Ultimate College Packing Guide. What You Need to Take in College
- Most Forgettable Things (Intro)
- General College Packing List
- Packing List For Dorm (Boys)
- Packing List For Dorm (Girls)
- Packing List For Dorms For International Students (Girls)
- Packing List For Dorms For International Students (Boys)
- Packing List For Apartments (Girls)
- Packing List For Apartments (Boys)
- Everything Comes to An End
Most Forgettable Things (Intro)
We bet it happened to students many times: when they come to college, it appears that they have forgotten to bring extremely important things. Naturally, that's easily remedied; at least we are sure that our students can manage without some important things for some time. However, it can really inconvenience students, and a lot of them regret not bringing such important items.
Let's have a look at the stuff to check before moving to college, as you may unexpectedly need some things right away. Nine out of ten students forget these items and feel uncomfortable in a new place afterward.
- A Can Opener
This item is extremely useful when it comes to unplanned snacks, especially if you don't have even the slightest intention to go out of your den.
- A Wristlet
One of the most convenient means of keeping small and tiny things like cards, keys, smartphone, pills, hairpins, etc. Of course, you can fill your pockets to make them protruded if it doesn't bother you.
- A Footlocker
There are a lot of things you would probably like to keep safe. It seems that a footlocker is a great and useful item to make personal possessions untouchable.
- An Umbrella
It is impossible to predict rain weeks ahead, but we all know what is likely to happen on a rainy day.
- Wet Wipes
Well, we believe that you won't forget this item. However, wipes show a strong tendency to vanish, and it's good to have lots of them.
- A Bottle Opener
You never know when this little buddy may come in handy. The true fact is that you will definitely need it.
- A Folding Drying Rack
It's very convenient to have a rack on the spot because you are going to do the laundry, aren't you? It should be foldable to save space, especially for cramped dorm rooms.
It seems that batteries, along with a bottle opener, can be a good way to make friends since people often need them. We still have plenty of devices that require batteries.
- An Air Freshener
If you don't want to catch your roommate unawares, you will definitely need a good air freshener. It may save your face in many cases.
- A Stain Remover Stick
Even extremely tidy students may occasionally become stained with the endless list of liquids and solids. It's where a stain remover pen brings tranquility and comfort.
A good reason for equipping with noise-canceling headphones is your willingness to avoid unpleasant distracting sounds and noise coming from everywhere. The hive never stops buzzing, but you still need a little more private space.
It's hard to keep in mind all things that should be packed. As a result, you forget something that is really important. For the very reason, it makes sense to compile a list of essentials you would like to have in college. Thus, you'll be able to anticipate needs and avoid pitiful or at least inconvenient situations.
We have already made up lists good for different students. The main idea was to separate the needs that students face in different situations. This idea has resulted in several printable PDF lists (eight, to be precise) to make them more adjusted. You can scroll down to download the appropriate file. We are pretty sure that you'll find one that best suits your needs.
Besides personal things to bring to college, there are some items you can share with your roommate. We recommend coordinating with your roommate, if possible, before moving in. You can save a lot of money and share some purchases.
General College Packing List
Apart from different stuff different students need for college, there is a wide set of items suitable for all students. It makes sense to consider taking them above many others as you will definitely use them. Of course, we cannot rule out the possibility that you are familiar with a 'survival mode' or college freshman survival guide and can manage without these things.
Anyway, let's take a brief look at the categories included in the general packing list. It's been divided into 6 main categories to make it more convenient to pack: Bath & Bedding, Health & Grooming, Personal Items, Clothes & Laundry, School Supplies, Kitchen & Miscellaneous.
Bath & Bedding
It's obvious that you should care about your hygiene and sleep because such things are vital to stay healthy. We believe that you don't want to look like a ‘zombie' or ‘ghost' emerging from the grave. Well, you know what we mean.
- A Comforter or Throw Blanket
We truly hope that the heating system won't let you down. Nevertheless, there will always be ‘lonely and cold nights' on campus you would like to spend under a quilt.
