College Packing List

Our comprehensive college packing list has everything you’ll need when packing for college.

You’re getting ready for college but there’s one daunting task ahead – packing. Packing up everything in your life for the first time can be an intimidating task in itself, especially when you’re not entirely sure what you’ll need when you arrive and you have no idea what your dorm will be like. From bedding to food to school supplies and more, we’ve put together the only comprehensive college packing list complete with all the essential items you need when making the move to college.

Bedding

  • Bedbug-protecting mattress cover
  • Foam topper or mattress pad
  • Twin XL sheet set (and an extra set)
  • Duvet and duvet cover or comforter set
  • Twin XL bed skirt
  • Pillows
  • Pillowcases
  • Throw blanket/pillows
  • Storage for under the bed

Room

  • Additional seating (beanbag chair, folding chair, comfy chair, etc.)
  • Futon
  • Couch cover
  • Bedside table
  • Alarm clock
  • Wall clock
  • Bedside lamp
  • Floor lamp
  • String lights
  • Plug-in wax melter
  • Coffee table (you can use a trunk as a table with added storage)
  • Area rug
  • Adhesive hooks and strips (that come off cleanly)
  • Bulletin board and/or dry erase board
  • Push pins/magnets/whiteboard markers
  • Posters/wall art
  • Photos
  • Picture frames or photo clips
  • Closet organizer
  • Hangers
  • Over-the-door storage units
  • Space bags
  • Curtains + curtain rods
  • Fan
  • Full-length mirror
  • Trashcan
  • Shelves
  • Shoe rack

Laundry

  • Laundry hamper or bag
  • Laundry detergent
  • Bleach
  • Fabric softener
  • Dryer sheets
  • Drying rack or clothes line
  • Skip the iron and go for a steamer instead. Smaller, and no ironing board needed!
  • Lint brush
  • Portable stain remover pen

Food

  • Bulk snacks (candy, Mac n cheese, chips, etc.)
  • Bottled water
  • Granola bars
  • Popcorn
  • Cereal
  • Coffee
  • Coffee creamer
  • Sugar
  • Instant hot chocolate
  • Microwaveable mac and cheese
  • Ramen
  • Soup
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Sandwich bread

School Supplies

  • Backpack
  • Binders
  • Business cards
  • Calculator
  • Calendar
  • Clicker (you will most likely need one for class, check the bookstore!)
  • Desk chair (if not provided)
  • Desk lamp
  • Desk organizer
  • File folder for important documents
  • Folders
  • Glue
  • Notebook paper
  • Notebooks
  • Index cards
  • Sticky notes
  • Pencil case
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Pens
  • Permanent markers
  • Highlighters
  • White out
  • Planner
  • Rubber bands
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Stapler/staples
  • Staple remover
  • Tape
  • Textbooks (always try renting them used FIRST! Check Chegg or Amazon before going to the bookstore to save money)
  • Three-hole punch

Kitchen Supplies

  • Blender (the bullet is small and easy to store!)
  • Microwave (if your school allows it)
  • Mini fridge (if your school allows it)
  • Toaster (if your school allows it)
  • Coffee maker
  • Oven mitt
  • Water boiler
  • Water filter pitcher + extra filters
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Utensils
  • Dishes
  • Mugs
  • Travel mug
  • Bottle opener
  • Can opener
  • Chip clips
  • Napkins
  • Food storage containers
  • Plastic wrap
  • Paper plates
  • Sealable plastic bags
  • Tinfoil
  • Dish towels
  • Paper towels
  • Dishwashing soap
  • Hand soap
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Glass cleaner
  • Sponges
  • Duster
  • Broom
  • Dustpan
  • Mini vacuum
  • Mop
  • Trash bags

Tech

  • Laptop
  • External hard drive
  • Flash drives
  • Wireless mouse
  • Laptop Case
  • Camera
  • SD card for camera
  • E-reader
  • Tablet
  • Chargers (phone, laptop, camera, etc.)
  • Portable phone charger
  • Ethernet cable
  • HDMI cable
  • Extension cords
  • Adapters (HDMI, ethernet, etc)
  • Headphones and spare headphones
  • Speakers
  • Printer
  • Printer ink
  • Cord organizer
  • Printer paper
  • Router
  • Surge protectors
  • TV
  • TV stand
  • Batteries
  • Bluetooth speakers

