something you need to bring unless you want to have multiple trash cans.
However, you will need to bring your own trash bags. I recommend these scented trash bags which are perfect for keeping your dorm room smelling fresh.
6. Too Many Clothes
One of the biggest mistakes that incoming freshmen make when packing for college is packing WAY too many clothes and shoes.
After you pack for the first time, go back through and see what you can cut down, because I guarantee that you will over-pack at first.
If you live relatively close to home or will be back at home before it gets cold, you also don’t need to pack a ton of heavy winter clothing when you move to college. This is something you can pick up later, like when you’re home for Thanksgiving break.
Your dorm room closet and storage space will probably be much smaller than you expect, so try to pack light when it comes to clothes and shoes.
7. Full-Size Vacuum Cleaner
A full-size vacuum cleaner is another item that you definitely don’t need at college. It will take up way too much space in a small dorm room, and many dorm buildings will have one you can borrow if you need it.
In most cases, a super small and light vacuum cleaner is adequate for keeping your dorm room clean, and it’s much easier to store.
A printer is something you typically do not need to bring to college. Most colleges have plenty of printers that students can use in the library, student center, and major-specific buildings.
Unless you think you’ll need to do a lot of printing for your classes, you can skip the expense of bringing your own printer.
9. Bulky Luggage
Dorm rooms are notoriously tiny, and every square inch is precious when it comes to storage space. So bulky suitcases are something you don’t want taking up space in your dorm room.
There’s really nowhere to put them and they end up wasting a lot of valuable space. You may be moving in with bulky luggage, but if possible, have family members take them back when they leave. All you need is a small suitcase or duffle bag for traveling.
10. Excessive Appliances
There are a million appliances that you can bring to college, but chances are, you won’t end up using all of them.
First, you should make sure to look and see which appliances are prohibited (as mentioned earlier), but you should also consider whether or not you really need something.
Some common appliances to bring to college include a minifridge, a microwave, and a coffee maker. But ask yourself if you really need the blender, juicer, electric griddle, or noodle maker before you overload your dorm room with appliances you’ll barely use.
11. Too Much Cookware
Similarly, you don’t need to bring as much cookware as you think to college. If you’ll be living in a dorm room, you will probably have access to a communal kitchen.
You don’t need a whole set of pots and pans and plates and silverware. Instead, just bring a minimal amount. You probably won’t end up cooking nearly as much as you might plan to.
12. Large Furniture
Most college dorm rooms come furnished with beds, desks, dressers, and a wardrobe. You may want to bring some additional furniture, but think twice about what you bring.
For example, a futon and a storage ottoman are good for small spaces, but you probably don’t want to bring a full-size couch, an armchair, or an extra dresser. It may overwhelm the small space and take up valuable square footage, and worst case, it may not fit at all.
13. High School Memorabilia
You may be tempted to bring decorations, knick-knacks, and memorabilia from high school with you, but college is a fresh start and it’s better to leave it behind.
That’s not to say that you can’t bring a photo of you and your best friends from high school to put on your bulletin board above your desk, but leave behind any big reminders (like your framed high school diploma or high school trophies… totally not necessary for college!)
14. Throw Pillows
You may want a couple of throw pillows on your bed, but avoid bringing too many, because they aren’t very functional and usually just end up getting thrown on the floor or in a corner.
Instead, I recommend bringing a reading pillow. These are great for sitting up in bed while you’re on your laptop or reading.
Finally, it’s a good idea to leave most valuables that you don’t need at home. This includes personal identity documents like your birth certificate or Social Security card.
You may also want to leave valuable jewelry and other items at home.
What Not to Bring to College
Hopefully these tips helped you figure out what NOT to bring to college.
Before you move to college, you may be tempted to over-pack and bring more than you really need in an attempt to be prepared. But truly, less is more! These are all items that you can leave behind when moving to college to maximize space and savings.