what to take

What to Pack for Graduate School

Moving across the country can be downright scary. If you are like me, you want to be prepared. So in between cleaning out my room at my parents' house and trying to pack a bag for graduate school, I'm getting mighty stressed. Here are some ideas for what (and how) to pack. 1. Declutter: one of the most important steps you can make in your life, both for your sanity and your suitcase, is to declutter. Go to your closet. Stare it in the eyes. Take everything out of the closet and put them in four piles.

  • Keep- these are clothes that reflect the way you want to dress. I know that you really want to keep that Saves the Day shirt from 10th grade, but...really? So only pick the things that you will want to wear now and in the future. Classic items are good.
  • Throw away- anything stained, unflattering, the shirt that your grandma's friend Rose gave you before she passed away. Sometimes it's hard to throw those sentimental items out but you will be happier for it in the long run.
  • Donate- these are items that you simply don't want any more but they aren't ruined. Someone will be very happy to have them.
  • Maybe- these are items that you just aren't sure about. Those shoes that you haven't worn in years but you love.

Keep all of your clothes in your closet and when you wear something make sure you flip the hanger over. After a year donate all of the items that you have not flipped over.

2. Decide what is important

I am sure we all have tons of items from our past that we want to keep. We are sentimental. But we have to remember that we can't take everything with us. Try to pair down these sentimental items down to 5 things. So if one of the items includes "papers" then just compile all of your papers into one box and label it. However you decide to do this, make sure you are only left with those things that you know are special to you. Don't save things just because.

3. Packing. It's hard to decide what to take, and if you are moving far away you have to decide if you want to hire a moving company, get a U-Haul, or pack things in a car. I am going with a car, so what I take is very limited. I can only take things I absolutely need. So if you are also taking a car, I'll break down my pack list for you.

Clothes- Only take items you know you will wear. For me this included: underwear, socks, stockings, trousers (6 work pants, 1 pair of jeans), 2 sets of pajamas, dress shirts (8), T-shirts (4), workout pants (1), casual shirts (2), coats (1) sweater (5)..Kansas gets cold!

Bathroom Supplies- I didn't pack too many of these because you can always buy them once you get there and it will save much needed space. So I took a compact hair dryer, and small packets of medicine)

Books- Since I pre-ordered my books for graduate school (stupid idea, I know! I was excited) I have to pack these (obviously.) And since I love books I am going to pack all of my books in one suitcase. My room has 4  bookshelves and I will pair those shelves down to 30 books. That includes the 12 books I need for school. So I am only taking the extremely beautiful, meaningful, can't-live-without, and Ram Daas books. (A girl's gotta meditate!)

Bags- I can't allow myself to take more than 2 bags. One briefcase/messenger bag and one purse. Okay maybe 2 purses. Eee. It's hard to say no!

Kitchen Supplies- My grandmother will kill me if I don't take my pizzelle maker. But that doesn't mean I have to shove every kitchen product into my suitcase. I figure that I can buy plastic dishes and cups when I get to school. But as for the bigger or more important things I will take: Tea pots (3) I have an addiction, Coffee/Tea Mug (1), Tea (can't leave it!), Crockpot. Everything else (pans and forks included) I'll have to buy!

Bedroom Stuff: I am going to purchase the bigger items but I might be able to fit my bed. So that is one less thing that I won't have to take. As for smaller things (room decorations, lights etc.) I am only taking the most important things. Pictures of my boyfriend, pictures of my friends. That's really about it. Think about whether what you have can be replaced easily and inexpensively. If the answer is yes, consider leaving some things behind.

Desk Stuff: I am leaving most of my desk stuff. Unless you are fortunate enough to take your desk with you, I would consider buying (or making) a new one! Only take the things you can't possibly live without. Very important papers. Are you working on your novel? Take the print-outs of your work. Besides that, try to pack as light as possible. Are you in love with your stapler? Take it. Otherwise, leave it behind! There are some things you can find and replace easily.

Remember: sometimes it is more expensive to take things with you than to replace them. Thing about the cost of taking things vs. buying them once you arrive. Deciding what you take really comes down to you. Is it more important to take those paper clips and the shirt that your boyfriend gave you 2 years ago that you will never ever wear, just because it is sentimental? Or is it better to free yourself of the objects that you don't really need or even want. Before you pack, really think about whether you need it. Will you miss it every day if you don't take it? If the answer is yes, take it. If the answer is anything but yes, leave it behind!

What are some things that you guys can't possibly leave behind?

For me, it's my typewriter.


I have decided to include my actual pack-list for school. Want to share your list?



1 pair of flip flops 1 pair of black boots 1 pair of blue flats buy: one pair of heels (small ones because…let's be real.)


-Most clothes in closet -Green Jacket -Underwear -ALL SCARVES -Leather bag -Small black leather bag -Bookbag

Desk Stuff:

-Desk (if possible) -Typewriter -2 old journals for ideas

-School books! -Folders with poems that I need to work on -Buy once there: notebooks, pens, calendar, random school supplies.


Random -Medicine -Bike

Technology -Computer (with cord and cover) -Phone (with charger) -Camera (with printer and charger)