The do’s and don’ts of packing for breaks!

So, uh… I might have overpacked for Christmas break a little. Or… A lot. Yeah, probably a lot. I’m a notorious over-packer and I definitely stuck to my ways when I packed for Christmas. When I packed all my stuff back up on Saturday to make the trek to Holland (which hasn’t ended up actually coming to fruition as of yet), I realized how much stuff I brought home that I didn’t even use. It’s a little ridiculous. Here’s my list of things you should and should not bring home for breaks during the school year!

DO: Some clothes. Emphasis on the some.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably have a ton of clothes that you leave at home after moving to school. This means that you don’t have to bring nearly as many clothes home for break as you think you need to. I brought a ton of nice stuff home for Christmas and ended up probably not even wearing half of it. Most of the time, you’ll probably just want to be in a sweatshirt anyway! I would suggest bringing 1 or 2 nice outfits for special occasions during the holiday season, socks and the like, a few tops and sweaters, and enough jeans to get you through. Remember, you can do laundry way more often at home than you did at school!

I would bring a pair or two of boots, some comfier shoes like moccasins or Toms, workout shoes if you’ll need them, and one or two pairs of dress shoes (maybe a flat and a heel). I think I brought over 10 pairs of shoes home for Christmas… That’s really not necessary. At all. You don’t need to do that. I would also bring a few pieces of jewelry that you know you’ll wear and a couple of scarves, but you probably won’t wear too many over break… Like I said, I ended up just dressing really comfortably most of the time! I also brought my laundry home for my mom to wash, so I ended up just having a ton of stuff at my house.

My friend Lauren had a super smart idea – She just picked out the things she wanted to wear over Christmas break and wore them at school the week before, so the stuff that she took home as laundry is also the stuff that she wore over Christmas. What a cool idea! I wish I would have thought of it! And remember, you might be getting clothes for Christmas too, so you’ll have even more to wear!

DO – Your musical instrument (maybe).

If you play an instrument, ask yourself these questions: Is my instrument small enough to practically bring home? Do I have a place to put this instrument at home? Do I need to practice over break (yes)? Will I practice over break (probably not)? Will I need to play this in church or somewhere else over break? If the answer to these questions is yes, you should probably bring your instrument home. You could probably (or definitely) make an exception if you have another similar instrument at home that you can use over break. For example, if you have an electric guitar at school and a few at home, you can probably just leave them where they are. Singers are the lucky ones… We get to take our instruments with us everywhere anyway!

DON’T – Your coffeemaker

Was this obvious to everyone except for me? My parents didn’t have a coffeemaker at home, so I really wanted to bring my Keurig home for break. That’s probably really dumb, but I actually thought about it. Thank goodness that my roommate talked me out of it!

DO – Makeup & hair stuff

You probably don’t have multiples of this stuff at home in your bathroom, so your blow dryer, curling iron or straightener (whichever you usually use), and every day makeup are probably smart choices to throw in your duffel bag.

DON’T – Makeup & hair stuff you don’t use often

Don’t pack a bunch of extra makeup that you only wear on occasion. If you even use it at all over break, it will probably only be once, so choose wisely. If you always curl your hair for special occasions, you might want to think about leaving your straightener at school, or vice versa. If you don’t use something on a regular basis, you probably won’t use it over Christmas break.

DO – Prescriptions

Do not, do not, do not forget your prescriptions at school. This includes everything from medication to contacts and glasses. If you forget this stuff, it can be hard (not to mention expensive) to get them over break!

DON’T – Too much shower stuff

I left some perfectly good stuff in my shower at home when I left for school and no one else uses it, so if I was smart, I could have left a bunch of my shower stuff at school and just used what I had here. I ended up with like six bottles of body wash in my shower at points during break. Why? I have no idea. Seriously. No clue. Stuff for your shower is usually relatively cheap, so if you leave it at school, you can pick some up while you’re home and leave it in your shower to use for weekend trips home, spring break, summer, etc., or take it back to school with you! That could save you a trip to Meijer in January at school.

DO – A couple of books. Maybe.

One of my classes next semester is a continuation of one I had in the fall, so I brought my textbook for that home so I could work ahead for it if I got bored. I ended up not doing it, but it’s a relatively small textbook, so it’s not a big deal. I’d also definitely recommend bringing your Bible. I forgot the one I usually use and I was pretty sad about it, but at least I have one on my phone and another one in my room at home. I just like to use the same one most of the time so I wish I’d brought it!

DO – Stuff you don’t need anymore.

If you have stuff you can sell or that you’ve realized you don’t need at school anymore, breaks are a great time to bring that stuff home. I sold some of my stuff at my local Plato’s Closet store. Many communities have Facebook pages where you can sell stuff to other people in your town, so that’s a good spot to try to unload some of the things you don’t need anymore. You never know who might want to buy your stuff!

So in case you guys still didn’t believe me, I overpacked. A lot. Remember that thing about having six bottles of body wash? Yeah…

Oh, speaking of packing, my Green Bay Packers lost yesterday… Well, on second thought, maybe we shouldn’t talk about it. I’m a sad panda.

Anyways, I hope you have all had a restful, relaxing, blessed, and super enjoyable Christmas break! Let me know how it was! Leave a comment, tweet @hopekathryn17, or email kathryn.krieger@hope.edu! I love hearing from you guys! Thanks for reading!


So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.

Galatians 6:9-10 MSG

Published by Kathryn Krieger

I'm a Hope junior from Princeton, Illinois, majoring in Ethics, Culture, and Social Witness with a music minor. I am a follower of Christ and I am involved in Chapel Worship Team at Hope. Previously, I have been involved in Chapel Choir, Black River WyldLife, Res Life, Dance Marathon, a small women's Bible study, College Chorus, Women's Chamber Choir, and Collegium Musicum. I also currently help lead music at Pillar Church! I also love pork chop sandwiches, music of all kinds, The Office, and my wonderful friends and family! Contact me at kathryn.krieger@hope.edu, @kathrynekrieger on Instagram, or @hopekathryn17 on Twitter!

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