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A Collegiate Packing Guide

Packing for college can be tough – you're moving from your folks' spacious digs to a room not much bigger than a closest, ok maybe a spacious closest but a small room nonetheless.
Here are a couple essential items that you definitely should pack with you. For some items you should coordinate with your roommate so you won't double up. (Also see this article on tips for a stress-free move to college

What To Bring When Going To College:

Bath and General Hygiene: 

  • Shower shoes, especially if the bathroom you will be using has a communal shower.
  • Toiletries -- (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, grooming/cosmetic supplies)
  • Shower bucket/basket/caddy to carry items to the shower-convenient and easy to store after using.
  • Bathrobe/Two sets of towels (for visitors and a spare set for yourself)
  • First Aid kit, including basic medicines for headaches, colds, and upset stomach from cafeteria food

Bed and Bedding:

  • Two set of sheets-a spare for when the others are in the wash. (Most colleges will tell you ahead of time what types of sheets you'll need. Be sure to find out this information before you buy your sheets!)
  • Comforter and/or quilts, blankets, etc. (Depending on your location, you might only need just a light comforter/quilt.)
  • Pillow(s)
  • Egg crate/foamy mattress pad (to make the often worn-out mattress more  comfortable)

Clothes / Laundry:

  • Clothes -- bring only your basic/ most cherished shirts
  • Weather-appropriate outer clothes
  • Laundry basket/bag
  • Laundry essentials -- (detergent, dryer sheets, stain remover stick or spray)


  • Posters-easy, instant decoration
  • Sticky wall mounts, removable adhesive hooks
  • Personal pictures of the all the people you're missing desperately at home
  • Curtain rod / curtains-although, this might be best done after moving in and deciding on the theme of your room.

Electronics and Equipment:

  • Surge protectors and extension cords-this will come in handy, as there will be limited outlets in your room.
  • Spare batteries
  • Small refrigerator
  • Lamps (make sure your lamps are within regulations!)
  • Small, light, vacuum-if you have a roommate, coordinate who will bring one, ahead of time
  • Small fan-crucial if there is no A.C. and you are attending school with a tropical climate
  • Flashlight
  • Microwave -- Check first though. Many schools have strict safety regulations about these items.
  • Iron with small ironing board-but only if you have a large supply of clothes that demand it. Otherwise, it's best to borrow.

School Supplies:

  • A backpack or book bag
  • Computer/Laptop, with all the essentials-mouse, keyboard
  • Dry-erase board and marker to put on your front door
  • Binders, note pads, pens - just bring one or two of each, the rest can be purchased at school.
  • An extra bookshelf, if there is room.
  • Printer – all schools have pay-by-page printing, so maybe you don't need one at school.  


  • Under-the-bed storage
  • Other storage/organizational units such as plastic bins
  • A bean bag chair or other soft, portable furniture, for reading/friends
  • Trash liners (most schools provide trash cans)
  • Cleaning supplies such as sponges, swifter (wet and/or dry)
  • Hangers for your shirts/shoe rack /over-the-door supply holder (space saver)

Additional/Miscellaneous Items:

  • A few plates and cups
  • Storage food tubs
  • Sandwich bags, aluminum foil and/or plastic wrap
  • A small bottle of dish soap, scrubber, small dishtowel
  • Snacks
  • Ear plugs-to protect against annoying neighbors or roommate and to ensure sleep time
  • Alarm clock-to guarantee you make it to your early morning classes or wake up in time for lunch.
  • Sewing kit
  • Air freshener

Additional Articles to Help you Move:

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