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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pitt chapter.

There are two types of people when it comes to packing for college. Those who pack like they are going on a three-day camping trip, and those who create scenarios in which they will need their fourth-grade talent show trophy. When it came time to pack up my whole life for my freshman dorm, I fell into the first group. I packed a few pairs of pants, minimal makeup and about a dozen band t-shirts.

Luckily for me, my university is only about half an hour away from my home. However, for those of you who moved across the country for college, the stakes for packing are raised. How do you pack absolutely everything you need while still being able to fit everything in your mom’s car? If you live really far away, you need to consider the cost of shipping everything you need, what can and cannot be shipped and so much more.

As I am my freshman year is coming to a close, I am moving out of my residence hall. After a whole lot of time and consideration, I came up with five tips on how to make your college packing/move-in process go as smoothly as possible!

Walk through a day

There are so many things you will miss if you skip this step. Don’t just think “I wake up and I brush my teeth, so I’ll need a toothbrush and toothpaste.” Think about your feet hitting the ground in the morning. Do you need slippers? Do you want a rug? If your residence hall has a communal bathroom, will you need a towel for your face? Use this step to minimize the amount of money you need to spend once you’re there.

Be realistic with decor

I cannot tell you how many hanging shelves were discarded in the residence hall lounge with sticky notes that read “free!” at the end of move-in day. They look good on Pinterest, but they are clunky and usually cannot hold much. Posters are a lifesaver! They are flat, but they add so much dimension and character to the room.

Consider how much money you’re willing to spend

If there is a Target or Walmart near your college, consider buying some of your appliances there! If you are planning on doing this, I highly recommend ordering ahead and having them hold it at the store. So many people buy totes and baskets during welcome week, so it is always good to make sure that the items you need are available at the store.

do a deep-dive on the internet

If you go searching for long enough, chances are you’ll find a Facebook or Reddit post detailing the dimensions of the room and all the furniture that comes with it. It is super helpful to know how much wall space you have to work with!

Remember- you’re going home for Winter Break

Unless you are not planning to go home after finals week, remember that you are only really packing clothes for the first semester. Consider what the weather is going to be like at your university. If you are in a state where November and December are not cold, don’t bother packing a puffer jacket!

The most important thing to acknowledge is that you are going to make mistakes and forget things- it’s almost unavoidable. As long as you bring the bare essentials: phone, laptop, meds, glasses, etc, you are going to be alright! Moving into your freshman dorm is incredibly scary. You are going to have to sleep in a new room for the first time, be away from your friends and family, and be in a city/town that you probably do not know much about. There are so many aspects of O-week that are super intimidating, but don’t let packing be one of them!

Kat is a first-year student at the University of Pittsburgh. This is her first year writing for Her Campus, and she is primarily interested in writing about psychology, history, relationships, music, movies, and her own experiences as a freshman in college. She is majoring in secondary education with a focus in English. Her goal for the year is to be a published author on at least three different platforms.