The Ultimate College Packing List

Hey yall!

I know when I was thinking about everything I needed to get for college the list was never ending. I also spent so much time looking at over 50 lists on college blogs. Well I want to help yall out by combining all of those 50 lists into this ultimate college packing list!


I know this list may seem long, but trust me it is not. Most of it you already have at home it is just a matter of packing it up to take with you. For myself I only needed to purchase bedding, a shower caddy, storage solutions, and a couple school supplies-everything else I had at home already or I received as gifts from family. So look to your graduation parties for extra money to purchase some of the things on this list you don’t already have.

Now, let’s get started!!



  • Comforter/Duvet & Cover-Twin XL size.
  • 2 Sets of Twin XL Sheets/Pillow Cases-so you can switch them out to wash the other set.
  • Mattress Pad/Cover-you will want to splurge on this, trust me!
  • 1-2 Pillows
  • Body Pillow
  • Back Rest Pillow
  • Throw/Decoration Pillows
  • Throw Blanket
  • Bed Skirt-this comes in handy if you want to half loft your bed and cover up anything you hide under your bed.
  • Bed Raisers-if your university doesn’t have the option of lofting the beds yourself.
  • Bedside Caddy-if you decide to fully loft your bed this is a great thing to have to hold stuff while you’re up there.
  • Additional Seating-i.e. chairs, futon, etc.

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Desk Supplies


  • Paper Organizer/Holder
  • Drawer Organizers
  • Desk Organizer
  • Magazine Holders
  • Filing Box & Folders-for important documents and papers.
  • Desk Lamp
  • Bulletin Board/White Board & dry erase markers-get an extra white board to hang on the outside of your door for notes.
  • Calendar
  • Push Pins, Paper Clips, & Binder Clips
  • Pens/Pencils & Pencil Sharpener
  • Erasers
  • Highlighters
  • Scissors
  • Hole Punch
  • Tape
  • Stapler, Staples, & Staple Remover
  • White Out
  • Sticky Notes
  • Washi Tape
  • Office Chair-if one is not provided for you
  • Seat Cushion-trust me, the seats they DO provide you are not comfortable.

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School Supplies


  • Book Bag/Tote
  • Loose Leaf Paper
  • Planner/Agenda- I don’t care what you say. If you do not write assignments down somewhere you will not get them all done!
  • Scantrons-if your school requires you purchase your own.
  • Clicker-if you should need one for a class.
  • Sheet Protectors
  • Index Cards
  • 8 Pocket Folder-I suggest this route instead of buying 8 separate folders, it saves space in your book bag and saves you money!
  • 5 Subject Notebook-I also suggest going this route instead of buying 5 different notebooks for the same reasons as the folder.
  • Grid Paper Notebook-I think grid paper is the BEST paper to take math notes on.
  • Portfolio & Filler Pads-I took this route instead of buying notebooks because I hated having the fringes that you get when you rip out notebook paper.
  • Calculator-see what kind you need for your classes before buying one because some schools have restrictions on the ones you can use.
  • 1 binder (per semester) & Dividers (per class per semester)-College desks are too small for binders, so I suggest NOT getting them to hold stuff for your classes. However, I buy one 2 inch binder per semester and dividers for each of my classes and at the end of the semester put all the papers I want to keep into that binder so I have a specified binder for all of the things I want to keep categorized by semester.

Going the minimal route with supplies will take you further than you think. It will save you money and space to buy something that can double for multiple classes or can be reused the next semester.

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  • Tension Rod
  • Curtain & Rings-you can use this to make a pretty cover over your closet so company, or yourself, don’t have to look at all of your clothes.
  • Jewelry & Accessories
  • Scarfs
  • Hats
  • Purse & Bags
  • Belts
  • Sunglasses
  • Flip Flops
  • Tennis Shoes
  • Dress Shoes
  • Rain Boots
  • Bras-regular & sport
  • Swimsuit
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Pajamas
  • Dress Shirts
  • Casual Shirts
  • T-Shirts
  • Athletic Clothes-i.e. tank tops, spandex, running shorts, etc.
  • Hoodies
  • Dresses
  • Casual Pants
  • Dress Pants
  • Sweatpants
  • Leggings
  • Shorts
  • Skirts
  • Light Jacket
  • Rain Jacket

Only bring the clothing for the season it is when you are moving in. Over fall break you can take all of your items home and exchange them out for the next seasons clothing. Do the same at Spring Break.

