Student Life

Back to School 2023: College Apartment Packing Checklist

Get your back to school college apartment checklist and don't pack too much.

Shawna Newman

July 06, 2023

Back to School 2023: College Apartment Packing Checklist
Use this list to ensure you pack all the college apartment essentials!
By now, you've probably started to think about packing for college. While it's easy to get overwhelmed, remember that you're just going to college - not Mars. With a detailed checklist and an ample amount of time, you’ll feel more at ease about completing the tasks at hand and preparing for your home away from home.

What Should You Pack for Your College Apartment?

Every school year, tons of students pack too many items in fear that they won't be prepared. Your move back shouldn't require moving trucks or a moving company! When box packing, remember if you do forget an essential, you can always ask someone to send it, bring it whenever they visit or pick it up the next time you head home.
Follow this list to help ensure you've packed all the essentials without over-packing. You can also download the checklist here. Always Ask First! Before bringing any of the following items, contact your school's housing office and ask about the rules and regulations within the residence halls.

College Apartment Packing Checklist:

Bedroom Items

Many of your bedroom items can be used to showcase your personality. Have fun with your bedding and décor to make the room truly feel like it’s yours.
Sheets (Check to see if they need to be a special size)
Bed risers (If your bed isn't a loft)
Book light
Crates or stacking storage containers
Facial Tissues

Bathroom Supplies

Personal care items for college extend beyond just your hygiene and skin care regimen necessities. You’ll need items for injuries, illness, and more.
Shower caddy
Soap/body wash
Towels (Bath, face, washcloths)
Shower shoes
Shaving Cream / Razors
First-aid kit
Feminine Products
Cold and pain medicine
Hair dryer (Straightener, Curling Iron)
Cotton swabs, cotton balls, etc.
Sewing kit (with safety pins)
Lint brush
Wrinkle release
Shower/bath mat
Shower curtain
Shower tension rod
Shower curtain hooks
Towel hooks
Full-length mirror
Air freshener
Toilet brush
Toilet cleaner

Kitchen Supplies

Even if you’re on the school meal plan, you’ll still need a few items for your kitchen. However, if you plan to cook all of your meals at home, your kitchen supply list will be pretty extensive.
Pots and skillets
Cooking utensils
Oven mitts
Mixing bowls
Measuring cups and spoons
Dish towels
Reusable water bottle and coffee mug
Plastic containers with lids

Living Room Items

Unlike your dorm room, your college apartment will have plenty of space to sleep, eat, and relax. Make your living room a comfortable space to unwind after a long day of classes, extracurriculars, and study time.
Accent chair(s)
Media stand
End table(s)

Laundry Supplies

If your college apartment comes with a washer and dryer, count yourself lucky. Most students, however, will need to do their laundry mat in a community room of the building or make visits to a laundromat.
Laundry basket/bag
Laundry detergent
Stain remover
Rolls of quarters (If necessary for laundry)
Dryer sheets

Electronics & Technology Items

Your college apartment will be a hub for your schoolwork. As such, you’ll need any electronics and technological items that will help you in and outside of the classroom.
Computer/laptop case
Wireless mouse
Lap desk
Tablet or E-reader
Printer and ink cartridges
Printer paper
Extra Phone Charger(s)

Cleaning Supplies

You’re not living in the dorms anymore, which means you’re in charge of keeping your space clean. You’ll need to have the necessary supplies on hand to keep your common spaces, bedroom, and bathroom clean.
Rags, sponges, scrub-brushes
Swiffer/Swiffer pads
Mini Vacuum
Dish soap/brush
Dish rack/drying mat

Nice to Have

Ultimately, all you really need for college apartment living are the bare necessities. However, it’s nice to have entertainment, décor, and handy items in the event you need to fix something.
Video Games and Gaming Console
Framed photos with family, friends, roommates
Dry erase board (For messages from friends)
Deck of cards, Board Games
Safe with a lock (For valuables)
Toolbox/Basic tool set
Weekend bag or small suitcase
Extra Power strip(s)
Poster putty or Command Strips for hanging decorations
College Apartment Checklist: Download PDF

Scholarships for Off Campus Housing

While you’re packing for college, whether it’s your first year or last, remember to keep up the scholarship search and application process. The scholarships you win could pay for your off-campus housing. While some scholarship providers will stipulate that their award can only be used to cover tuition, room and board, or textbooks, others leave it up to the student to decide where to spend their money. As you search for scholarships, this is something that you can check for in the “Terms and Conditions” on the scholarship provider’s site. If it’s unclear where and how you can spend a scholarship, you can always email the scholarship committee and ask.

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