There is no secret that soft bedclothes made of quality materials are an excellent choice, especially if you are allergic to synthetics.
You have a great opportunity to choose pillows good for you, especially if you need an orthopedic one for and your neck and spine.
Lots of on-the-spot decisions related to getting rid of dusting, wiping, sneezing, cleaning, sweating are solved due to tissues. You will always need a lot of them!
The best and most convenient way to dry yourself. If you like lying in the sun, consider bringing a beach towel apart from bath ones.
- Shower Shoes or Flip-Flops
This item is extremely useful for those students who use community showers because they need to protect their feet.
- A Shower Bucket or Caddy to Carry Items
There should be something where you can put all your stuff before going to a shower. It is a matter of convenience.
Health & Grooming
Your appearance is as important as a good state of your health, and the following items will facilitate achieving comfort and attractiveness while living in a dorm room or apartment.
- Body Wash
It doesn't matter whether you like shower gel or soap as they both are aimed at protecting and freshening your body.
- A Shampoo
You already know what shampoo is good for your hair and doesn't cause rush or dandruff.
- A Deodorant/Antiperspirant
We are pretty sure that being sweat is not on your list. That's why it's necessary to have a good deodorant at fingertips.
- Hair Grooming Tools
A hairdryer, combs, brushes are important to make your hairstyle perfect. Anyway, every person must have such tools.
- A Toothbrush and Toothpaste
You'll need these personal hygiene items right away. We are sure you know why these things are important.
- Nail Clippers
It's not a good idea to become Freddy Krueger or Edward Scissorhands.
- A Loofah
Your skin will thank you for having been cleaned. No one wants their skin to be exfoliated.
- Cotton swabs/Q-tips
Let's not forget that they should be used carefully to avoid disagreeable injuries.
- A First-Aid Kit
You should have it for all of life's emergencies, and don't forget about your prescription medicine (if you need any).
- Bathroom Cleaning Goods
You don't have to bring all of them, but it seems to be a good idea to take the most important ones, like rubber gloves, brushes, sponges, detergents. Moreover, it would be sensible for dorm students to coordinate with their roommates.
- A Shower Mat
This thing is a must if you want to avoid falling over and having a bump because of a slippery surface.
- An Air Freshener
An excellent option for people who don't like getting into hot water, especially if it smells nice.
Your university will probably provide condoms for you. Nevertheless, you are the one who is responsible for your safety.
- A Hand Sanitizer
It seems that this item is a must for a couple of years. Actually, it should always be nearby.
- Rubbing Alcohol
It's a great multipurpose disinfectant you'll probably need while studying. Let's not forget about its antiseptic properties used for small skin injuries.
You'll need them because of obvious reasons. Safety first!
We want to believe that you will not forget to bring these things to college because you can't get by. Moreover, this category can be adjusted in accordance with your needs.
- A Smartphone and Charger
You won't deny that you cannot leave it even for a couple of hours. We recommend buying a spare charger just in case.
- A Laptop and Accessories
You know better what accessories should be brought. The fact is that your laptop is almost an extension of your body.
You'll need noise-canceling headphones to focus on studies.
- Power Bank
A great advantage of having a power bank is its portability. Bye-bye sockets! At least for a while.
A list of documents for students may vary as universities and colleges have different requirements. Nevertheless, your ID card, student ID, driver's license should be taken.
- Credit/Debit Cards
We believe that everyone understands the importance of these cards in our day-to-day routine.
Clothes & Laundry
You have to consider the climate, your activities (like work), the frequency of trips to home, space you have before packing clothes. Obviously, you need clothes, but it is better to take less. If you don't wear those clothes at home, you won't wear it at college.
The practice has shown that underwear works well for your body, and you should have much more than a couple of pairs.
Personal hygiene requires having lots of socks. Let's not forget about their variety (warm, sports, etc.) because you'll often need them.
Pick your favorite for everyday use, and don't forget about special occasions and events.
