The Best College Packing List

Moving away to college is an exciting, yet somewhat stressful, time. Make sure you are prepared with everything you'll need from this college packing list!

You just graduated high school and soon you’ll be off to college. Going away to college is a huge transition in one’s life, whether you’re moving out of state or just a couple hours away. Packing up for college can be one of those things you choose to put off until the last minute because, let’s be real, everyone hates packing; especially when it entails so much. But do not worry, I’ve come up with the ultimate college packing list that is sure to include everything you’ll need and more. Check it out!

Dorm Essentials

You'll definitely want these dorm essentials on your college packing list!

1. Bedding

Bedding is the first thing you will want to pick out for your dorm. Choosing a bedding that you love is important because you can then base all the other aspects and decor of your dorm around it! And you want to make sure to get the correct size for your bed. (Dorm beds are typically Twin XL)



2. Sheets

Choose any color you like, and make sure to buy 2 sets! Having 2 sets of sheets makes it so that you’re not having to head down to the laundry room too often. And like I said before, make sure to get the correct size.

3. Blankets

You’re definitely going to want to pack a cozy blanket to make your bed that much more comfortable. Blankets can make the room seem and feel much more homey; I’d bring a couple if I were you!




4. Pillows

Aside from the regular pillows you sleep with, having some decorative pillows can really bring the room to life! Express your style with some cute throw pillows, whether they’re fuzzy, inspirational, or textured; any decorative pillow will liven the room up a bit!


5. Mattress Topper

This one is an absolute necessity. I can tell you, from experience, dorm beds are not the comfortable. I definitely recommend putting a good mattress topper on your college packing list to ensure you’ll sleep great all year long!

6. Mini Fan

Depending on where you live, especially anywhere during the summer time, dorms can get a little toasty. Whether or not your dorm has air conditioning, I’d pack a bedside fan just in case!



7. Curtains

Curtains can have multiple uses! If you’re looking just to brighten up the room a bit, I’d go with some sheer curtains just to add a little color; Or if you want to block the sun from coming in on those mornings you want to sleep in, I’d choose some blackout curtains that match the rest of your dorm!



Dorm Decor

You'll definitely want some of this dorm decor on your college packing list!

1. String Lights

Having some lights strung around the room can really brighten it up. You can opt for some cool clip lights that you can attach pictures to, adding some of your personality into the room; or go for the more vintage style string bulbs– both are super trendy and will really take your dorm to the next level!


2. Photo Collage Display

Having something to display your pictures is a great alternative to picture frames, which are more difficult to have in a dorm because of the limited table space. These picture collages can be stuck to your walls with either command strips or mounting putty, so no screws or drills are necessary!



3. Wall Art

This is where you can really express your style in your dorm! Depending on what you like, you can bring some graphic art, inspirational art, or even a tapestry to cover one of your walls! When choosing your wall art, make sure not to put too much on your college packing list, because there’s only so much space to cover, and you don’t want it to look cluttered.


4. Area Rug

A nice area rug can really transform your dorm, giving it that homey feel. Most dorms aren’t carpeted, so having something soft to step on when getting out of bed is a really nice touch! A rug can also really brighten up the room, depending on the color you choose!



5. Table Lamp

A table lamp is great to keep either on your desk or dresser for those times when you’re roommate is trying to sleep but you still have some things to get done. Rather than keeping the overhead light on all night, a soft glow from a lamp will allow you to see but won’t keep your roommate awake.


Bathroom Essentials

You'll definitely want these bathroom essentials on your college packing list!

1. Towels

Towels are obviously a necessity for your college packing list; you can either match them to your room or choose a more neutral color!



2. Shower Shoes

Whether you’re sharing a shower with your roommates or your entire floor; I’d definitely recommend adding shower shoes to your college packing list. Wearing a pair of flip flops in the shower is much more sanitary and can prevent anything gross from getting on your feet.

3. Shower Caddy

Having something to hold all of your shower essentials that you can bring to and from the bathroom will make your life so much easier. Rather than attempting to carry everything you need, just keep it in a little caddy. The ones that have handles are great!


4. Hair Towel

A hair towel is awesome for us girls with long hair especially. It’s great to have for when you’re getting ready or doing your makeup after a shower and don’t want water dripping down your back.

5. Bath Robe/ Towel Wrap

Having a bath robe or towel wrap is great to throw on after a shower, especially if you like to get ready right after a shower, and you’re worried about your towel falling off in front of your new roomie.




