Student Life

Back to School 2022: College Apartment Packing Checklist

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

Shawna Newman

July 11, 2022

Back to School 2022: 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. 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:


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
Microwave or Instant Pot
TV/DVD Player/Movies
Facial Tissues
Laundry basket/bag
Laundry detergent
Stain remover
Rolls of quarters (If necessary for laundry)
Dryer sheets
Cups, dishes & silverware for in-room snacks
Reusable water bottle and coffee mug
Plastic containers with lids

Personal Care

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

Other Fun Items to Consider:

Video Games and Gaming Console
Framed photos with family, friends, roommates
Dry erase board (For messages from friends)
Deck of cards, Board Games


Comfortable clothes/shoes for class
1 interview outfit
1 dressy outfit (For formal events)
Work out clothing/shoes
1 bathing suit/beach towel
Light jacket for early fall/spring
Raincoat, rain boots, umbrella
Winter coat
Winter hat, scarf, gloves, boots

School, Computer & Tech

Computer/laptop case
Wireless mouse
Lap desk
Tablet or E-reader
Desk organizer
Binders, folders
Printer and ink cartridges
Printer paper
Pens, pencils
Dictionary/ Thesaurus (Apps work, too!)
Backpack or messenger bag
Day planner
Post-It notes
Paper/binder clips
Rubber bands
Extra Phone Charger(s)

Handy Things to Have

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


Shower/bath mat
Shower curtain
Shower tension rod
Shower curtain hooks
Towel hooks
Full-length mirror
Air freshener
Toilet brush
Toilet cleaner

Cleaning Supplies

Rags, sponges, scrub-brushes
Swiffer/Swiffer pads
Mini Vacuum
Dish soap/brush
Dish rack/drying mat
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.

Tips for Winning Scholarships

There are steps you can take to increase your chances of winning scholarships: 1. Update your Fastweb profile frequently. Every day, we add new awards to our database. With that, you need to make sure you’re updating your profile every few months with your GPA as well as adding new activities, jobs, and volunteer opportunities. You’ll find that you may qualify for more scholarships after you’ve updated your profile. 2. Apply to scholarships often. You don’t have to be a strategist to understand that the more scholarships you apply to, the greater your chances of winning. Set a goal of applying to 1-2 scholarships per week. 3. Continue the scholarship search through college, grad school, etc. So often, student limit their scholarship search to their junior and senior year of high school. There are thousands of scholarship opportunities that are exclusive to college, grad, professional, and nontraditional students. The point is: don’t stop applying to scholarships until you’ve completed your education.

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