It's practical to take a pair or two. You won't deny it, will you?
A warm climate is one of the reasons, but wearing them in dorms is common practice.
- A Bathrobe
A great choice for those who don't want to freeze to death after having a shower when it's cold or needs to get from the community shower to their room.
You should take some, especially if you are going to work out a lot.
- Warm Clothes
It's a good idea to consider the weather before packing, but you always have to remember that the spell of fine weather can be broken, and you'll need a pullover or even a coat!
Sneakers, flats, rain boots, flip-flops, boots, heels, sandals. Choose what you really need regarding your activities.
You may lose weight, and nothing can hold up clothing your trousers better than a good belt. Anyway, this accessory looks great and stylish.
- A Lint Brush or Roller
At least one of these items will help you remove dust and tiny things that stick to closing to make them look like brand new.
- Clothes Hangers
If you want to avoid ironing your clothes every time before wearing them, hangers will help play their part well.
Unfortunately, a laptop or tablet itself is not enough for learning, and we still need lots of things to bring to college. We are sure that humanity won't need a school pack in the future.
- A Backpack
You'll definitely require a sturdy backpack to carry supplies. It doesn't necessarily have to be sleek, but it should better have a lot of compartments.
- Mechanical Pencils
Some people still like ordinary pencils and sharpeners, but the mechanical one is far more convenient to make quick notes.
You don't have to be keen on handwriting to understand why pens are still in use.
- Post-It Notes
Sticky notes and flags have a lot of uses. You'll undoubtedly find a proper application.
- An Eraser
This item is small enough to bring it with you, and that day when you need it will come.
- A Ruler
It's particularly useful if you are going to draw straight lines!
This object is a good tool for unwrapping and shredding lots of things. You'll find many reasons to use them.
- Spiral Notebooks
They are still an excellent way to make notes… and sketches if you are bored in the lesson.
- Stapler and Staples
Do you know how many times your stapler has already punched through paper? We bet you don't, but you'll use it again and again!
- A Thumb Drive
A USB flash drive is something inevitably important. There will always be situations when it makes sense to have backup copies of important documents kept safe.
- A White-Out
This item is necessary if you are a perfectionist and want everything to be clean and clear.
Kitchen & Miscellaneous
Many appliances used in the kitchen make your life much easier. The same statement is true for many other things. We are used to many of them that even don't notice how important they are.
- Cooking Pots and Pans
It sounds reasonable to have a couple of saucepans and plates regarding the period you are going to live away from home. We hope that you won't eat fast food all year round.
- Eating Utensils
A table knife, forks, and spoons are the most important items to have. It's better to avoid plastic utensils because they pollute the environment.
- An Extension Cord/Power Strip
You have to have something like a surge protector because there are several devices you may need to plug in or charge simultaneously.
- A Flashlight
We recommend avoiding dark places, but we know that you'll somehow need to look behind the wardrobe or under the sink.
A desk lamp, as well as a couple of spare bulbs, will shed light on difficult subjects and lectures. Well, we hope so.
- A Rug
A fluffy rug is the first thing that puts you in a good mood after waking up.
- A Travel Mug
It can be used for drinking literally everything you are going to consume. Naturally, hot drinks are preferable.
Packing List For Dorm (Boys)
We believe that there are several items boys should bring to their future dwelling to make it more comfortable. Most of these things are for grooming. It is quite common to suppose that gentlemen can manage without some specific things because they can often find other items for replacement. We don't want to believe that men are so unassuming.
Anyway, let's take a closer look at the essentials that boys need in dorms. These items are not included in the general packing list to show the difference. By the way, we have prepared a full PDF list for boys to print. Click here to download: Packing List For Dorm (Boys) PDF
- An Aftershave
Dehydration after shaving can irritate the skin greatly. It's when an aftershave lotion is needed.
- A Styling Cream
We won't let wayward hair live its own life, will we?
