I don’t know about you guys, but when I was in college I remember getting to this time of year and seriously missing home and needing a pick-me-up. And right about this time my mom would send me a college care package that would just give me that boost I needed to get back into the groove.
A friend of our family headed off her first semester of college in the fall a few weeks ago I sent her a college care package. She is such a lovely person and I wanted her to know that we were all thinking about her and praying that she would be successful and happy in this new chapter. She sent me such a kind thank you note in reply and I know that the care package meant a lot to her.
When my sister was in college I sent her a few healthy care packages and I felt like it was time to give you all another post on what to pack in a college care package. This list is what I packed for our dear friend who is a girl, but most of these things would be great for a guy too. In fact, I am in the process of packing a box for my bother who is also in his first semester away at college. I’ll let you know what goes into that box on Instagram.
First though, let’s get the rules outta the way. There are a few things you aren’t allowed to ship. The basic rules are, nothing perishable, explosive, liquid, or fragile. With that said, I mailed nail polish (a liquid) and you can do that as long as you put it in a zip-lock bag so if it breaks it won’t spill. Also, you have to write “SURFACE MAIL ONLY” on the shipping box and have an ORD-D label on it, so that it only gets shipped via ground.
I like to get a flat-rate shipping box from USPS and take it to the store with me so I can fill it as I shop and make sure there is enough room for all the items I want to send to my favorite college student. When you are putting the box together, make sure you use packing tape. I tried to use fancy printed duct tape one time and they wouldn’t let me ship it because the tape isn’t strong enough to send though the mail system.
Now on to what to pack in your college care package box!
College Care Package
- Tide pods (’cause laundry has to happen!)
- Lip balm/Chapstick
- Snacks (granola bars, nuts, nut butters, instant-soup cups, dried fruit, etc…)
- Tea/Coffee/Hot chocolate (insta-packets are great!)
- Reusable water bottle or coffee cup
- School supplies (post-it’s, pens/pencils, markers, highlighters, note pads, paper clips, etc…)
- Small decorative items or holiday themed items
- Pretty things (nail polish, manicure set, make up, earrings, Jamberry school pride nail wraps, etc…)
- Stamps and stationary (stickers are fun too!)
- Printed family photos in a non breakable frame or album.
- Personal notes and cards (or in my case, drawings from my kiddos)
A note about homemade treats: As much as it’s the thought that counts, please don’t send homemade cookies or other treats. They don’t last through shipping. Unless you are sending overnight, they will be a stale, crumbly mess by the time they get to your student’s dorm. I got a few of these packages from loving church members while I was in college and I loved the thought behind the gift, but I always just tossed the cookies because they were such a mess. Just send shelf stable cookies from the store and save the homemade love for those times your student actually comes home.