What to Pack for College

October 26, 2021

Backpack over green grass

Getting ready for college involves a lot of preparation, which can be a daunting task — and this includes deciding what items to pack or leave behind at home. No matter what your major is, all college students need to pack the essentials for a successful living experience. If you’re wondering what you should bring, we’ve got you covered with this what-to-pack-for-college checklist of the top things you may need for your new academic adventure.

Clothing and Accessories

  • Shirts
  • Underwear
  • Pajamas
  • Shorts
  • Sweats
  • Jeans or pants
  • Socks
  • Sweaters
  • Light and heavy jackets
  • Loungewear
  • Sportswear
  • Swimwear
  • Business-casual wear
  • Jewelry
  • Watch
  • Sunglasses
  • Sandals
  • Flip-flops
  • Sneakers
  • Dress shoes
  • Boots
  • Hats
  • Belts
  • Gloves and scarf

Bedding and Laundry Supplies

  • Bedsheets
  • Comforter or quilts (easy to wash)
  • Pillows
  • Pillowcases
  • Throw blanket
  • Mattress pad
  • Towels (bath, hand towels, washcloths)
  • Hangers
  • Iron or steamer
  • Shower basket, bucket, or caddy
  • Shower mat
  • Laundry bag or basket
  • Laundry detergent and fabric softener
  • Bleach
  • Stain remover
  • Lint brush

Health and Hygiene

  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Shower gel or bath soap
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Dental floss
  • Mouthwash
  • Hair grooming tools (brush, comb, hair dryer)
  • Hairstyling products
  • Deodorant
  • Face wash, lotion, moisturizer, and other skin care products
  • Makeup
  • Tissues
  • Toilet paper
  • Eye drops
  • Cotton swabs
  • First aid kit
  • Prescription medicines
  • Nail clippers
  • Tweezers
  • Razor and shaving cream
  • Handheld mirror
  • Heating pad

Electronics and Accessories

  • Phone
  • Laptop
  • Tablet
  • Portable speakers
  • Headphones
  • Camera
  • HDMI/extension cords
  • Adapters/chargers

School and Desk Supplies

  • Backpack
  • Planner/calendar
  • Pens and pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Markers
  • Notebooks
  • Pen/pencil holder and sharpener
  • Index cards
  • Sticky notes
  • Binders
  • Stapler and staples
  • Hole puncher
  • Paper clips and binder clips
  • Scissors
  • Calculator
  • Desk storage
  • Tape

Room Decor and Storage Needs

  • Alarm Clock
  • Desk or bedside lamp
  • Closet organizer
  • Shoe storage
  • Under-the-bed storage bins
  • Closet storage bins
  • Removable adhesive hooks or sticky wall mounts
  • Photos and other personal items
  • Decorative rug
  • Wall decor
  • Mini trash can

Food and Kitchen Items

  • Snacks, beverages, and other food items
  • Paper towels
  • Favorite coffee mug
  • Plasticware/paper plates/plastic cups
  • Water bottle
  • Food storage bags/containers
  • Can or bottle opener
  • Silverware, pots/pans, cooking utensils (if not provided by housing)
  • Dish soap and scrubber/sponge
  • Dish towels
  • Oven mitts

Miscellaneous

  • Umbrella
  • Mini toolkit (screwdriver, wrench, hammer, etc.)
  • Mini sewing kit
  • Flashlight
  • Safety pins
  • Bike lock