This will cut down on how much clothes you bring with you because those closets are SMALL and you can’t afford to bring all of your clothes with you so don’t try. 

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  • Clothes Hamper
  • Hangers-velvet hangers work best so that your shirts don’t slip off easily.
  • Fabric Softener
  • Laundry Detergent-I personally like using the pods.
  • Stain Remover
  • Lint Roller
  • Quarters



  • Alarm Clock-even if you don’t want to use it for the alarm purposes you can still get a clock so that you can easily see what time it is in the room so you are ready for classes and other events.
  • Cellphone & Charger
  • Portable Phone Charger
  • Headphones
  • Speaker System- i.e. Beats Pill
  • Laptop, Charger, Bag, & Case
  • USB drive
  • Microsoft Office-make sure this is downloaded on your laptop because you will be using it, A LOT.
  • Printer, Paper, & Ink-you don’t need these if your school has libraries where you can print out papers at, usually it does cost some cents though.
  • Camera, SD Card, Charger, Bag, & Tripod
  • TV
  • Apple TV-optional to watch Netflix from.
  • DVD player/DVD’s
  • Ethernet cable
  • HDMI Cable
  • Extension Cords-try and get extension cords with a built in surge protector because most schools won’t allow anything else.

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  • Bathroom Rugs-you will only need rugs if you have your own bathroom or suite style dorm.
  • Shower Curtain & Rings-you will only need this if you have your own bathroom or suite style dorm.
  • 4 Towels
  • 4 Washcloths
  • 2 Hand Towels
  • 1 Body Wrap/Robe
  • Shower Caddy-this is a crucial item in college because you need an efficient way to carry shower items to the shower and keeping them all together and dry.
  • Shower Shoes- please please please get a pair of flip flops or use an old pair because shower shoes are important! Those floors can get grimy.
  • Shower Cap
  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Body wash & Lufa
  • Shaving Cream & Razors
  • Tweezers
  • Finger/Toe Nail Clippers
  • Emory Boards
  • Toothbrush, Toothbrush Holder/Topper, & Toothpaste-you will want something to put your toothbrush in to cover it so it doesn’t get dirty.
  • Floss
  • Mouth Wash

Be sure to coordinate with your roommate on bathroom decorations, colors, and other items so you both don’t show up with an over the toilet shelving unit.

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  • Cotton Balls & Q-Tips
  • Small Mirror
  • Nail Polish & Remover
  • Sunscreen
  • Chapstick
  • Retainer & Case
  • Contacts, Solution, & Case
  • Glasses, Cleaner, & Case
  • Bobby Pins/Clips
  • Hair Ties
  • Headbands
  • Brush/Comb
  • Hair Spray
  • Dry Shampoo
  • Mouse, Gel, or Creams
  • Heat Protectant
  • Straightener/Curler
  • Hair Dryer
  • Lotion & Perfume
  • Deodorant
  • Face Wash & Moisturizer
  • Make-up & Make-up Remover/Wipes
  • Feminine Products



  • Thermometer
  • Acne Cream
  • Allergy Medicine
  • Antibiotic Cream
  • Band-Aids
  • Cold Medicine
  • Cough Drops
  • Cough Medicine
  • Condoms
  • Pain Reliever-i.e. Midol, Ibuprofen, Advil, etc.
  • Prescriptions
  • Sleep Aids



  • Mini Fridge-check to make sure your university doesn’t already provide one for you before you go out and buy one. Also make sure you are allowed to have your own first.
  • Microwave-check to make sure your university doesn’t already provide one for you before you go out and buy one. Also make sure you are allowed to have your own first.
  • Paper Plates & Plastic Silverware-you probably don’t want actual dishes because that means you have to wash them and no one wants that, even if you think you do, you don’t.
  • 2-3 Plastic Bowls-I know I just said you don’t want plastic but you may want to invest in a couple so you can make things in the microwave such as Ramen Noodles or Ravioli.
  • Ziplock Bags
  • Soap & a Sponge

