What To Pack For College

Packing for college can be both a daunting and exciting experience. It can be hard to determine what items are essentials and you won’t be able to live without, if you are moving far away from your hometown. But it is exciting having the ability to buy items to decorate a new space that you will be living in for a year. To make this process easier, I compiled the ultimate list of items that you will need to pack for college. 

School Supplies 

  • Backpack 
  • Binder clips 
  • Binders 
  • Bulletin board
  • White-out- Mistakes are frequently made and white-out will be your best friend.
  • Highlighters
  • Index cards 
  • Notebooks 
  • Paper clips 
  • Pencils 
  • Pens 
  • Planner 
  • Tape 
  • Sticky notes- These are perfect for making grocery lists, leaving notes for a roommate and flagging important parts in a textbook.
  • Stapler 
  • Scissors 


  • Desk lamp- I recommend getting a cute lamp that you won’t mind looking at everyday. One that is both practical and appealing to the eye.
  • Extension cord/ power strip
  • Microwave 
  • Mini fridge
  • Fan-  I recommended a box fan, which can then be put into a window. This will save you space and cool down the entire room.


  • Headphones- Wireless headphones are a must when in college. They are perfect for walking to class and working out. And with wireless headphones you don’t have to worry about a cord getting knotted up frequently.
  • Computer (laptop or desktop)
  • Phone charger- I recommend getting a 10ft cord then you can have your phone while in bed and charging.

Bath and Shower

  • Bathrobe- A plush and cozy bathrobe is perfect after a warm shower or on cold mornings. 
  • Dental floss
  • Deodorant 
  • Face wash 
  • Shower shoes 
  • Comb or hairbrush 
  • Hairdryer
  • Lotion
  • Mouth wash
  • Nail clipper- This is the one item that I forget  when I was packing for college. A nail clipper is the one item that you didn’t know you needed, until you started looking or thinking about it.
  • Razor
  • Shampoo and conditioner 
  • Shower caddy- I do not recommend getting the plastic holders, instead get the type that are made of mesh. Mesh shower caddies are perfect for hanging off the shower handle, which means that your items will not be sitting on the dirty shower floor.
  • Body wash 
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothbrush case
  • Towels 
  • Hand towels 


  • Comforter 
  • Sheets 
  • Blankets 
  • Mattress pad 
  • Foam topper – Investing in a good quality foam topper is worth the price. Many college dorms don’t have great beds, but a foam topper can help ensure that you have a better night sleep, and won’t wreck your back.
  • Pillows

Cooking and Cleaning 

  • Dish soap
  • Air freshener 
  • Dishtowel
  • Laundry basket – Purchase a laundry basket that is easy to lug around and has handles, if your washers and dryers are not on your floor or in a different building. 
  • Laundry soap
  • Laundry dryer sheets
  • Laundry scent boosters- When you are sharing washers with other individuals, scent boosters can help keep your clothes smelling good.
  • Microwave safe bowl
  • Microwave safe mug
  • Paper towel
  • Food storage containers 
  • Plastic dishes- bowls, plates, cups
  • Knives, spoons, forks
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Water filter 

Food Recommendations

  • Candy 
  • Cereal 
  • Oatmeal
  • Crackers
  • Granola bars- These are perfect for grabbing and eating on walks to class when running late in the morning.
  • Mac and cheese microwavable cups
  • Popcorn
  • Soup
  • Ramen 


  • Desk calendar- I found that these are perfect for keeping track of homework assignments, clubs, work or volunteering requirements.
  • Chair/beanbag
  • Desk organizer 
  • Full length mirror 
  • Under the bed organizer
  • Command strips and hooks- These are perfect for hanging wall decor onto walls, especially since many colleges don’t allow nails to be used.
  • Pain medication- Tylenol, Advil


  • Sara Mentz

    Super helpful post! I’m lucky enough to live only 30 minutes away from home but this list would help anyone who lives near or far from campus. A daily/monthly agenda has helped me keep on class schedules and assignments so much, so the desk calendar is a perfect suggestion for people in college! Keep up the awesome posts Morgan!

  • Gabriella Neurock

    I love this post! I’m a senior and I wish that I was able to have a list like this. I was so nervous before coming to college and was always afraid I wasn’t going to be bringing the right things or would forget something really important! I think this is super helpful to those who are first year students!

  • Auburn Luedtke

    I wish I had this as a guide when I moved in to the dorms! I tried packing to the best of my ability but its hard getting all your things in one spot ready to go when you don’t have a list lol. Good post!

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