The Ultimate College Packing List!

Whether you’re a freshman or a transfer, moving away from home for the first time can be a daunting experience. I’ve compiled a list of necessities and luxuries that are great to have at school, and I have added links to all of my personal favorites. I hope I can help ease the anxiety of moving away and I hope that you enjoy your new adventure!

Bedding (size twin XL)


  • Bath Towels, Hand Towels & Washcloths – 3 Sets
  • Robe
  • Shower Wrap – Communal Bathroom
  • Shower Caddy & Shower Shoes – Communal Bathroom
  • Cotton Balls, Q-Tips & Cotton Rounds
  • Tissue Boxes
  • Pack of Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Razors
  • Feminine Products
  • Shower Curtain
  • Deodorant
  • Sunscreen
  • Vaseline or Chapstick
  • Lotion
  • Body wash
  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Face Wash
  • Moisturizer
  • Body Sprays & Perfumes
  • Necessary medicines –
    • Advil
    • Tylenol
    • Band-Aids & Neosporin
    • Cortisone
    • Benadryl
    • Seasonal Allergy Medicine
    • Alka Seltzer
    • Motion Sickness Pills
    • Vitamins
    • Emergen-C or Airborne
    • Cold Medicine
    • Your Personal Prescriptions
  • Basic First Aid
    • Band-Aids
    • Neosporin
    • Rubbing Alcohol/Peroxide
    • Cortizone


  • Brush & Comb
  • Blow Dryer
  • Straightener & Curling Iron
  • Makeup
  • Toner
  • Makeup Removing Wipes
  • Pimple Spot Treatment
  • Face Masks – So fun to do with your roomies on a movie night!
  • Nail Polish (a few basics) & Remover
  • Tweezers, Mini Scissors, Nail Clippers, etc – A handy kit here
  • Hair Products –
    • Smoothing serum – This one is my all time favorite!
    • Heat Protector
    • Mousse
    • Dry Shampoo
    • Hairspray
    • Wave Spray
  • Hair Ties, Clips, Bobby Pins, Headbands, etc
  • Jewelry
  • Lighted Desk Mirror – The light makes it so that you can get ready without waking your roommate

Organization Solutions

Misc. Room Necessities

  • Full Length Mirror
  • Desk Lamp – This one is perfect because you can adjust the brightness and it has a USB port to charge your electronics close-by!
  • Power Strip – Dorms have very few outlets, here’s a two pack
  • Alarm Clock – Put it away from your bed and it will keep you from snoozing your phone alarm 100 times.
  • Air Freshener Spray – Pro tip: Get detergent scented for the illusion that you did your laundry
  • Essential Oils & Diffuser – Essential oils really help to lower stress levels, which is important in college

Personal Necessities

  • Eye Mask & Ear Plugs – Necessary if you have roommates!
  • Electronics & Chargers
  • A Good Laptop – Spend your graduation money on a trustworthy (Mac) laptop. You will use it every single day!
  • Backpack – I highly recommend North Face, it will get you through college and years beyond
  • Purse
  • Change Jar – Those pennies add up!
  • Gum
  • Prescription Glasses
  • Sun Glasses
  • Something special from home – Teddy bear, blanket, pictures, etc
  • Yoga Mat
  • Bluetooth Speaker
  • Lawn Chair – Necessary for sports events, random camping trips, etc.


  • Tapestries – Here’s a beautiful but pricey one from Society6 and a cheap but cute one from Amazon
  • Command Hooks & Curtain Clips – If you have cinderblock walls, you can hang tapestries with these!
  • Pictures of Friends and Family
  • Twine & Clothes Pins – To hang pictures!
  • Christmas Lights
  • Posters
  • Rug – It will transform your entire room, especially if you have ugly tile floors!


  • Hamper or Laundry Bag – Depending on how far your laundry room is from your bedroom
  • Detergent Pods or Liquid Detergent – Communal washers can be small, so if you are cramming a lot of clothes in at once, pods won’t fully disintegrate
  • Dryer Sheets
  • Stain Remover Spray
  • Stain Pens
  • Lint Roller
  • Drying Rack – If you prefer to hang-dry delicates

Seasonal Necessities

Cleaning Supplies

Kitchen Supplies (Dorm and Apartment)

Kitchen Supplies* (Apartment)

School Supplies

  • Pens/Pencils/Highlighters
  • Pencil Bag
  • Planner
  • Post-Its
  • A Notebook for Each Class
  • A Folder for Each Class
  • Loose Leaf Paper
  • Stapler
  • Scissors
  • Index Cards
  • Calculator & Graph Paper (if taking math courses)
  • Paper Clips
  • Push Pins
  • Tape
  • Envelopes

There you have it, the Ultimate College Packing List! I hope this was helpful and that you have a wonderful time at school!

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Posted by

Welcome! My name is Madison and I'm a 21 year old college student, dog mom and avid napper. I'm a serious introvert attempting to brave the world one trip out of my room at a time. Follow my journey as I attempt to stay awake long enough to be a productive adult!

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