Personal Care

You'll definitely want these products on your college packing list!

1. Hair Brush

Everyone needs a hair brush, that goes without saying. Go with a wet brush if you have trouble getting through the knots after a shower; if not, any other brush will do the job!



2. Hair Dryer

Hair dryers are great for those of us that like to shower before a big night out. Instead of waiting on your hair to dry, blow dry it, giving it that super model volume! There are a million hair dryers out there, ranging from $10 to $500; just go with whatever is in your budget!



3. Hair Straightener

I know a hair straightener is a necessity for a lot of girls, which is why I chose to include it. Obviously if you don’t straighten your hair, don’t feel the need to buy one. Bringing a straightening iron that can both straighten and curl your hair is a great alternative to bringing both a flat iron and a curling iron, saving you some space and money!

4. Beauty Organizer

Depending on the amount of space available in your dorm, you will want to choose the right organizer for your makeup/beauty products. If you’re a makeup lover and have a little extra counter space, I’d go with a large clear organizer that you can keep wherever you typically do your makeup. On the other hand, if you don’t have too much extra space, a hanging organizer is the way to go; this can hang on a hook or even on a drawer knob, and still keep all your products organized.




5. Makeup Mirror

Dorm lighting is not the best, especially for doing your makeup. Keeping a personal mirror on your desk will save you from having to fight your roommate for the mirror, and keep your makeup looking it’s best!

6. Nail Grooming Kit

Most college students don’t have the extra money to spend on getting a  manicure and pedicure every week. So adding a little nail kit to your college packing list will come in handy, especially when you have an event coming up, but not too much money in your pocket.


Kitchen Essentials

You'll definitely want these kitchen essentials on your college packing list!

1. Dinnerware Set

Having a dinnerware set is nice so you’re not stuck with eating your cereal out of a paper bowl every morning. Most dinnerware sets come with coffee mugs as well, which is great to have in the morning. You can either go with a more basic set, like all white, or choose a colored option to brighten up the kitchen!



2. Cup Set

Be sure to pack a set of cups, especially to prevent you from buying individual water bottles or sodas. Having cups definitely saves you some money, and is great for when friends are over!

3. Silverware Set

You gotta have silverware to eat, right? Of course you can opt for plastic silverware; but you’ll definitely want at least a couple of pieces of nicer silverware for when you’re eating your home cooked dinner you spent hours making.

4. Travel Mug

Be sure to pack a travel mug if you like your coffee on the go. These are great for when you don’t have the time to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee, and instead have to take it with you. Travel mugs are a great addition to your college packing list to, and will keep you from spilling your hot coffee all over yourself as you attempt to make it to your 8 am class.


5. Water Bottle

Another necessity. Staying hydrated in college is not as easy as it may seem, because a lot of times we will just forget, and don’t have our moms to remind us anymore. Having a water bottle will keep you from spending your money on a new case of water every week, and helps the environment too, which is always a plus!

6.  Can Opener

Make sure to bring a can opener with you, especially if you’re a big fan of soups or beans. The thing about cans is there is no other way to get them open, so make sure to include an opener on your college packing list!


7. Brita Filter

A Brita filter is an awesome way to purify the tap water from your sink. This one goes right along with #5; add this to your college packing list to save you the money you’d normally spend on water bottles.

8. Coffee Maker

Coffee is a necessity for most people in college. So save yourself the trip to starbucks, and make your own! You can opt for a Keurig, which is a little pricier, but works wonders and is great for people on the go; or go with the standard coffee pot, saving you a little bit of money!



9. Pots and Pans

Make sure to pack a set of pots and pans, especially if you plan on cooking. Having the ability to cook your own food is great for those of you trying to avoid the “freshmen 15.” Eating out tends to get expensive, and there aren’t always the healthiest options, which is why I’d definitely invest in your own set of cookware.

10. Tupperware Food Containers

College is the time of leftovers. Whether you made too much food, or have extras after your dinner at Olive Garden; make sure to save it in some Tupperware, because in college we never let food go to waste.


Storage Essentials

You'll definitely want these storage essentials on your college packing list!

1. Canvas Storage Totes

These are a necessity for your college packing list. Like I mentioned previously, dorms are very limited on space, and you need to make the most of what you have. These storage totes can fit easily under your bed and are stackable, depending on how much  storage you need. Keep everything from clothes to shoes to school supplies in these!

