Back to school

Heading back to school is a stressful endeavor, especially if you're moving out of your home to attend college. As you pack, you may easily overlook a few important items, such as extra batteries for your electronic devices or important personal documents. Before you finalize your preparations, create a checklist to ensure that you bring the most important items with you. Here's a helpful reminder of a few common things that are often forgotten:


During your college career, you'll depend on a variety of electronic devices to entertain and educate yourself, from calculators to your favorite MP3 player. Before you leave home for college, ensure that you have all of the batteries that you need for your devices. Stock up on spare batteries so that you can avoid emergency trips to the store when your batteries run low. Don't forget to bring your chargers as well. A useful tip to guarantee you have batteries for each appliance: on your checklist, make separate entries for the device itself and one for device's batteries, then you'll have to individually check off that you have packed the battery for each device.


In addition to batteries for your devices, you should also bring manuals and other important documentation for each device. If you purchase a scientific calculator, the manual will help you quickly learn how to use your calculator's advanced functions. If you plan to make any expensive purchases, such as a new laptop, the warranty and receipt can help you get assistance from the device's manufacturer. Pack these items in a labeled folder to help you stay organized.

Personal Information

If you're moving out of your childhood home for the first time, you need to take charge of your personal information, including your birth certificate and financial information. During college, you may need this information to prove your identity or access your bank account. Waiting for your parents to mail you this information will cause delays and could potentially interfere with your education or ability to pay your bills or gain access to important information.

Tool Set

Making a late-night trip to a nearby hardware store is not always a feasible option when you're final paper is due tomorrow and you need to fix your laptop, tonight! Instead, prepare your own small set of useful tools to bring to college. Be sure to include a small hammer and a variety of screwdrivers. A pack of nails and screws will complete your kit. If emergency strikes, you should be prepared enough for at least a temporary fix.

Storage Containers

If you plan to live in a dorm, space will be difficult to find. Clear plastic containers can provide extra storage space and help keep some sense of order in your room. For best results, look for shallow containers that you can easily place beneath your bed. Be sure to label each container so that you can quickly see the contents of each unit.

Flash Drive

No matter how technologically advanced your campus is, the university's Internet service could fail at any time. If you have to rely on your email to retrieve a term paper, and the Internet is being stubborn, you may find yourself in trouble. Instead, keep a flash drive with you at all times. You'll be able to print your important papers from any working computer on campus.

As you get ready to go back to school, make a checklist of the essential items that you will need throughout the year. Proper preparation will help you avoid repeat trips to the store to replace important items. Knowing that you are organized and fully equipped will also allow for a less stressful transition into school. Happy packing!