College Packing List-What to Take to College

Your College Packing List – What to Take to College

Mari DeCristo College Life

Creating your college packing list may not be at the top of your list of things to do while you’re enjoying your summer.

But with college just around the corner, it’s probably time to get started.

To save you time, I’ve created the Master College Packing List. The Master College Packing List is a complete list of the most common college dorm essentials. You can use it to create your own college packing list instead of starting from scratch.

In This Post

In this post I’ll take you through the Master College Packing List and highlight ways you can save money.

Tips for College Freshmen

If this is your first year of college check your college’s website for a list of items they recommend you bring (and not bring).

Also, connect with your future roommate and figure out who’s bringing what. The most commonly shared items include:

  • Mini fridge
  • Microwave
  • Curtains
  • Area rug

Other items you might share include a TV, gaming console, or DVD player.

The College Packing List – How to Use It

The College Packing List has items you can find on any college dorm checklist.

To create your own list, simply choose from the master list those items you think you’ll need and cross out those you won’t. The items are in categories to make it easier.

Not every item should end up on your list, but starting with a list that’s already created will save you time.

Click Here for the Master College Packing List PDF

If you want to edit the list, here it is in spreadsheet form. Just delete the items you don’t need and add items not listed.

Click Here for the Master College Packing List SPREADSHEET

College Packing Tips

Once you go through the list and decide what you need, don’t go out and buy everything new.

Save money by grabbing as many items as possible from what you already have at home. You don’t need new hangers or a package of 500 cotton swabs. Put a few cotton swabs in a Ziploc bag and you’re all set. Take the pillow from your bed at home. Not only will you save money, but it’ll be great to have when you’re sleeping in a new place.

Look for travel sizes of items you won’t use much. They’ll save you money and space. Even better, buy a set of small travel bottles and fill them from home.

Don’t panic if you forget or run out of something. Every college has stores nearby where you can pick up things.

The College Packing List

BATH AND PERSONAL

Tip: You will need something to carry your personal/shower items to the bathroom

Bath

beach towel
bathroom/shower caddy
body lotion
body wash
cotton swabs
cotton balls
deodorant
feminine hygiene products
lip balm
loofah
moisturizer
powder
pumice stone
razors
rubbing alcohol
shaving cream
soap
towels,washcloths (2 sets)


Eyes

contact lens case
contact lens cleaner
contact lens solution
contact lenses

eye drops
glasses
glasses case
sunglasses


Hair

comb
conditioner
curling iron
hair dryer
hair styling products

hairbrush
scrunchies/hair ties
shampoo
shower cap
styling gel


Makeup/Beauty

eyelash curler
hand mirror
makeup mirror
cosmetics
makeup remover
makeup bag or holder
tweezers


Nails

cuticle remover
nail clippers
nail file
manicure tools
nail polish
nail polish remover

Teeth

dental floss
mouthwash
toothbrush
toothbrush case
toothpaste

BEDDING

Tips: Sheet size recommendations are usually available on your college’s website. Extra blankets can work as a mattress cushion. A bed rest or extra pillow is helpful if you like to read or work in bed. Bring your pillow from home so you’ll have something familiar, especially when you’re sleeping in a new place.

Bedding

2 pillowcases
2 sets of sheets
bedrest or extra pillow
blanket (washable)
comforter (washable)
mattress cushion
mattress pad
pillow
mattress protector
pillow protector

CLEANING

Cleaning

all-purpose cleaning solution
dish soap
disinfecting wipes
duct tape
hand-held vacuum
paper towels
room spray
trash bags

CLOTHES

Tips: Bring:

  • a lot of underwear to avoid doing laundry often;
  • clothes you can mix and match because there’s not a lot of room to store your clothes; and
  • a dressy outfit for interviews, rushing a sorority or fraternity, etc.

If you’re going to college in a different climate and not sure what to bring, visit the Weather Channel website, enter the city name in the search, and go to the monthly average screen to find the average temperature for each month.

Most students go home for Thanksgiving, so plan on returning some things and picking up winter clothes then.

If you’re from the south and going to a college where it snows, ask your friends or future roommate for clothing suggestions. The same advice goes for students from the north who are attending school in warmer climates.