- A Razor
You'll probably need it even if you use a shaver. It is a good idea to have a couple of disposable ones just in case you need to shave or edge up hair or beard.
Shaving foam or cream is a good choice if you use a disposable razor. Don't let your skin get irritated.
- A Trimmer
This grooming tool is extremely important, especially if you want to have a sophisticated beard. Let's not forget about manscaping.
- A Shaver
A good electric razor is a must if you want to be attractive. If you have a model that includes trimmer and shaves fine, you don't have to take a separate trimmer.
- A Bottle Opener
We won't deny that ladies would like to have this item themselves, but we believe that gentlemen know how to share such things and make friends.
- Plastic Food Containers
You are looking at the most efficient way to keep leftovers. Take some containers of different sizes for various purposes.
- A Storage and Lock
You will definitely have something to hide from people or just keep safe.
Packing List For Dorm (Girls)
We are pretty sure that some girls want to take as many things as possible. However, not every item is equally valuable when it comes to living in a dormitory. Our list won't be too long, but it will make your living more comfortable. Moreover, items represented here won't take up much room. You can download our full printable PDF list by clicking here: Packing List For Dorm (Girls) PDF
- An Aloe Lotion
It helps to reduce minor skin irritation and moistures your skin.
- An Epilator
It is up to you whether to use this electronic device or not. We just wanted to remind you in case you really need it.
- Eye Cream
This little assistant knows how to remove puffiness and dark circles.
It is hard to predict all things that should be there, but you'll figure everything out.
- Menstrual Pain Medication
Make sure it's enough for a start. No one deserves to suffer.
- An Insect Repellent
It doesn't matter what kind of repellent you choose, but we hope it will be efficient.
- Hair Pins and Bands
If you have long hair, it may cause inconvenience. Well, we know when it makes sense to use them.
- Cotton Balls or Facial Pads
They are not just for make-up removal. They are for personal care.
- A Lip Balm
A simple way to protect your lips from the cold weather and dehydration, and it smells good.
- A Hair Spray
Your hairstyle deserves the best approach, despite the fact that you sometimes need to fix it fast.
- A Curling Iron
If you use this item, don't forget to bring it to college.
- A Nail File
A fine nail file is a necessary thing for every girl. At least we believe so.
It seems that tweezers help your eyebrows look perfect.
Packing List For Dorms For International Students (Girls)
International students should focus on documents and don't forget anything. The precise list of documents depends on the institution where you intend to study and should be specified beforehand.
It seems to be a good idea to bring valuable personal things that really matter since you are going to live in another country for a while. They may help you avoid feeling homesick.
We have added items from the girls' list above to our general list to make up our ultimate packing list for international students (girls, to be precise). You can download it here: Packing List For Dorms For International Students (Girls) PDF
Let's have a look at things that we haven't regarded before.
- A Letter of Acceptance/Enrollment
It is your invitation to a college or university. Bring it with you to confirm your purpose of entry into a country for customs and immigration.
- A Passport and Visa
It is obvious that your passport should be taken with you, and don't forget about the visa because most countries still require it.
- Flight Tickets
You want to embark successfully, don't you?
- Travel Medical Insurance
You are likely to get it while drawing up other papers.
- A Driver's License
If you can drive and going to rent a car in the destination country, you should take it. Naturally, it should be an International Driving Permit.
- Copies of your Passport/Visa/IDs
You may need copies of your documents for some institutions, so it makes sense to prepare them beforehand.
- An Itinerary
Well, we don't remember anyone ask us to show the itinerary. Nevertheless, this detailed plan of your route is still among compulsory documents in such cases.
- An International Student Identity Card (ISIC)
You'd better ask your college how to get it. They'll provide detailed information as it may vary depending on the institution.
- A Cross-Body Purse or Secure Wristlet
Journeys and trips can sometimes be dangerous. That's why it is important to take care of your documents and money.
- Refill Prescriptions
In case you take pills that are available only on prescription, you have to make sure that your medicine will be replenished.