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  • Bottled Water-unless your floor has a water fountain.
  • Brita Water Filter-unless you get water bottles!
  • Travel Water Bottles
  • Bread
  • Butter
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly
  • Lunch Meats
  • Cheese
  • Ketchup & Mustard
  • Easy Mac
  • Ramen Noodles
  • Chips & Chip Clips
  • Oatmeal
  • Popcorn
  • Granola Bars
  • Veggies
  • Fruit
  • Keurig & Kcups-check to make sure you are allowed to have one in your room, but having one of these is useful if you are a coffee drinker because Starbucks is way too expensive and not always available when you need it, like 3am.
  • Instant Hot Chocolate
  • Mugs
  • Microwave Food- i.e. soup, ravioli, microwave dinners, etc.

Some buildings have kitchen supplies that you can check out from the front desk such as a can opener, pots and pans, cookie sheets, etc. so no need to buy them if they are available for you for free. This also saves space in your room!

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  • Christmas Lights-these are a staple in any dorm room!
  • Area Rug-collaborate with your roommate on an area rug for the color and who will purchase it.
  • Headboard
  • Wall Art-i.e. pictures, monogram letters, canvases, pictures, lights, etc.
  • Picture Frames & Pictures
  • Full Body Mirror-make sure your room doesn’t already come with one before you go out and buy one.
  • Jewelry Organizer
  • Make-Up Organizer

You May Also Like: Sophomore Year Dorm Room Tour


My Drifting Desk | Conquer College. Your 3 Day Spring Cleaning Checklist

  • Febreeze
  • Broom & Dustpan
  • Vacuum
  • Trash Can & Bags
  • Clorox Wipes
  • Windex
  • Paper Towels

Toilet and shower cleaning supplies should be bought for suite style bathrooms and rooms where you have your own bathroom, not for communal baths.

  • Plunger
  • Toilet Cleaner & Brush
  • Shower Cleaner

Some cleaning supplies can be rented out at the front desk of your resident hall so be sure what is available to you before spending money on things you won’t need and taking up precious space in your room you don’t have.

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  • Shoe Rack-on the floor or one that hangs int he closet.
  • Over the Door Shoe Rack-this can be used for many other things than just shoes such as snack foods, hair supplies, make-up, shower stuff, school supplies, etc. be creative and utilize space!
  • Accessory Hangers for the Closet-hangers for scarfs, belts, tank tops, shoes, etc.
  • Ottoman
  • Storage Cubes-these can double as additional seating
  • Clear 3 Drawer Bins-there are different sized ones that you can find at walmart for cheap!
  • Bins
  • Underbed Storage Bins/Boxes/Bags etc.

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  • Debit/Credit Cards & Bank Info
  • Insurance Cards
  • Social Security Card, State & University ID-you will need these if you are applying to work on campus at your university.
  • Lanyard-this is a must. Keep your dorm room keys, car keys, house keys, a wristlet (optional), or a card holder to clip onto your University ID so it is at easy access for swiping into whatever you need to!
  • Command Hooks-and lots of them!
  • Lap Desk
  • Batteries
  • Door Stop
  • Safety Pins
  • Craft Supplies
  • Ear Plugs
  • Bike, Helmet, Lock, Pump
  • Sport Equipment
  • Duffle/Gym Bag
  • Clip on Fan-having this clipped onto your bed will be a lifesaver for those hot nights! It takes up less space than a huge fan that sits on the floor.
  • Clip on Lamp-this will also come in handy when you want to do some reading in bed with a lamp.
  • Pepper Spray-ladies you will want something to make you feel safe walking home from classes late at night.
  • Umbrella

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Thank you so much for stopping by to get the ultimate college packing list to help you pack and be completely ready for college. Of course add what you need to this list and take away things you might not see as a necessity for you, completely customize this list!



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