The Ultimate College Packing List

How to pack for college – use a packing list!

On average, dorm rooms are around 12’ x 19’. Split that space between two people and there isn’t a lot of space for tons of stuff. In most cases, that means you’ll have to choose between the things to bring with you and the things to keep at home.

We’ve made the decisions a little easier by creating the ultimate college packing list for student moving – which will help you determine what’s important to take, and what you should leave behind.

Click the image below to check out our printable college packing list! It outlines everything you need from laundry and bathroom essentials, to décor, desk supplies, and even your medicine cabinet.


Advice for packing for college

Check with your roommate. Talk with your roommate before move-in day, if possible. Discuss splitting the big purchases, such as the microwave and mini-fridge, since you won’t need two of everything in your room. You might also discuss the layout of the room so you can get set-up and start unpacking right when you arrive.

Pictures. Wall and shelf space will likely be limited in your dorm room, so be selective and only bring your favorite photos and artwork with you to decorate your space. Also, double check your dorm or apartment rules to figure out how you can affix those pictures and posters to the wall.

Clothing. If you plan on going home for a visit between seasons, you won’t have to bring an entire year’s worth of clothing along when you move in. Just bring enough to last until your trip home, then switch out your seasonal items. Make sure to bring pieces that layer – classrooms can be cold! Consider bringing along workout clothes, a formal outfit or things that could double as costumes for theme nights and mixers.

Lighting. Dorms don’t always have the best lighting built-in, so it’s important to bring a lamp, especially for your desk or reading area.

Check your school’s guide. Check the guidelines to make sure you aren’t bringing anything that’s against the rules. Some schools ban hot plates, while others may ban candles. If it’s prohibited, don’t pack it!

Don’t forget these important items when packing for college

Rain Gear. The walk from your dorm to your classes will feel like an eternity in the pouring rain. Prepare with a rain jacket, umbrella, and/or rain boots.

Quarters. Even if your laundry on campus is free (lucky you!), you’ll want quarters for the vending machine and parking meters around town.

Insurance Cards. We hope you never have to use them, but don’t forget to bring your insurance card with you in case you need to see a doctor or visit the hospital.

Business Casual Clothing. While you may spend the majority of your time in hoodies and jeans, you will occasionally need to dress up for presentations or meetings.

Questions about our college packing list?

If you have any questions as you’re preparing for college, leave us a comment. We’ll do our best to track down the answer for you.

If you’re wondering how to actually move to campus after you’ve packed, check out Box Ox Moving. Box Ox Moving offers student moving . Get a free moving quote to see how you can move to campus quickly with Box Ox Moving!