Student Life

College Dorm Packing Checklist

Follow this list to help ensure you've packed all the essentials without over packing.

Elizabeth Hoyt

June 18, 2019

College Dorm Packing Checklist
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 year, tons of students pack way too many items in fear they won't be prepared. However, they arrive to learn that they have little space to store everything and end up regretting packing so much. Alternatively, they forget an essential item because there's just so much to think about. Remember, if you do forget an essential, you can always ask someone to send it, pick it up next time you visit home or have someone from home bring it along when they visit. Or, if it's something as simple as a toothbrush, there are stores around your college town. In hopes to help with the process, here's a college dorm packing checklist. 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. Many schools don't allow things such as: • Halogen bulbs and/or lamps
• Hotplates, skillets, toasters, toaster ovens, InstantPots/pressure cookers
• Air conditioners
• Extension cords
• Candles
• Pets
• Nail picture hangers

Dorm Room

Sheets (Check to see if they need to be a special size)
Bed risers (If your bed isn't a loft)
Desk/Bed lamp
Book light
Crates or stacking storage containers
Microwave (If allowed in room)
Mini-Refrigerator (If allowed in room)
DVD Player
Facial Tissues
Laundry basket/bag
Laundry detergent
Stain remover
Rolls of quarters (If necessary for laundry)
Dryer sheets
Laundry drying rack
Trash can
Paper plates and cups
Cups, dishes & silverware for in-room snacks
Reusable water bottle
Reusable coffee mug
Plastic containers with lids for snacks (Bugs, otherwise!)
Delicious snacks

Personal Care

Shower caddy
Soap/body wash
Shower pouf/loofah
Towels (Bath, face, washcloths)
Shower shoes
Body lotion
Shaving Cream / Razors
Feminine Products
Cold 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 Game Console/Games
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
Computer/laptop charger
Wireless mouse
Desk lamp
Lap desk
iPod/MP3 Player
Tablet or E-reader
Blank discs or drives for the computer labs
Desk organizer
Binders, folders
Printer ink cartridges
Printer paper
Pens, pencils
Dictionary/ Thesaurus (Apps work, too!)
Backpack or messenger bag
Day planner
Post-It notes
Three-hole punch
Paper/binder clips
Rubber bands
Extra Phone Charger(s)

Handy Things to Have

Area maps
Safe with a lock (For valuables)
Toolbox/Basic tool set
Weekend bag or small suitcase
Extra Power strip(s)
Extra Extension cord(s)
Extra chargers
Poster putty and/or removable hooks for hanging up decorations (Most schools don't allow nails)

If You Have a Private or Shared Bathroom with Roommates

Bathroom rug
Shower/bath mat
Shower curtain
Shower curtain/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
Cleaning wipes
Rubber gloves
Dish soap
Dish rack/drying mat
Dish brush
Febreze/Fabric refresher
Note: Even though you can usually get school supplies on campus, it's often cheaper to buy it during the back-to-school sales at off-campus stores. College Dorm Checklist: Download PDF Moving to college for the first time is a huge step in any student’s life. Preparation and planning play a key role to an easy transition because, the less you worry about things other than your new academic schedule, the better. That being said, don’t freak out if you forget something you need that’s on the above college planning checklist. Even if you’re far from home, there’s nothing you can’t get exactly where you are. You can usually even find a lot of student necessities on campus. If not on campus, look to the nearby town. If you forget an important item you cannot replace with a store-bought item (something sentimental or a favorite shirt, for example) and you’re too far away from home to head back, you can always kindly ask your parents, siblings or other family members to ship the item(s) directly to your dorm address. Note: Even though you can usually get school supplies on campus, it's often cheaper to buy it during the back-to-school sales at off-campus stores.

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