Bathroom

  • Air freshener
  • Shower curtain and rings (if needed)
  • Shower mat
  • Shower organizer (if your school allows it)
  • Upgraded shower head (if your school allows it)
  • Bathroom rug
  • Shower shoes
  • Shower caddy
  • Washcloths
  • Bath towels
  • Hand towels
  • Cleaning supplies (if you need them for your dorm: i.e., drain cleaner, glass cleaner, rubber gloves, shower cleaner, sponges, toilet brush, toilet cleaner)

Toiletries

  • Body wash
  • Lotion
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Cleanser
  • Moisturizer
  • Acne medicine/cream
  • Shaving Cream
  • Waxing strips
  • Hair removal cream
  • Deodorant
  • Sunscreen
  • Foundation
  • Makeup
  • Lip balm
  • Makeup remover
  • Hair gel
  • Hair mousse
  • Hairspray
  • Nail polish/remover
  • Nail polish remover
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Floss
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hand mirror
  • Toothbrush holder
  • Razor
  • Tweezers
  • Hairbrush
  • Comb
  • Bobby pins
  • Blow dryer
  • Diffusers
  • Curling iron
  • Hair straightener
  • Hair ties
  • Contacts, solution, and case
  • Eyeglasses and case
  • Eyeglass cleaner
  • Cotton balls
  • Cotton swabs
  • Tissues
  • Makeup brushes
  • Nail clippers
  • Nail files
  • Pumice stone
  • Tampons and pads
  • Toilet paper

Clothing

  • Bras
  • Underwear
  • Shapewear
  • Sports bras
  • Pajamas
  • Dresses
  • Formal dresses
  • Going-out clothes
  • Long-sleeve shirts
  • Short-sleeve shirts
  • T-shirts
  • Tank tops
  • Jeans
  • Pants
  • Leggings/Yoga pants
  • Shorts
  • Skirts
  • Professional clothing (dress, dress pants, button-down shirts, skirts, blazers, shoes, purse)
  • Belts
  • Tights
  • Sweaters
  • Sweatpants
  • Sweatshirts
  • Leggings
  • Fleece
  • Jackets
  • Raincoat
  • Winter coat
  • Gloves
  • Workout clothes
  • Athletic sneakers
  • Boots
  • Casual shoes
  • Flats
  • Flip-flops
  • Heels
  • Rain boots
  • Snow boots
  • Slippers
  • Socks
  • Sunglasses
  • Bathing suits
  • Hats
  • Scarves
  • Watches
  • Purses
  • Gym bag
  • Jewelry
  • Costume clothing for theme parties/extracurricular events

Documents

  • Bank documents
  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • Checks
  • Driver’s license
  • Car registration and insurance information
  • AAA card
  • Copy of birth certificate
  • Copy of Social Security card
  • Passport
  • Student ID
  • Emergency contact list
  • Financial aid documents
  • Health/dental insurance cards
  • Lease (if you have an apartment)
  • Renters insurance (if you have an apartment)
  • Product warranties

Medical

  • Allergy medicine
  • Aloe lotion
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Cortisone cream
  • Vaseline
  • Bandages
  • Birth control pills
  • Condoms
  • Menstrual pain medication
  • Cold and flu medicine
  • Decongestant
  • Throat drops/lozenges
  • Eye drops
  • Hot and cold packs
  • Humidifier
  • Insect repellent
  • Multivitamins/supplements (iron pills, etc.)
  • Over-the-counter pain medication
  • Prescription medicine
  • Prescription refill information
  • Retainer/mouthguard
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Thermometer
  • Thermometer covers
  • Upset stomach medication

Miscellaneous

  • Beach towel
  • Bike
  • Bike helmet
  • Bike lock
  • Board games
  • Books to read for fun
  • Video game console
  • Playing cards
  • Art supplies
  • DVDs
  • Musical instruments
  • Religious materials
  • Earplugs
  • Sleep mask
  • Flashlight
  • Lightbulbs
  • Safety pins
  • Safety whistle
  • Pepper spray (if legal in your state)
  • Tool kit
  • Duct tape
  • Weekend bag
  • Travel organizer for toiletries
  • Suitcase/duffel bag
  • Luggage tags
  • Umbrella
  • Vacuum
  • Hand weights
  • Yoga mat
  • Sports equipment
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