The University Network

College Packing List: What to Bring to College

College is starting soon, which means you should get to packing soon!

But before you start packing, make sure to check your school website for a list of permitted vs. prohibited items. This will save you a lot of time. Also, coordinate with your roommate(s) on the bigger items – who’s going to bring what? This will save you a lot of money. 

Finally, don’t make the mistake of overpacking! It’s better to bring less and buy later than to bring too much and waste away. College is already expensive as it isDon’t spend a fortune on things you don’t need – pack simple and smart!

Now… what to pack for college??? Read on to find out.

UPDATED: June 22, 2017

SEE ALSO: 10 Things To Do the Summer Before College (#CollegeBound Series)


☐ Air Freshener

Hand vacuum

Save Engine Best Buy Vacuum

☐ Trash cans (are expensive, don’t be surprised!)

Laundry bag

Save Engine Container Store Laundry Bag

☐ Laundry detergent & fabric softener


☐ Sleepwear

☐ Socks & underwear

☐  Semi-formal attire

☐ Jeans & leggings

☐ T-shirts & tank tops

☐ Sweaters and hoodies

☐ Sneakers and running shoes

☐ Workout clothes

☐ Everyday purse & Backpack

☐ Flip flops and bathroom slippers

☐ Jackets, hats, gloves, scarves 

☐ Rain boots & snow boots

☐ Formal attire & shoes

Desk Supplies

☐ Pens & Pencils  & Highlighters

☐ Lightweight Laptop & Notebooks

☐Binders & Dividers (& looseleaf paper)

Desk lamp 

Save Engine The Container Store Desk Lamp

☐ Book Light

Printer (paper & ink)

Save Engine HP Printer

☐ Planner

☐ Post-its + Index cards

Power strip/Surge Protector/Extension cord

☐ Paper clips & Scissors

☐ Stapler & Staples

☐ Tape & Glue

☐ Textbooks (get them cheap here)


☐ Car registration & insurance information + Driver’s License

☐ Copy of birth certificate

☐ Copy of Social Security Card

☐ Emergency contact list

☐ Enrollment & financial aid documents

☐ Health & dental insurance documents 

☐ Passport 

☐ Student ID *to get your student discounts*

Eating (check your school policies!):


Mini Fridge 

☐ Toaster

☐ Coffee Maker

☐ Water bottle 

☐ Mugs

☐ Dishes/Plates/Bowls/Cups

☐ Cooking utensils & Silverware

☐ Water pitcher & Filter

☐ Napkins & Paper Towels

☐ Food storage bins or bags

☐ Dishwashing Soap


☐ Bottled water

☐ Snacks (in bulks = cheaper)

☐ Instant coffee and ramen noodles


☐ Allergy medication 

☐ Cold & Flu medication 

☐ First aid kit

☐ Humidifier

☐ Insect Repellant  

☐ Over-the-counter pain medication 

☐ Prescription medicine & refill information

☐ Retainer

☐ Supplements & Vitamins


☐ Storage bins

☐ Shoe hanger or shoe rack

☐ Belt hook/hangers

Jewelry holder

Bulletin board

☐ Desk organizers (small baskets)

Dry-erase board (markers + eraser)

Sleep & Shower:

☐ Bedsheets (most likely twin XL size), Blankets, Comforters

☐ Mattress Pad (for comfort)

☐ Pillows & Pillow cases

☐ Under bed storage

☐ Sleeping mask & ear plugs

☐ Bedside table

☐ Shower caddy

☐ Shower Flip flops

☐ Blow dryer & Hair straightener


☐ Shampoo & Conditioner

☐ Hair products

☐ Deodorant

☐ Lotion

☐ Mirror

☐ Make-up (& remover)

☐ Q-tips & Cotton balls

☐ Razors & Shaving cream

☐ Hand soap and soap bars

☐ Toothbrush/Toothpaste

☐ Nail clipper & tweezer

☐ Mouthwash & Floss

☐ Vaseline

☐ Tissues & Toilet paper

☐ Sunscreen


☐ Full length mirror

☐ Umbrella

☐ Fan/Cooler

☐ Headphones

Photos of loved ones

+ Hacks to Save You Space:
  • Slip breakables into socks for protection.
  • Stuff your (already stuffed) socks in your shoes and use a shower cap to keep the dirty soles of your shoes away.
  • Seal your jewelry with plastic wrap to prevent it from tangling.
  • Fasten your stud earrings onto the holes in buttons and never lose them.
  • Place your bobby pins in a Tic Tac container (because they always disappear, don’t they?).
📋  BONUS 📋  Mental Checklist for College:

□ Are you ready to meet new people?

□ Are you set on a major?

□ Did you familiarize yourself with your school schedule?

□ Have you read reviews about your professors and course descriptions for your classes?

□ Do you have a planner that you will pour out your heart and soul into?

□ Are ready to test out your time management skills?

□ Do you have a budgeting plan for the semester?

□ Are you ready for the ridiculously expensive textbooks?! (Or cheap textbooks…)

□ Are you ready to do your own laundry and to feed yourself?

□ Are you aware of all the FREE resources and services offered by your school?

□ Do you know which clubs or organizations you will join?

□ Do you have a job or an internship secured?

□ Do you know which scholarships you qualify for?

□ Have you contacted or reconnected with your high school friends/classmates?

□ Do you know about these student discounts

□ Do you know what to expect for the first week of school?

Are you ready to embrace the discomfort and pursue your passions?

Follow us for advice & resources! TUN helps college students navigate college and beyond!