The Ultimate College Packing List
Gathering dorm room supplies
When you consider the limited amount of space in a dorm room or college apartment, it can be tough to imagine how to pack. Not only do you need to find room for daily necessities like clothes and toiletries, but you also need to bring basic kitchen supplies and other household items. While there are essential things to bring, the good news is there are some things you can (and should) leave behind. Dive into this packing list to find out how to pack for college.
What to bring to college
When packing for college, you have to bring things for every aspect of life from class to your hobbies. To make sure there’s room for everything, stick to a list and only bring things you’ll use. Start with this printable college packing list for the basics, and then follow these tips for dorm shopping and packing.
- Make sure to pack storage items. To maximize space, look for storage opportunities all over the room. Under-the-bed containers can hold everything from out-of-season clothing to your DVD collection. A door pocket organizer traditionally holds shoes, but it can also be used to organize cleaning supplies, towels or school supplies. Bring damage-free hooks (as long as the school or landlord allows them) to hang items such as robes and backpacks on the walls.
- Bring tech gear. Along with the standard chargers and extension cords, consider bringing things like a portable speaker for listening to music, noise cancelling headphones to block out ambient noise from the neighbors, a white noise machine to help you sleep, and cables to hook a laptop to the TV. If there are other tech items that you regularly use, make sure to pack them as well.
- Add in these useful items. While these items may not be needed by everyone, they can be convenient to keep around. When packing, consider including measuring cups to make dorm room cooking easier, super glue for anything that breaks and needs fixing quickly, and a small bottle of dish soap for hand washing dishes in the sink. You might also want to toss in a door stop — it will be perfect for evenings when you want to socialize with hall mates who walk by!
- Don’t forget moving day essentials. These items won’t need to stay at your new place, but you’ll want them for moving. Get a dolly or moving straps to make moving furniture or heavy items a little easier and make sure to include scissors or a box cutter.
*Click to enlarge and print checklist
What NOT to bring to college
There are two parties to check with when packing for college: the school or landlord and your roommates. There may be some things that are not allowed, and you won’t want to bring duplicates of items roommates are planning to bring.
- Common items banned by colleges: Many schools have rules in place concerning electronics (many prohibit large speakers or big screen TVs), appliances (hot plates, toaster ovens and slow cookers may be a no-go), and pets (a fish may be allowed, but not a lizard or cat).
- Items to discuss with your roommates: Only one of each of these items is needed, so figure out who is bringing what: mini-fridge, microwave, curtains, TV, DVD player, area rug, shower curtain and iron and ironing board.
Knowing which items are prohibited or unnecessary will save time packing and ensure you aren’t wasting valuable space.
How to pack for college
After completing college shopping, it’s time to pack it all up before moving day. Here are some general guidelines:
- Pack items safely. It might seem like moving to college isn’t a big deal, but you’re moving your belongings from one location to another, so it’s important to pack them to protect them. Use quality moving boxes and packing supplies to prevent crushing. And be sure to pack boxes properly, filling them and padding them with packing paper. Tape boxes well so they stay closed during transit.
- Keep items in original packaging. Chances are there are many new items to take to college, either from graduation gifts or from a shopping trip. Those items are packed for transportation across the country to the store, and they will stay safe in their original packaging. This is especially true for appliances and furniture.
- Pack items in groups. Keep similar items together in the same box so unpacking is easy.
Need help moving into your college dorm room?
If you’ve done the dorm shopping and it’s time to move to campus, make a plan. You might be able to fit everything in the car and have family help with moving. But if you’re moving out of state or need a little help getting belongings there, get a U-Pack moving quote. Our ReloCubes are ideal for student moving since they hold the contents of a studio apartment and fit into a standard parking space. See how you can move to college affordably without having to drive your belongings there.
Check out these other resources for graduation, college and apartment life: