What to Pack for College

Here we go again!

Our last chick is spreading her wings and leaving our nest.

John-Boy Walton left for college wearing a Beanie and Knickers, carrying an attaché case filled with a notepad and pencils. He commuted 23 miles in a car that barely reached 25 mph. Boy, have things changed.

When Kristen left for college, I wanted to send with her everything she might need. Many comforts of home. Now that Hannah is leaving soon I decided to make a list of everything she may need. They fit alot of stuff into those dorm rooms. They can get overwhelmed if they take too much in the beginning. Lists are good to weigh out which items are worth taking and which need to stay home. Which items will be needed now and which can be brought later.

What to Pack for College~ BackToFamily.net

Photo Credit: Toy Story 3 still image

Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin came out the year our firstborn went to Kindergarten. Which is where Christopher Robin was also headed. I believe to this day I still haven’t watched that movie in its entirety. Boy could I relate to how lost Pooh felt without the constant companionship of his best friend.  The movie turns me into a blubbering mess. Even to this day! Then, 13 years later as she headed off to collegeToy Story 3 came out. Andy was also headed to college! Yeah, more tears. I did get a great idea from the movie though. Let’s clean out the bedroom! Three boxes: Take to College, Yard Sale/Giveaway, and Put in Storage. How can so much accumulate over 18 years?

Anyway, here are the exhaustive lists I came up with. Perhaps they can help you when your little chicks leave your nest. Always be sure to check with the college to see what is allowed and for size preferences. Keep in mind your student’s needs will depend on what is available to them in their dorm or apartment such as air conditioning, kitchen, and personal bathrooms. And obviously, boys’ needs will differ slightly from girls’ needs.

Highlight the lists below, right click, and print them out to take with you on your shopping adventure!

Go through the lists with your student just as I will with mine. Cross off what is not needed/wanted and add any additional needs/wants.


  • File Box for receipts, school paperwork, important papers, manuals etc.
  • Insurance information
  • Emergency phone numbers of family members listed their cell phone and written on paper.
  • Stamps/Envelopes/Stationary
  • Small amount of Cash: There are always last minute lab kits, fees, Taco Bell runs, and other needs that come up.
  • Flashlight/Batteries
  • Heating Pad/Hot Water Bottle
  • Ice Pack
  • Fish tank-20 gallons or less/small fish/food
  • Aloe Vera plant
  • Box fan/small fan
  • Broom/Dustpan/Electric Broom
  • Area rug
  • Small trash can/bags
  • Small toolkit
  • Board games/playing cards


First Aid Kit

  • Durable plastic container to hold the items below
  • Solarcaine burn spray
  • Nail clippers
  • Tweezers
  • Eye Drops
  • Ibuprofen/Minerals for PMS
  • Variety of Band Aids/Antibiotic ointment
  • Benadryl for bee stings/allergic reactions
  • Sudafed for colds
  • Multi-Vitamins
  • Vitamin C/Zinc lozenges
  • Cough Drops



  • Contact lens case/solution
  • Prescription glasses/case
  • Sunglasses
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Make-Up/case
  • Tissues
  • Coconut Oil (make-up removal)
  • Sunblock/Aloe lotion
  • Mosquito repellant
  • Plastic Shower Bucket
  • Toothpaste/floss/toothbrush
  • Shampoo/Conditioner/Hair Care  products
  • Head bands/ponytail bands/bobby pins
  • Homemade laundry soap/fabric softener (vinegar)
  • Shower gel/soap
  • Shave cream/razor
  • Facial cleanser/moisturizer
  • Liquid Hand soap



  • Two sets Twin XL Sheets (dorm mattresses are longer than standards)
  • Comforter/Pillows/Blankets
  • Bath towels/hand towels/washcloths
  • Dish towels/dishcloths
  • Beach towel
  • Hamper tote/basket
  • Clothes hangers
  • Expandable Curtain Rod/Shower curtain for open closets
  • Shower curtain for bath tub



  • Laptop (w/Skype for chat sessions)/Sleeve/Mouse/Cords/MS Office or OpenOffice.org
  • Surge protector/Power strip
  • Camera/SD cards
  • Cell phone/charger
  • Printer (with USB port and USB cord)/scanner/copier
  • copy paper/ink cartridges
  • 19″ TV/DVD player
  • Karaoke Machine
  • Radio/speakers/ear-buds
  • Alarm Clock


Clothing & Accessories

  • Business outfit(s) for mock interviews/church
  • Seasonal clothing due to space
  • Sweat pants/exercise pants/exercise shirts w/sleeves
  • Bathrobe/flip-flops for shower
  • Socks/Undergarments
  • Shoes/Boots/Sandals/Athletic Shoes
  • Jacket/Hoodie
  • Hats/Scarves
  • Rainy weather: Umbrella/Raincoat/Rain boots
  • Jewelry
  • Sewing Kit
  • Small suitcase/Duffle bag