- A Travel Adapter
You can't even imagine how important this item is! It will take your worries away.
Packing List For Dorms For International Students (Boys)
All the items we have mentioned above are good for boys as well because the documents are the same. We have already talked through all essentials important for male international students. In fact, this list is mostly a compound of two previous packing lists (about dorm boys and international girls).
We have removed all unnecessary things and added important items to make up an ultimate packing list for international students so that every boy can download a convenient PDF file from here and print it: Packing List For Dorms For International Students (Boys) PDF
We recommend you to consider taking things that are hard to find in the country of your destination but easily available in your country.
Packing List For Apartments (Girls)
Renting an apartment slightly changes the approach to selecting necessary items. Unfortunately, we don't put things for decoration here because your baggage will be enormous in this case. We mean that you can overcome living in a new apartment without your favorite figurine or cuddly toy. However, it doesn't mean that you cannot make your apartment cozy. So, it is up to you what to bring to the apartment.
For our part, we have compiled a printable version of essentials every girl needs to live in a rental apartment. You can download it from here: Packing List For Apartments (Girls) PDF
- A Shower Curtain
If you don't want splashes to be all over the floor, take a look at a shower curtain.
- A Trash Bin
Landlords normally provide it for apartments. Otherwise, you will definitely need it.
- A Toilet Brush and Plunger
Blocked pipes and the bad smell will not help you with studies!
- Bathroom Cleaning Supplies
You will need cleaning utensils and detergents to make your apartment clean and bright.
- A Kitchen Table & Chairs
If your apartment doesn't have such furniture, it will be inconvenient to eat. You need these items.
- A Microwave/Blender/Toaster
These three appliances will save time while you are preparing a meal.
- A Tea Kettle and Coffee Maker
These goods work the same way. You'll definitely decide to drink a cup of two.
Packing List For Apartments (Boys)
Living in an apartment is a great dream for boys tired of being under the tutelage. Well, at least some boys want more freedom, and renting an apartment is a great opportunity to gain it. Nevertheless, there are no exceptions when it comes to the list of necessary items.
We have compiled a great list for boys who want to live in apartments. Sorry guys, but we didn't include any game consoles. You have already read about all items included here: Packing List For Apartments (Boys) PDF. Our ultimate packing list is at your disposal.
Packing List For Apartments For International Students (boys and girls)
International students are unlikely to bring all the necessary things for their rental apartments due to many reasons. The best thing they can do is to make sure that their landlord is a reliable person and can provide them with the essentials they will need after arriving.
We have created two packing lists for international students who rent apartments, considering the fact that they can't bring some furniture and kitchen appliances with them. Luckily, they can rent important stuff later on in most cases.
Everything Comes to An End
We used our experience to make up good packing lists for different students applicable in various situations. What else can we advise? Start thinking outside the box and decide what things you will use after moving to college. Don't forget to focus on personal needs and double-check everything. There are some things that are really important for you but not the others.
Use our printable checklist and note everything you need to buy, and don't forget to coordinate with your roommate. One more thing: it's your time to enjoy life to the full! Don't miss a thing and all the best!
What should you not bring to college?
Do not take fancy clothes and accessories that you may not use. A big office chair, toaster, iron, and similar things can be easily replaced with simpler things.
How many clothes do you bring to college?
If you do laundry once a week, you may need 10-12 outfits. Think about clothes for studying, home and sport. If you do it more often, you can take less.
When should I start packing?
Avoid last-minute packing, as it will result in stress, anxiety, and worry. Start at least two weeks before you move so that you have enough time for preparation.
How to avoid overpacking for college?
It is important to remember that moving to a college dorm, you will have limited space. Therefore, take only the things you need every day.
How to start packing for college?
Make a list of items you need for living and studying. Start with the essentials, but do not forget extras that can simplify your college life.
Where to find a full packing list for a college dorm?
In order not to forget important things while packing, compare your list to the items specified in the Ultimate College Packing Guide or use it as the basis.
Back to Start