What to Pack When Coming Home From College

Son with a basket of laundry hugging his mother by the front door
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The major breaks in college—like Thanksgiving and Spring Break—can be lifesavers for all kinds of reasons. Besides the break from classes and the festivities that happen, these breaks provide a great opportunity to head home and recharge. But just what should you pack when coming home from college?

With so much going on before you leave, it can be easy to not pay attention to what you're going to bring home over the break. Spending a few minutes now, however, to double-check the items on this list can save you many hours of inconvenience later.


While doing your laundry in college isn't logistically complicated, it takes a lot of time—and money. Doing your laundry at home, of course, is an easy way to save some time, cash, and overall inconvenience. Don't forget to grab the things that especially need a good washing at this point in the semester, like your sheets, towels, and blankets.

Anything You Need to Do Your Homework

Sure, most of your research can be done online, but if you forget your reader for Politics 101 or your notes for Organic Chemistry, you can be up the creek. Given that you're heading home over the break with the hope of getting some rest and relaxation, the last thing you need is to stress over how to get your homework done without the things you need for the assignment(s). Take a few minutes to think through what you'll need to do—and what items you'll need to finish those projects.

Your Laptop/Computer

Sometimes, the things that seem the simplest are the easiest to forget. Make sure to pack your laptop/computer as well as its power cord. If you're going through the trouble of schlepping your computer home, it'd be a waste not to be able to use it after the battery dies.

A Jump Drive

You may have things on a school server or be sharing documents with other students for a group project. Consequently, make sure to grab any jump drives you are using. That rough draft of your Shakespeare paper may be awesome but not if you accidentally leave it behind during break.

Your Cell Phone and Charger

You likely have your cell phone on you 24/7. Which, of course, is great—until you accidentally leave it at school. As you leave, do a quick check to make sure you have your cell phone (and its charger) with you. That last thing you want to worry about is not having a cell phone during your break or wondering where you left it.

Seasonal Clothes to Swap at Home

When you headed to campus this semester, you likely brought seasonal clothes (e.g., warm winter stuff or cool summer stuff). But Thanksgiving and Spring Break can mark a major change in the weather. Pack an extra bag of things you don't need until you go home again and then fill it with clothes back at home that you know you'll need for the rest of the semester.

A Nice Outfit If You're Doing Interviews

If your to-do list over the break includes doing interviews for seasonal or summer work, remember to pack that nice business outfit so that you won't be left scrambling (or worse, borrowing something from your parents) on interview day. Even if you think you'll just be dropping off applications, looking professional when you do so still matters. Lastly, remember to pack important accessories, like shoes, jewelry, socks, and a nice jacket, that complete your interview outfit.

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Lucier, Kelci Lynn. "What to Pack When Coming Home From College." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, thoughtco.com/what-to-pack-when-coming-home-from-college-793312. Lucier, Kelci Lynn. (2023, April 5). What to Pack When Coming Home From College. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/what-to-pack-when-coming-home-from-college-793312 Lucier, Kelci Lynn. "What to Pack When Coming Home From College." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/what-to-pack-when-coming-home-from-college-793312 (accessed June 8, 2023).