When I was an incoming freshman, I had no clue what to get for my dorm. Because of this, I watched a lot of YouTube dorm hauls and read a lot of blog posts claiming they had come up with the perfect list of things to bring.
What I didn't realize until recently when watching these types of videos or reading these lists is that a lot of the people creating them also don't really know what you need because they are also freshmen, or they are sponsored posts aimed at clueless freshmen. I definitely bought into these types of lists and probably bought items I otherwise never would have needed.
Below you will find a series of things you will find on college packing lists that aren't truly necessary.
1. A Brita water filter
Don't get me wrong, the concept of this item is great, but the truth is that it will probably only get filled up a few times before you get tired of the extremely annoying amount of time it takes to fill one of these water filters up. Mine ended up sitting on the top of our fridge most of the year completely empty while taking up valuable space.
Instead, I ended up purchasing a filtered water bottle that does the exact same thing on a smaller scale and was much faster.
2. An iron and iron board
So many freshmen make the mistake of buying an iron for college. These two items end up being more expensive and taking up way more valuable space than they're worth. Instead, I recommend buying a mini steamer. This is probably one of the best things I ended up buying. While a lot of college students may not be worried about a few wrinkles, when sorority rush rolled around I sure was glad I had this nifty little gadget.
3. A lanyard
Nothing screams freshman quite like wearing a lanyard with your ID attached to it. While it might seem like a good idea at first, it's a lot more convenient to just keep your ID in your wallet or phone case instead.
4. Your entire closet
I definitely learned this the hard way. The first semester I brought too many clothes and yet not enough clothes at the same time. I ended up bringing too many cute summery clothes and not enough practical transition pieces for when the weather started to get colder. Before you leave, it's a good idea to figure out when the next time you'll be home is. If you'll be home fairly frequently, it's not a bad idea to try and swap out clothes as the seasons change. That way you save space but also have all the clothes you need.
5. Furniture that the college already supplies
I know it may be hard to resist buying a super cute desk chair to replace the one that comes with the room, but it's not necessary and in most cases not allowed. A lot of schools don't allow you to remove any furniture from your room. So buying a cuter version of something the school already provides really just means you'll be spending money you could be spending on more important things.
6. All of your favorite books and movies
Not to sound like a broken record, but dorm rooms are small. As far as books go, you'll probably be too busy to read books for pleasure anyway. This was a heartbreaking realization as an English literature major, but I quickly realized that if I really wanted to read for fun, I could just check out any book I wanted to read from the library instead. This way my books from home weren't taking up space and not getting read. The same applies to movies; you really don't need to bring physical copies of any DVDs when you have Netflix and Hulu at your fingertips.
7. Every coffee mug you own
Washing your dishes may not be fun, but it's something you have to get used to doing in college. Because you are able to wash your dishes, you really don't need a plethora of coffee mugs. Bringing one or two mugs is a good idea, but you really won't use your entire collection no matter how cute they all are.
8. Excessive kitchen appliances
Don't go overboard on appliances. Other than coffee makers, most are banned by colleges anyway. You really don't need a George Foreman grill, hot plate, toaster or whatever other small appliances you seem to find yourself thinking you might use.
9. A trash can
So many of the dorm haul videos I've seen feature trash cans. Do your research beforehand on what your school provides. The majority of schools will provide them, making the extra trash can unnecessary and a waste of money. It really doesn't matter how cute or ugly your trash can is because, well, it's a trash can.
10. Entire dining sets
I see a lot of freshmen buying these, and it's really unnecessary. Entire sets take up so much space, and you will probably end up using the same single set anyway. Stores like Target and Walmart sells cheap single pieces that are a much better alternative.
Packing for college is hard enough. By leaving the above items behind, you'll be able to save space and your wallet.