2. Hangers

Obviously everyone needs hangers to hang the clothes in their closet. A little tip: go for the velvet ones to prevent your clothes from slipping off and ending up on the floor.


3. Bed Risers

Depending on your school, some dorms will include bed risers and some do not. If your dorm does not come with them, definitely get them. These raise your bed to whatever height you like, allowing you to use the space underneath for storage.


4. Storage Ottoman

This is a great and versatile storage option. Storage ottomans double as both chairs and storage containers, keeping your room looking cute and organized!

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5. Bedside Caddy

These are great to keep over the edge of your bed. You can store your laptop, iPad, headphones, and anything else you’d typically use while in bed, in a bedside caddy!



Laundry and Cleaning Supplies

You'll definitely want these laundry and cleaning supplies on your college packing list!

1. Rolling Hamper

A laundry hamper on wheels will save you the hassle of getting your day’s workout by attempting to carry all your laundry in your arms. A rolling hamper is a great alternative and will be sure to save you a lot of effort.

2. Detergent and Dryer Sheets

Obviously in order to do laundry, you’re gonna need detergent and dryer sheets. Make sure to stock up on it at the beginning, saving you multiple late-night convenient store runs throughout the semester.



3. Handheld Vacuum

A handheld is a great alternative to a standard vacuum, saving you money and space.

4.  Clorox Wipes

Keeping some clorox wipes in your dorm will definitely come in handy for any spills that may unfortunately occur during the semester.


5. All-Purpose Cleaner

Having an all-purpose cleaner saves you the money you’d normally spend to get all the different cleaners for your bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom. An all-purpose cleaner will do the job just fine!


You'll definitely want these electronics on your college packing list!

1. Laptop

While this is not 100% necessary, it definitely is recommended and you are sure to get your use out of it. I use my laptop every single day, whether it’s in class, to do my papers or assignments, or just for leisure; I would, without a doubt , recommend getting a laptop. You can opt for a more expensive one, like a Mac Book, or go with something that’ll save you a little money, like the Acer.



2. HDMI Cord

An HDMI cord connects your laptop to your TV. Instead of buying a smart TV that has Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube, just bring an HDMI cord to stream whatever is playing on your laptop onto your TV screen.


3. Extension Cord

Definitely don’t forget to pack an extension cord. Most dorms only have a couple outlets, meaning your outlet might be on the other side of the room and you don’t want to have to sit in a chair right next to it while your phone charges.

4. Power Strip

This goes right along with #3. With only a limited number of outlets, it may be difficult to multitask with your appliances or electronics. Add a power strip to your college packing list, and I can assure you it will make your life a lot easier.


5. Portable Speaker

Having a portable speaker is great for when you’re getting ready for a night out and want to liven the mood a little bit. You and your roomie can jam out while getting ready for the semester’s big formal event!


6. Portable Phone Charger

A portable charger is great to have, especially when you’re on the go all day long. Some days there just isn’t time to sit and charge your phone, so why not charge it on the go?!

Miscellaneous Items

1. Tool Kit

Avoid calling the maintenance man every time you need help. Get your own mini tool kit for all the little projects you may have throughout the semester. It’ll come in handy more than you’d think!


2. First Aid Kit

Make sure to bring along a first aid kit for a the minor injuries you may unfortunately experience. This is great to have for when you know you shouldn’t wear your brand new shoes to an all-day event, but you do it anyway. Pop on a little Neosporin and a band-aid and you’ll be good to go.

3. Pepper Spray Keychain

As unfortunate as it is, I would recommend everyone to invest in a pepper spray keychain to add to their college packing list. No matter how safe of an area you think you are in, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.


4. Planner

Stay organized and up-to-date on all your social events with a trendy planner! Whatever your style may be, choose from the many options, ranging from floral print to polka dots.


5. Medication

Make sure to bring any over the counter medication that you may need! If you know you get allergies during certain certain seasons, make sure to bring your trusty medicine! Ibuprofen will always come in handy the day after that big party too.



6. Batteries

Batteries seem to be the thing that you always need, but never actually have. So why not stock up beforehand? You never know when they might come in handy!

This is the best college packing list that, I think, includes absolutely everything you’ll need to move into your new place. I hope this helps relieve a little of your packing stress. Did I miss anything? Share in the comments!
*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 
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