It’s now mid-December, meaning most of us will be heading home for the holidays very soon. Whether your family lives in a different time zone or is just a short bus ride away, you’re going to have to make some key packing decisions. Our suggestion: make things easier on yourself, pack as little as possible. We know this can be difficult so we’ve created a list to help you narrow down your options.

Do NOT bring the following items home for the holidays:

1. Textbooks

You should bring a minimal amount of homework home with you for various reasons. First, it’s heavy and will weigh down your bag (especially textbooks), and second, if you have managed your time properly you should have very little work to do over the next few weeks. If there’s no way around it, then be sure to head to the library and photocopy/scan the pages from the textbook that you need.

2. Gifts

Gifts take up a lot of room. Plus, you’ll have a few days before Christmas so it’s better to brave the chaotic malls and buy gifts for your family once you’re already home. Another option is shopping online and having it shipped directly to your home address.

3. New boyfriends/girlfriends

The holidays are a time to be spent with family. They are not the time to introduce your two-week old partner to your family, nor are they time to ignore your family in favour of your partner. It will be less of a hassle for everyone if you visit them alone. After all, the holidays are short. You’ll be back at university with your significant other in no time, and once you’ve been together a little longer, you can bring them to the next family event.

4. Excessive amounts of clothing

I am going to guess that it is highly unlikely you took all of your clothes with you when you went away to college. This means that there is a good chance you have several sweaters, dresses, tops, and pants sitting at home in your closet. Just because these may not be your favourite items of clothing, doesn’t mean they aren’t perfectly suitable - if only for a few weeks. Consider packing only the essentials, and otherwise making do with what you left behind.

5. More than two pairs of shoes

The same rule applies for shoes. You likely left multiple pairs of shoes at home after leaving for college. And even if this isn’t the case, you won’t be home for very long. Bring a pair of running/walking shoes and a nicer pair of shoes and you’re set!