It's finally almost here: turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. The house will smell amazing as the aroma of home-cooked food fills the hallways and bedrooms throughout the day. There is no homework, just food, family and festivities. After this long weekend, the fall semester is still in full swing, so it's important to truly enjoy every minute of being home with your loved ones.

But before you can go home, you have to pack. And because school is still stressful and still going at full force, Fresh U is here to help you not feel stressed when it comes to packing; we're here to help you remember those small things you might forget to take home as you're rushing to catch your plane or your ride home.

1. Use the biggest suitcase that you can.

Ashim D'Silva via Unsplash 

Now is the perfect time to bring home everything that you can. By using the biggest suitcase that you have, you can fit in all of the items that you don't want in your dorm room anymore. If you're driving home, just throw the suitcase in the back of your car; the more items that fit into one bag, the less bags you need to bring home. If you're flying home, usually checking a bag costs a standard flat rate. Take advantage of the airline services! 

2. Bring home your summer/light clothing.

Jan Vašek via Unsplash

Say goodbye to sandals and shorts! The temperature is starting to go down whether you like it or not. By packing your light clothing and your summer wear, you can save space in your dorm room for cold weather clothing, which is usually bulkier and heavier.

3. Take home anything you don't wear so much.

Hannah Morgan via Unsplash

Like the last point, bring home anything that you thought was going to see a lot of action, but really doesn't. At this point, it's all just taking up valuable space. Bring home those shirts and shoes that are just sitting in the closet collecting dust. Just as well, bringing home these items will make the load lighter for when you have to bring everything home at the end of the spring semester.

4. Bring home any decorations that take up too much space.

Michaela via Unsplash

Those cute throw pillows and Halloween decorations that you brought during move-in weekend seem to just get in the way now. They add clutter to your already messy room, and sometimes they just get in the way. Get rid of them now while you can, especially now that Halloween is over. You probably don't want a plastic skull in your room until May or June. Just as a tip: a clean and organized room is a great way to have a stress-free and orderly life. 

5. Bring home a nice outfit for Thanksgiving Day.

Nathan Walker via Unsplash

For many parents, this is the first time they will be seeing their children, meaning YOU, since move-in weekend. For some families, it's also expected that you have a nicer outfit on for Thanksgiving dinner. Since most students bring all of their clothes, casual and formal, to school with them, remember to bring at least one nicer outfit home with you!

6. Bring home homework and gadgets. 

Thomas Litangen via Unsplash

Let's be real for a second: even though you may not be going to class for a few days, the school year still moves on. Professors expect that you will complete the work assigned to you prior to break, and will expect it to be completed when you get back. Bring homework, your laptop/phone and chargers on the plane with you or in the car with you to get some headway on your work before arriving at your destination. Nobody wants to be stuck doing homework while you have the chance to be with your family. Be smart and be proactive so that you're not struggling to get it all done later! 

7. Don't bring home what they'll already have. 

Shawnee Wilborn via Unsplash

Remember that you are going home. Your parents will have shampoo and conditioner and other toiletries at home. You are going back to the items that you left before you went away for school. You are not moving to a new place where you need all new everything. Leave bulky toiletries and items (pillows, hairdryer, towels etc.) at school so you can save room in your bags for the items that truly need to be taken back. 

8. Bring back winter clothing and sweaters. Lots of them.

Hannah Morgan via Unsplash

Sweater weather is here! When switching out your fall/winter clothes for your summer clothes, remember to bring lots and lots of sweaters, flannels, and jackets. Layering is key. The bigger, bulkier and heavier clothing items will keep you the most warm during this winter, and you want to be prepared for those extremely chilly mornings. 

Besides sweaters, bring extra blankets back to school with you. Sometimes the heat doesn't always do the job and there may be a slight breeze sneaking in through the cracks of the window frames, so having an extra layer or two on your bed can add extra warmth. 

9. Bring back boots. via Unsplash

Cold weather brings cold toes. Shoes such as Vans, Converse or even Nikes are thin and sometimes meant to "breathe." These shoes definitely won't do you too well during the winter, especially if you go to school in a state where there is snow. Boots, while their thickness keeps you warm, usually have great traction to help you get through various terrains and will help you avoid slipping on ice!

10. Bring back supplies to restock your inventory. 

Tim Gouw via Unsplash

When you go home, it's almost guaranteed that your parents will ask you how you're doing in school and if you need anything/have run out of any supplies. Be honest with them and let them know if you're in need of any new toiletries, office supplies or clothes. During the holiday season, parents are more likely to feel more generous than they already are, and will help you out by covering some of those costs. Go back to school with items to replenish your stock and the knowledge that you most likely won't need to make a trip to the pharmacy by yourself until next semester (because let's be real, sometimes adulting by yourself can be scary). 

So next week, as you make your way home with your off-seasonal clothing and unwanted dorm decor, make sure that you remember the whole point of Thanksgiving. Remember to thank your parents for everything they do, your siblings and friends for always being there for you and whoever or whatever else might positively impact your life. Let people know what they mean to you and try to be as present as possible during the entire long weekend. While you may see this weekend as a chance to declutter your dorm, shower without flip-flops on and eat as much home-cooked food as possible, your family sees this weekend as a chance to be with you for the limited amount of time that they have. Eat a lot, love a lot more and be thankful for everything that you have. Happy Thanksgiving! 

Do you have any packing tips for college students going home for Thanksgiving? Make sure to tell us on our Facebook and Twitter

Lead Image Credit: Mantas Hesthaven via Unsplash