The semester is winding down at last amidst a whirl of final projects and December sunsets. It’s crazy to think we’ve come so far – it seems like I only yesterday I was moving in!
As we bring things to a close, you may already be packing up to return home. It can feel like a daunting task at times – condensing everything you want to bring back into a few well-packed suitcases.
So what should stay in your dorm room and what should you bring with you?
What Should Go Home:
Let’s be honest, most of our minds are on “going” right now. So let’s start with those things that should make the trip with you!
Bring more clothes than you think you’ll need. It’s okay to leave a few things at school, but don’t pack just one outfit for every day you’ll be home. There’s this strange thing that happens when you plan out every single outfit you’ll wear for a two or three week period – when you wake up in the morning you suddenly don’t want to wear any of it. Pack versatile items that can make up more than one outfit.
If you want options at school in the morning, you’ll want them at home too. This also applies to shoes. Make sure you’re prepared for whatever the climate at home is like. This may mean packing your rain boots, snow boots, dress shoes for parties, etc. Don’t think you’ll wear just one pair of shoes.
Take down any decorations you may have put up for the holidays and bring them home. You won’t want all those things hanging around your room for months during spring semester.
Bring back anything valuable. Even if you’re required to lock your door over the break, it’s never wise to leave valuable items unattended for a span of a few weeks.
Use this opportunity to de-clutter. Bring home anything that gets in your way or that you thought you might need but now don’t. This includes notebooks and binders that are full, text books you bought but are finished with, and excess dorm décor. If it’s been annoying you all autumn, it will annoy you in the spring, too.
What to Leave Behind:
Most of the things you’ve used to decorate your dorm can stay. Your room at home may feel a little sparser without all the pictures and things that are now at school, but it gets tedious to keep lugging that stuff back and forth every semester. If you won’t actually need it at home, leave it at school. This will make moving back in much easier, too.
Also leave school supplies you’re going to use next semester, such as pens, pencils, paper, and empty binders or notebooks. If you bring everything home, you run the risk of forgetting it when you return. This can make for some frustrating situations you don’t need to deal with at the beginning of a new semester.
Clothes you know you won’t wear are another thing that can be left behind. Bring enough items to give yourself options, but you don’t have to tote everything home.
Take everything out of your refrigerator, unplug it, and leave it open. This prevents any unexpected surprises when you return and also keeps any moisture from growing mold.
Finally, go through all your binders and throw out old class materials you no longer need. It’s hard to get out of the high school habit of keeping every assignment and handout for your transcript, but its necessary. Otherwise you just end up with a room full of clutter. So keep anything that will be of use to you in the future and anything you’re especially proud of. Throw everything else out. It’s a very freeing feeling. Plus, you now have those binders to use over again.
I hope the holidays bring you all the joy they’re designed to this winter. Push ahead through those last few finals, and then we’ll be home free!