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Tips For Packing For Your College Apartment At UVA

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

It’s that time of the year again! As the fall semester is approaching, it’s time to start thinking of back to school shopping! Transitioning from a dorm room to your own apartment at school is a big change, so get organized and plan ahead for what to pack! Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Pack a semester-long supply of cleaning products.

First off, when you move into your college apartment, there is a chance your place might not be cleaned (ew). Mine certainly wasn’t, so cleaning was the first thing I did when I moved in. I recommend packing enough cleaning supplies to get through the whole semester. You might think this is overkill, but the last thing you’ll want to do in your limited free time on weekends is go shopping for toilet bowl cleaner. Devoting time each week to cleaning your apartment will help keep your space tidy and ensure your guests will want to keep coming over! Here is a non-exhaustive list of cleaning supplies you’ll want to start stocking up on for the fall:

  • dish soap
  • sponges
  • Clorox wipes
  • vacuum
  • mop
  • drain clog remover gel (for your hair that will inevitably clog your shower drain)
  • toilet bowl cleaner
  • paper towels
  • all purpose cleaner spray
  • glass cleaner spray (for your full-length mirror that will get filthy)
  • Tide pods
  • Tide stain stick
  • dryer sheets
  • lots and lots of toilet paper!

Bring more wall art than you know what to do with.

Trust me on this, you will have so much wall space, it is better to over-pack than under-pack. Pack 5-10 posters/pictures/etc. for your own room, and coordinate with your roommates on décor for shared spaces. Your apartment is going to be your home for the year, so make it feel authentically you! Colorful posters and pictures from home are a great way to make your space more inviting and combat any feelings of homesickness! I recommend investing in Cork Bulletin Boards to hang in your room. You can pin a collage of your favorite pictures on them, and switch out the photos as you like.

Pack plastic drawer storage bins to tuck under your bed.

I highly advise bringing extra storage bins for your clothing. My college apartment last year was furnished, but I felt like I didn’t have enough space for my clothes. I think it’s a good idea to pack these bins with you since the Target by grounds is almost completely run through the first few weeks of classes. You can also pack your clothing inside these bins to save space and time during move-in. Utilizing the space under your bed will help keep your closet space more organized and maximize the limited space you have.

pack xl phone charging cords and power strip extension cords.

This is something you might not think of but definitely need. You may not have outlets in all of the spaces you’d ideally like to have in your apartment. Bringing a power strip with a long cord can help make sure your electronics stay charged. This is especially true if you are sharing a room with a friend and may not have enough outlets for the two of you.

coordinate with your roommate(s) on kitchen items and be practical.

I found that I had more than enough space for all of the kitchenware items my roommate and I packed for our apartment. We packed a lot. Yet, we only use the core essentials as we don’t have a lot of time to cook and we stick to our favorite meals frequently. So, pack the things you use on a regular basis at home and limit yourself to that to avoid unnecessary clutter. However, splurge on fun items that you know you will get value from. I have a fun set of pink glasses I use for making drinks when my friends come over. Little things like that can make your apartment more festive and make gatherings more special.

bring enough clothes to last you until thanksgiving.

Don’t go overboard with packing clothes. With the fall semester, you might go home for Fall Break, and you almost definitely will go home for Thanksgiving, so pack your wardrobe so it will last you until then. Don’t make the mistake of packing winter clothing when you’re leaving for school in August. Of course you should pack some long sleeve shirts, pants, and a light jacket, but be practical. At school, 90% of my outfits are either athleisure for class or going out clothes. Pack clothing that is functional for your lifestyle. Also pack a few professional outfits if you anticipate going to career development or networking events on grounds.

That’s it for now! I hope these tips helped, and I wish you the best of luck as you pack up and move back to Charlottesville. See you on grounds!

Claire Brodish is a third-year student at the University of Virginia studying Commerce. Claire serves as the chapter's President. Keep up with her on Instagram @claire_brodish xx