Clothes

accessories/jewelry/earrings
bathing suit
bathrobe (to walk to the bathroom)
clothes for going to class
clothes for going out socially
clothes for hanging out in your dorm
dress-up outfit
flip flops (for the shower)
pajamas
pocketbook
slippers
socks
sports clothes/shoes
underwear

Outerwear

boots
footwear (to walk to class)
hat
jacket/sweater/hoodie (light)
jacket (for snowy, cold climates)
mittens/gloves
raincoat
scarf
sweatshirt
sweater
umbrella (small)

COMPUTERS AND ELECTRONICS

Tips: Check the college’s website for what they provide and what you should bring. Noise-reducing headphones can be helpful. Also, most colleges have printing labs if you don’t want to bring a printer.

Computers / Electronics

backup drive
batteries
computer mouse
computer speakers
ear buds/headphones
Ethernet cable (long)
flash drive
graphing calculator

laptop computer or tablet
phone charger (extra)
power strip
printer/scanner/copier
printer cable
printer ink cartridges
printer paper
smartphone and charger

DORM ROOM

Tips: Bring something sentimental like your favorite stuffed animal, pillow, sports item, picture, etc. If you need extra space for clothes in your closet, try using tension rods.

Dorm Room

air freshener
alarm clock (or use your phone)
bedside table
clothes hangers
curtains
desk lamp
drawer liners
ear plugs
fan (portable)
flashlight
fly swatter
hooks
pictures/posters
poster putty
safety pins
sewing kit
tension rods for curtains
tissues
tool kit (small)
unde-bed storage
wastebasket (if not supplied)
whiteboard for door (messages)

FOOD AND EATING

Food and Eating

bowl for cereal/soup
can/bottle opener
chip clips
coffee
coffee filters
coffeemaker
cutting knife
dish towel
dishes (plastic)
drinking cups (plastic)
gum/mints
microwave (small)
mini fridge
mug (microwave safe)
popcorn bowl
popcorn machine
salt and pepper shakers
sponge
storage containers for food
sugar
tea
water pitcher and filter
plastic utensils
Ziploc bags

LAUNDRY

Laundry

bleach stick
detergent
dryer sheets
drying rack
laundry bag or hamper
lint brush
quarters (for laundry)
stain remover spray

MEDICATION

Over-the-Counter

acetaminophen (Tylenol)
allergy medication
antacid
antibiotic ointment
Band-Aids
cold medication
cough drops
cough medicine
eye drops
ibuprofen (Advil)
thermometer (not mercury)
vitamins

Prescription

Your prescription medication with refill information

PAPERS / DOCUMENTS

Personal

ATM card
checkbook
credit or debit card
glasses/contacts extra prescription
license (for ID)
emergency contacts and doctors
medical insurance card


Car (if you have one on campus)

insurance card
registration
spare car key

SCHOOL AND DESK SUPPLIES

Tip: You probably have a lot of theses supplies around your house already. Save money by resisting the urge to go out and buy everything new.

School and Desk Supplies

3-hole punch
backpack
bulletin board
drawer organizer
erasers
highlighters
index cards
masking tape
notebooks
paper clips
pencil sharpener
pencils
pens
planner/calendar
Post-Its
push pins
ruler
scissors
Scotch tape
stamps
staple remover
stapler
staples

SNACKS

Snacks

bottled water
cereal
jelly
mac and cheese
nuts
peanut butter
popcorn
power bars

OPTIONAL ITEMS

Tips: Some colleges don’t allow bikes in rooms so check with your college. Also check the requirements for TVs, cables, and access to programming.

Optional Items

bike, secure bike lock and helmet
camera
coaxial cable (check with college)
DVD movies
DVD player
gaming consoles/games
HDMI cable for HD TVs
playing cards
scale
sports equipment
suitcase or duffel bag for travel
TV (cable-ready)

Items most colleges don’t want you to bring to campus include:

  • candles
  • incense
  • hot plates
  • open flames
  • pets
  • toaster ovens
  • weapons and ammunition

CONCLUSION

Having a College Packing List can help you save time and prevent you from forgetting items you need for college.

Rather than buying everything new, use the list to find items you can bring from home and save yourself some money.