The Complete and Only College Packing Checklist You’ll Ever Need

Each year, about 3.7 million high school students graduate, ready to move into adulthood. And a large portion of those is going to make their way onto college campuses for another few years of schooling to prepare for a long career ahead.

Everyone handles college a little bit differently. But the most effective method is living on campus, focusing on classes full-time. Having to commute to college everyday impacts focus and performance.

Are you planning to move off to college in the coming weeks or months? Then use our college packing checklist down below to ensure you have everything you need for four years of successful learning.


If you’re moving into a dorm room on campus, most of the furniture you need will already be there. You’ll have a bed, a desk, a fridge, and some other essentials.

If you’re moving into an empty apartment off-campus, you’ll need to either bring your furniture from home or buy some new stuff for your new room.

If buying furniture, you’ll need a bed. You’ll want a spacious desk and a comfortable office chair. A couch is helpful in the living area and might be an expense you can share with any roommates you’ll have.

You’ll want to have trash and recycling bins for all that paper you’re bound to throw out. A desk lamp is nice, especially if it has USB outlets available on it.

Storage bins will help your room and closet remain functional and clutter-free. You can also get under-bed storage bins to maximize all the space in your small room.

Room Accessories

With the big stuff in place, you can now focus on the little things that will make your room more functional. A designated alarm clock is preferred over a smartphone. An alarm clock across the room will ensure you actually get out of bed, rather than continually pressing snooze on your phone.

A room fan is nice to have and helps to provide white noise in case you have noisy neighbors. A classic bulletin board will prove to be more helpful than you realize. And having a dry-erase calendar is helpful for staying on top of deadlines and events.

Bring along a basic toolkit, outfitted with items like screwdrivers, a small hammer, various wrenches, and some other essentials.

You can bring along picture frames as well if you’d like to make your room feel more like a home by hanging photos or art on the walls.


Students may argue that electronics are the most important items to bring to college. And to a degree, they’re right.

You’ll want to have a reliable laptop computer and a charger. Memory cards and USB sticks will come in handy. You might want to have an external hard drive as well.

Have at least one extension cord available in your room, as well as a power strip.

Invest in a good pair of noise-canceling headphones. When you study in public places, it’s nice to be able to tune everything else out.

Now you don’t actually need a TV. But I’m sure you’re going to bring one anyway. If you do, bring along a media streaming device, like a Roku stick so you can actually watch the stuff you want to watch.

If you don’t need a TV in your room, you can split the cost with a roommate by putting one in the living area.


Here’s something most students don’t think about. You’ll need to bring your own linens. That means bedsheets, blankets, pillows and cases, and bath towels. Multiple towels are ideal.

Bring along some type of laundry basket or bag. You’ll want clothes hangers. And don’t forget your own laundry detergent.

Office Supplies

Yes, you’ll end up doing most of your work on a computer. But you’ll still be using paper and pencils on a regular basis.

Bring notebooks and spare printer paper. Get a big box of pens and pencils. Index cards will always come in handy. Staplers are usually available around the school, but bonus points if you bring your own.

Bring staples, rubber bands, paper clips, tape, scissors, envelopes, and stamps.

Bring some type of box or drawer organizers to keep all of this stuff organized.

Digital Tools

Your daily routine is going to revolve around schoolwork. Managing various classes, assignments, and projects proves to be one of the biggest challenges for students.

Luckily, there is plenty of education software available that will make you a more organized and productive student. The education industry has gone digital, from note-taking apps to platforms that help you write professional papers, everything you need is available online.

The best college student will load up their devices not with games and apps that are designed to distract them, but with tools that will make school easier.


Your student packing list also needs a few fun things.

A bike is helpful for getting around campus and around town, especially if you don’t have your own car. Sometimes, it’s just easier to ride your bike a few blocks than driving.

You can also bring a skateboard, a scooter, or some other type of mobility device to get around quickly.

Bring along anything you need for your favorite hobbies. One of the best ways to stay sane while managing a full course load is by getting out and having fun.

If it’s fishing, bring a rod and tackle box. If you like to paddle, and have space to store one, bring a kayak.

If there’s a rock climbing gym nearby, bring some climbing shoes and get a membership.

Spending as much of your free time outside, getting exercise, and having fun all at the same time will go a long way to helping you stay happy and healthy. After all, you can’t study all the time, can you? A smart student understands that it’s all about balance.

Crossing Off Your College Packing Checklist

Hopefully, this college packing checklist helps you out. If college isn’t too far from home, then you’ll be able to go back and get some other stuff at some point during your first semester, so don’t feel like you need to have it all planned out.

But with this list, you can start packing now. Back to school is just around the corner.

Looking for more information to make your student life easier? Explore our blog now to keep reading.

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