The Complete College Packing Checklist

by - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

When looking through emails I realized a common trend, many people emailing me were soon to be college freshman asking me about different things to take to college! I know I wish I had a bit more advice about what to take before heading off so I have created this Complete College Checklist!

Think of it as your own personal packing list for all of the things you could possibly need and want to make your college dorm feel more like home! Take into account that these are my personal recommendations and that your list may vary to fit your personal needs. Regardless, I hope this helps you to remember some things that might be easily forgotten! 

I have tried to make this as complete as possible however if you see that something is missing then feel free to comment below what I have forgotten so that I can add it to the list! I also HIGHLY suggest that you communicate with your roommate in order to split up some of the higher priced dorm necessities! By communicating in advance you will hopefully not show up with an overlap of essentials and may even be able to coordinate your bedding if you'd like! Also, it is helpful to check out your universities housing page to find out what all is included in your room. For instance, Furman University provides a micro fridge in the dorm rooms and therefore it was not necessary for my roommate or myself to bring one!

For your bed:

*Comfortable Mattress Topper
*Mattress Pad
* 2 Sets of Twin XL Sheets
*1 Extra Pillowcase
* Twin Size (or XL if you can find it) Quilt, Comforter, or Duvet
* 2 Standard Size Sleeping Pillows (make sure these are comfortable!)
* Euro Size Pillow 
* Euro Size Pillow Case
* Accent Pillows + Pillow Cases
* Body Pillow (for against the cold cinder block wall)
*Throw Blankets
optional: headboard (see a DIY here) , bed risers, dust ruffle / bed skirt, back rest pillow

For your bedside:

* Some sort of bed side table or storage cabinets (mine were storage cubes from Target and they were perfect for a bedside table with additional storage)
*Alarm Clock
* Cup
* Picture Frame
* Chapstick and lotion


* 3 or 4 body towels, 2 hand towels, 3 washcloths
* Shower Caddy 
* Shower Flip Flops
* Shower Wrap or Robe

Personal and Toiletries:

* Shampoo
* Body Wash
* Face Wash
* Makeup Remover
*Shaving Cream
* Razor + extras for later down the road
* Lotion
* Face Lotion (spot treatment, toner)
* Hair Products (hairspray, leave in conditioner,  heat protectant, hair brush, comb, hair ties, bobby pins, clips)
* Make Up
* Perfume
* Make Up Brushes
*Feminine Products
* Q-Tips and Cotton Rounds
* Nail Polish
* Emory Boards + Clippers
* Nail Polish Remover 
* Toothbrush + Retainer (if you have one)
* Toothpaste + Floss
* Mouthwash
* Floss
* Tweezers
* Deodorant + Extra for when you run out
* Jewelry
* Tissues
* Hair Dryer + Straightener + Curling Iron
* Sunscreen 
* First Aid Kit ( with extra band aids)
* Medicine ( tums, cold medicine, throat lozenges, Tylenol, Advil, allergy medecine, Neosporin, Vitamin C, Airborne, Vitamins)


* Cloth Storage Cubes
* Storage Cubbies (like the ones I used as my bedside table)
* Organizational bins for Cubbies
* Plastic Drawers
* Storage Ottomans (see a DIY here)
* Under the bed bins (I love Lilly Pulitzer's and a Laundry Basket would work great too)
* Under the bed bins with lids ( Scout makes awesome ones of these)


* Windex
* Paper Towels
* Disinfectant Wipes
* Trash bags
* Air Freshener
* Dawn
* Sponges
* Laundry Bag
* Laundry Detergent 
* Dryer Sheets
* Wrinkle Spray
* Stain Treatment
* Lint Roller
* Small Vacuum Cleaner (a real game changer) 
* Hand Soap
* Toothbrush Holder
* Mini Steamer
* Iron + Mini Ironing Board


* Microfridge (if not already provided by university)
* Mugs
* Cups
* Brita Water Pitcher + Extra Filters
* Kuerig + K-Cups
* Ziplocs
* Chip Clips
* Paper Plates
* Plastic Silverware
* Melamine Plate
* One Set of Real Silverware
* Snacks
* Waterbottles
* Travel Mug
* Paper Bowls
* Tubberware


 * Trash Can
* Printer
* Drawer Organizers (a life saver)
* Lamp
* Desk Chair Cover
* Pens
* Pencils
* Notebooks
* Post-It Notes
* Binder
* Dividers
* Copy Paper
* College Ruled Notebook Paper
* Tape Dispenser
* Paper clips
* Binder Clips
* Blank CDs
* Agenda
* Wall Calendar
* Index Cards
* Sheet Protectors
* Stapler
* Hole Punch
* Markers
* Folders
* Ruler
* Scissors
* Duct Tape
* Glue
* White out
* Pen Cup
* Colorful Pens (I love LePens!)
* Backpack
* Pencil Pouch
* Desk Hutch
* Magazine Organizers
* Personal Makeup Mirror


* Laptop
* Printer
* Ink Cartridges
* Extension Cords / Surge Protectors / Power Strip
* Calculator
* TV + DVD player (optional)
* Chargers
* Ethernet Cord (just in case) 


* Slim Felt  Cascading Hangers
* 4 Tier Skirt Hanger
* 4 Tier Pant Hanger
* Command Hooks
* Tension Rod
* Shower Curtain
* Storage Bin


* Rug
* Wall Monogram
* Cork board or Dry Erase Board
* Paintings and Wall Art
* Picture Frames
* Memo Board
* Curtains
*Futon or Small Couch (optional)
* Printed Photos From Home
* Fake Flowers
* Vase


* Lap Desk
* DVDs
* Leisure Reading Books (1 or 2 is suitable)
* Headphones
* Fan
* Acrylic Organizers (necklace, cotton balls, tray)
* Camera
* Flashlight
* Ipod + Speaker
* Umbrella
* Tote bags
* Duffle Bag
* Suitcase
* Batteries 
* Safety Pins
* Magnets for fridge
* Tool Kit
* Full Length Mirror
* Stationary
* Stamps
* Command Strips + Sticky Putty
* Hot glue gun + extra glue sticks

WHEW! I better start packing for sophomore year starting now! I hope this helps you out no matter which year of college you are about to tackle! Please let me know of anything that I could be forgetting so that I can add it to this list to make it even more complete! I clearly did not include clothes in this list because that is something more personal that you will need to tackle however i do recommend periodically switching out your closet between seasons so that you only have clothes necessary for the present season with you at school!

Good Luck and I'd love to know what you think!

Written by Dorothy of Prep In Your Step

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