Students outdoorsPacking for college can be a daunting experience, especially if you will be attending school far way from home. Many college students will only be heading home a few times per semester, so it's helpful to pack for college properly so nothing important is left behind. Your college dorm or apartment will be a home away from home, so be sure to bring everything that will help make you feel comfortable in your new environment.

Make a List to Thoroughly Pack for College

Off the top of your head, make a list of the items you want to pack for college. The most common items to pack for college include clothing that spans the seasons of the semester you are attending college, electronics and personal items. Start making a list a few months prior to leaving, and update it continually.

1) Clothing

Be sure take weather-appropriate clothing. In most areas of the country, August is going to be much warmer than it will be in November, however, you may be able to wear the same clothing in warmer and colder months if you pack for college properly: pack items that you can easily layer and can be worn with alot of different outfits. Be sure you have proper footwear for the season as well. You may get by with sandals in early fall but you may need a pair of boots in the winter. Be thorough in your thinking about what you should pack for college.

2) Electronics

The first few days at college are always a struggle when it comes to technology as everyone is trying to get everything set up at the same time. Be sure you have all the proper cords and cables you will need to hook up a computer and printer. If bringing other small electronics, be sure to pack chargers and extra batteries.

3) Other Personal Items

To properly pack for college, don't forget some of the items you use everyday but probably take for granted. Be sure to pack all medications you use and file away prescriptions for when you need to get a refill. In fact, make a list of all of your doctor's and other medical professional's phone numbers, just in case. If you will be applying for a job, be sure to pack proper documentation, such as a passport. Do make a copy of any important documentation that you pack for college; leave it at home so that there's always a record of it should it get lost.

Contact Your Roommate to Determine What to Pack for College

Many schools mail out roommate selections to incoming freshman prior to the start of the semester. Get in contact with your roommate to see what he or she is packing for college; chances are, there may be some items you may be able to share. For example, you likely only need to pack one TV, one ironing board and one small microwave for college. As dorms are generally not very large, you don't want to be stuck with extra items that take up valuable space.

Some roommates prefer to connect to not only talk about what to pack for college that they can share, but to also discuss how they want the look and feel of the room to be. That way, similar styles of bedding, for example, can be bought so that the room does not have a mismatched feel. Plenty of college freshman even purchase identical items to help the room look coordinated and feel more like home.

Scour the Ads to Help Pack for College

Looking through the newspapers ads around July and August may help you to pack for college. Many circulars will be all about "back-to-school" and will advertise the must-have items to pack for college. Use these ads to help trigger ideas for what you may want to pack for college, but had forgotten on your original list. As packing for college can be expensive, be sure to search online for coupons that you can print off to use at those stores.

Ask Others What to Pack for College

If you have friends that are a year or two ahead of you, or a sibling that has been to college and understands how to pack for college, ask them! Inquire about what the most useful items to pack for college were; you may find out that you missed some important items. These veterans may also be able to help you pare down your list if it has gotten too large.

Many schools send out a checklist to incoming students prior to their first semester; this tool can also be helpful to help you remember everything to pack for college.

Consider Valuables

Many people have cherished items that they do not want to be without, such as jewelry. College is all about community-living; no matter if you are in a dorm room or an apartment, chances are the place you live in will rarely be empty. Think twice about if your valuables should be packed for college. If you do decide to take them along with you, consider purchasing a small safe to store them in. You may be able to trust your friends or your roommates, but you never know who is going to be spending time in your room--with all the coming and going, the door may also be unlocked for periods of time. Play it safe and don't pack items close to the heart for college.

Determine How Much Money to Take or Set Aside

If you will not be working while you are at college, you will need to have an idea of how much money you'll need to set aside to last the semester (or the year!). Be sure to plan this carefully as you may be surprised how quickly you can go through money. Think of all the things you will need extra cash for: haircuts, outings with your new friends and snacks, among other things. Plan what you will do if you have a larger expense. Will you have an emergency credit card to use in case you need quick cash? Be sure to pack that!