Desk & School Supplies

  • Bible/Devotional
  • Backpack
  • Desk lamp/bulbs
  • Family picture in a frame
  • Digital frame with SD card of family/friends pictures
  • White tack gum/Command Hooks
  • Posters/Wall Decorations
  • Desk Calendar
  • Agenda/Planner
  • Pens/Pencils/Highlighters
  • Notebooks/paper
  • Calculator
  • Post it notes
  • Message Board (cork board/dry erase)
  • Stapler/paperclips/scissors/tape/rubberbands


Appliances & Kitchen

  • Check for permission and size regulations first!
  • Paper plates/cups/napkins/forks/spoons
  • Dinnerware/Bowls
  • Silverware
  • Glasses/Mugs
  • Reusable water bottles
  • Dish drainer/mat
  • Cookware/Utensils
  • Mini Fridge 5.5 cu. ft.
  • Ice Cube Tray
  • Tea Kettle
  • Keurig machine
  • George Foreman Grill
  • Panini Maker
  • Air Popcorn popper
  • Small Microwave
  • Hair Dryer
  • Flat irons/curling irons
  • Dish soap/dishwasher detergent/rinse



  • Sturdy tote with tight fitting lid
  • Shelf
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Fresh Fruits/Veggies
  • Keurig cups
  • Microwavable food cups
  • Crackers/Munchies/Granola bars
  • Water pitcher with filter
  • Small juice bottles
  • Small chocolate milk cartons
  • Greek yogurt cups
  • Applesauce/fruit cups
  • Instant Oatmeal
  • Canned foods (tuna/veggies/soups/meats/etc)
  • Freezer foods ( blueberries/veggies/Fruit Juice bars/etc)
  • Shelf stable foods (seeds/nuts/etc)
  • Salt and Pepper grinders/Spices/Dried Onions/Garlic
  • Hot Chocolate Mix/Tea bags
  • Honey

Remember, it’s best not to try to take everything that will be needed all year long. Take what is needed for the time being and exchange clothes and other items on trips home.

Zucchini Meatloaf Boats

Finally! I have zucchini again in the garden.

For the past several years I’ve been fighting squash vine borers and they’ve been winning. Last year I planted absolutely nothing from the squash family at all. So far so good this year. Haven’t seen one yet. (Crosses fingers.) UPDATE: Hannah noticed a “red wasp” flying around the herb gardens. Yep. A few zucchini plants are wilting. I tried to extract the borer out with my handy dandy girl-scout pocket knife. Couldn’t find it. Too bad. My chickens love them. At least we planted late this year and harvested several five-gallon bucketfuls before my nemesis showed up.

zucchini boats ~ BackToFamily.net

My friend Pam had told me how she uses large zucchini to make a meal. She simply puts a meatloaf inside!

Our youngest daughter, Hannah, made this recipe for our family using zucchini and onions from the garden and beef from my in-laws’ farm.

Very easy.
And very good.
  • One large zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise, seeds scooped out
  • Sea Salt
  • Garlic powder
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • minced onions
  • minced garlic
  • 2-3 pounds ground beef
  • ¼ cup instant brown rice
  • 3 eggs
  • grated carrots
  • 1 Tbsp. basil
  • Parmesan
  • tomato sauce
  • Italian seasoning
  • shredded mozzarella


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Sprinkle salt and garlic powder inside zucchini shells. Set aside in a baking dish.
    zucchini boats ~ BackToFamily.net
  3. Heat olive oil in a skillet and cook onions and minced garlic for 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.
    zucchini boats ~ BackToFamily.net
  4. In bowl, mix ground beef, instant brown rice, eggs, carrots, basil, Parmesan, and onion mixture together.
  5. Stuff the zucchini halves with the meatloaf mixture.
    zucchini boats ~ BackToFamily.net
  6. Spoon tomato sauce over zucchini. Sprinkle Italian seasoning.
    zucchini boats ~ BackToFamily.net
  7. Bake 45-50 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over top and bake 5 additional minutes to melt cheese.

zucchini boats ~ BackToFamily.net

It’s funny how I would sneak grated carrots into meatloaves when the girls were young and now they purposefully add them!

Here’s a great way to use up those large zucchini!
What are some ways you use them?


Does your soul long for tranquility? Peace? Calm? Stillness?
I know just the person who can give it to you!

A child has been born to us; God has given a son to us.
    He will be responsible for leading the people.
His name will be Wonderful Counselor, Powerful God,
    Father Who Lives Forever, Prince of Peace.
~Isaiah 9:6 NCV
Continue reading~ Tranquility »