How Many Clothes Should You Bring To College?

Going to college is an important milestone in everyone’s life. It comes with many questions and doubts, one of them being – how many clothes will it be enough to bring with you?

The answer depends on several factors, so continue reading to determine how many clothes should you bring to college with you.

Where Will You Live?

One of the most important factors contributing to the number of clothes you should bring with you to college is a place you plan to live in.

That amount won’t be the same if you go to college without moving out from your home, or if you live in a shared room in a dorm. Let’s see what are your options.


what to pack for college

The dorm is one of the most common housing options students choose. Living in a dorm is a great way to meet new people and be in close proximity to all the happenings on campus.

Unfortunately, it is also an option with the smallest wardrobe storage. Depending on how many clothes you have at home, you will probably have to adjust that amount when going to college.

If you have a lot of clothes at home and you cannot bring them all with you, it’s a good option to know for how long you will be on campus before going back home again.

If, say, you will be at college for a week, you can only bring clothes for that week. When you go home, you can switch them with the ones that you left there. The same goes for long periods of time, like a month or more.


how many clothes to bring to college

In case you will have your own apartment while in college, your options are much wider. You can bring literally as many clothes as you want!

Even if your room doesn’t have a large wardrobe, there are a lot of inexpensive options for additional storage space, like storage organizers and racks.

They can also be very nicely decorated if you put some time into them. Keep in mind that bringing a large number of clothes also means more often washing.

While it is not a difficult job, it can be time-consuming when you let the dirty clothes sit for too long. You can prevent this by washing the clothes regularly.

At home

how to pack clothes for college

If you plan on staying home while going to college, you obviously won’t be bringing any clothes with you as they are already there. However, you can consider going through your closet and upgrading your wardrobe.

With all of the new school supplies, you may need more space, and removing some of the old clothes you don’t wear anymore can provide it to you.

Remember that you don’t have to throw the clothes away, you can always give them to someone you know who will wear them, or simply donate them.

Is It Hot Or Cold?

how much clothes should i bring to college

When packing for the next part of your school journey, you should find out as much as you can about the climate of the place you are moving to.

If it is near the place you live now, then you already know all about it, but if it is a bit further away, it’s very important to know what kind of weather you can expect on monthly basis.

This will help you determine more precisely how many clothes you need.

If you are moving someplace with a hot climate, you will be able to bring much more clothes than to the colder areas because clothes for summer are lighter and take little space.

You want to make sure that you have some comfortable, light pants and shirts, dresses, skirts, T-shirts, and blouses. Apart from that, you should also bring some warm pieces of clothing, like sweaters, cardigans, and a jacket or two – just in case it suddenly gets colder.

In case you are going somewhere cold, you should make sure that you are well-equipped for such weather. Warm boots, jackets, and sweaters are a must.

You should also make hats, scarves, and gloves, along with other, lighter clothes, so you can dress in layers. You may not be able to take as many clothes as you would like if you don’t have huge wardrobes, but it is important to stay warm and healthy.

Additional Tips

Apart from checking out the storage of clothes you will use and packing according to the weather, there are some other things you should take into account when deciding how many clothes to bring with you to college.

Here are some additional tips that can make your packing easier.

Pack Wisely

how many clothes to take to college

When packing clothes for college, it’s important to know that you shouldn’t bring more than you actually need.

Along with all the school supplies, additional assignments, and possibly other people in your room, it’s a good idea to keep the mess minimal.

Wear clothes that you can combine with other garments, rather than ones that you wear only as a part of one or two outfits but wouldn’t otherwise.

It’s a good idea to have at least around five pairs of neutral-colored pants, jeans, or shorts. Neutral colors are easily combined with colorful shirts, blouses, or sweaters, depending on the season.

For example, if you have five pairs of pants and ten upper-body garments, you already have fifty outfits! What’s even better, fifteen pieces of clothes don’t take too much space.

When it comes to footwear, you should also limit the amount you wear. Boots, sandals, sneakers, and other footwear types just take too much space, and let’s be honest, you don’t wear most of what you have at home.

It is recommended to bring two or three pairs of footwear you wear the most. When you know you will attend some special event, you can bring the heels, sandals, or some special sandals you’ve been waiting to wear, but in the meantime, you won’t need them.

Accessories are a big part of wonderful outfits, and they usually don’t take too much space. Even when your wardrobe seems boring, it can always be livened up with bracelets, earrings, headbands, and similar.

You can buy a nice jewelry box and keep it all inside of it.

Washing Options

Before moving to the chosen facility where you plan on staying during your college days, make sure to find out what kind of washing options you will have there.

Sometimes you will have to adjust the type of clothes you bring according to possible limitations of a washing machine you will use.

Some washing machines don’t have programs for silk and similar sensitive fabric, so keep in mind that if you bring such clothes, you’ll probably have to handwash them yourself.

Pack Essentials

how much clothes to bring to college

No matter how many clothes you finally choose to bring with you, don’t forget to bring the essentials. If you forget a pair of pants, boots, or a sweater, it won’t be a problem as you’ll have other options.

However, make sure to bring enough underwear and socks, as these are changed on a daily basis and you can’t borrow them from a roommate or a friend.

Some other essential things that you shouldn’t forget are pajamas (sleepwear in general), workout clothes in case you are planning to do some sports, and hats, gloves, and scarves if it is cold where you’re going.

This can all take a lot of space, so choose the items wisely and carefully, based on the frequency in which you wear those pieces of clothing.

Fold Smartly

best way to pack for college

Finding the perfect folding technique is very important to make the most out of the small spaces. How you will fold depends on what clothes you have, how you categorize them, and what kind of wardrobe and racks you have.

Experiment by putting the clothes vertically, horizontally, or by rolling the garments that don’t need ironing. This is done with the goal of being able to bring as many clothes without having to widen your storage options.

Dress Code

packing for college out of state

When packing for college, don’t forget about the dress code of your new school. If you are supposed to wear a uniform, you will need much fewer clothes than if your college doesn’t enforce this rule.

While it may take away the pleasure of dressing up and picking the clothes to wear, it will definitely make your life easier and your mornings less stressful.

You can then pack more clothes for the activities outside of school – like parties, events, and outings, and cut back on the formal wear you are expected to wear in classes and in college facilities.


Going to college is a beautiful part of life – many new encounters and experiences are ahead of you. However, the act of moving itself can be stressful, especially if it is your first time living by yourself.

When deciding on how many clothes you should bring to college, you should take into account the place where you will live, the weather of the city you’re moving to, as well as the dress code of your new school.

It’s important to leave the clothes you never wear behind, and to learn how to fold so you can make the most out of the space you have. With these tips, your packing will be much less stressful!

how much clothes should i bring to college

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