What to Pack for College

What to Pack for College checklist. Sending your daughter or son off to college and wondering what to pack for their journey? Those tiny dorm rooms (and a roommate to consider) can be a big problem as you determine what they’ll need vs what they’ll actually have room for. Some are obvious, some I didn’t realize until the 11th hour, and some I literally though of the second I returned from dropping my son off. Peak time for buying school supplies for K-12 students is August but many of your favorite stores start offering special deals on dorm supplies, furniture, and electronics in July. Watch for Off to College specials at stores like Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Meijer, etc…

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I recently dropped my oldest off at college. As I’m sure you’ve heard or can imagine, it was one of the most difficult mom moments I’ve ever had. But, what you don’t hear much about is how and what to pack for the college student’s send-off. So, I thought I would help out and provide a packing list that I created and found useful when getting our son ready. Of course, some of these items can be coordinated and shared with the roommate.

What to Pack for College

PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS

  • Body wash
  • Hair care – styling products, brush, comb
  • Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Razor
  • Shaving Cream
  • Deodorant
  • Skin Care
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Cosmetics
  • Toiletry Bag
  • Vitamins and medications
  • Eye Care – contact case, solution, backup glasses, glasses cleaner, etc
  • Towels
  • Flip flops or slides for the shower
  • Thermometer
  • Nail clippers
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Tissues/Kleenex

WHAT TO PACK FOR COLLEGE – SCHOOL SUPPLIES

  • Backpack
  • Binders
  • Notebooks
  • Folders
  • Writing Utensils
  • Loose Leaf Paper
  • Post-It Notes
  • Notecards
  • Calculator

FURNITURE

  • Furniture – the dorms are not incredibly large, so this depends on the available space and what is included. With my son’s room, desk chairs were provided at each desk, there were two dressers, and a bunk bed. They really didn’t need anything else and there wasn’t much room for more. However, some squeeze in some fun chairs or a futon, etc.
  • Bed sheets
  • Comforter
  • Blanket
  • Pillow

ELECTRONICS

  • Laptop and sleeve, mouse, and power cord/charger
  • Headphones
  • Portable chargers
  • Power strips (the struggle for available outlets in older dorms is real)
  • TV (thankfully these are way more lightweight than when I went to school)
  • Bluetooth speaker

STORAGE

  • Large plastic bins that can fit under the bed (You may have to do advanced research to find out the distance from floor to bed to find the right measurement.
  • Hangers (easy to forget this one)
  • Desktop organizer
  • 3M Command Hooks

CLEANING SUPPLIES ETC

  • Paper Towels
  • Cleaning Supplies – broom, wet Swiffer, duster (and bathroom supplies if they have their own bathroom)
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Laundry bag
  • Laundry detergent
  • Dryer Sheets
  • Small Wastebasket and garbage bags

KITCHEN

Again, coordinate with a roommate so you don’t unnecessarily double up

  • Coffee Maker
  • Napkins
  • Silverware
  • Microwave
  • Toaster
  • Mini Fridge
  • Coffee Mug
  • Plastic Tumblers (or solo cups)
  • Reusable Water Bottle
  • Dish Soap (if they have their own sink)
  • Snacks galore

WHAT TO PACK FOR COLLEGE – DECOR

Of course this is a personal preference and also must comply with the dorm’s rules, but a few ideas are…

  • Area Rug
  • Welcome Mat (very important)
  • Decorative Lights

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Umbrella
  • Box Fan (older, non AC dorm rooms can be an oven in August & September)

Hope this helps! And, feel free to comment with anything you’d like to add to the list for any tips I may have missed for what to pack for college.

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