Ultimate College Packing Guide

I can’t believe we’ve actually made it to back-to-school season! It feels like just yesterday I was prancing around the aisles of Target buying everything I thought I needed for college. I mean all those “Ultimate College Packing List” posts had to know exactly what I needed, right? Wrong. Those lists are created probably with a brand in mind and just want you to spend unnecessary money. Truth is, you don’t need a lot of that stuff!

Here's what you actually need to pack for your college dorm! Ultimate college packing list.

Today I’m breaking down what you actually need for your college dorm! Make sure to grab yourself a copy of my packing list so you can be on your way to moving in to your dorm. All of the items on the list I’m providing you are exactly what I used my freshman year! Make sure to check out my Buy This, Not That: Dorm Edition post to see more college packing tips!

Here's what you actually need to pack for your college dorm! Ultimate college packing list.

Here's what you actually need to pack for your college dorm! Ultimate college packing list.

Towel wrap & hair wrap – Love these so much! If you live in a community-style dorm, the towel wrap is great for walking down the hall after showering. And, the hair wrap eliminates the need for dragging a second towel to the bathroom!

Shower caddy – Perfect for hauling your stuff to and from the bathroom if you’re living community-style! I lived in a suite-style dorm this past year and didn’t find the need for one since we just left our stuff in the bathroom.

Here's what you actually need to pack for your college dorm! Ultimate college packing list.

Sheets – Let’s be honest here, you only really need one set of sheets. College students never wash their sheets as often as they should. I got along just fine with one set! If you do end up needing another set, you can always go buy one.

Body pillow – Body pillows are great for shoving between the bed and the hard cinder block wall. There’s nothing worse than banging your head on the wall in the middle of the night!

Here's what you actually need to pack for your college dorm! Ultimate college packing list.

3-hole punch – An essential to any desk setup. Don’t be that person with papers falling out of your binder because they’re not hole-punched. Invest $10 into a hole-punch and you’ll never regret it.

Printer – I initially didn’t have a printer when I went to school. That was a mistake. A printer is so much cheaper than walking to the library, trying to print, and having to pay money to print. Having a printer will save you so much time and energy.

Wall calendar – Best decision I ever made. It’s so nice to be able to see your month at a glance. You know when assignments are due, when events are, and how busy your upcoming week will be. Such a great choice!

Here's what you actually need to pack for your college dorm! Ultimate college packing list.

Sewing kit – This may not seem like it would come in handy, but it actually does! Don’t let that ripped shirt ruin your night. Instead of throwing it away, you can easily sew up the hole and be ready to go!

Tool kit – Buy a tool kit. Whether or not you actually use it, it’s great to have the essentials. Always better to be prepared than to be knocking on people’s doors asking to borrow a hammer.

Cacti/plants – Any kind of greenery can really make a space feel more home-y. Because you’ll be living in a bland shoebox for the next 9 months, you do all you can to make it home-y. Real plants are great, but if you prone to forgetting to water things, fake plants are always an option!

Click the images below to access the full PDF version of the packing list!

Here's what you actually need to pack for your college dorm! Ultimate college packing list. Here's what you actually need to pack for your college dorm! Ultimate college packing list.

I hope this list helps you prepare for your college career! Dorm shopping is so much fun, and with this list, it’ll be a breeze. If you’ve already gone through your first year, what are some things that you couldn’t live without?

~abigail gray

  • Such a great list! I need to invest in a 3-hole punch! It’s probably the #1 item my desk is missing.

    http://awanderersadventures.com

    • Girl I use my 3-hole punch so often! Definitely need to make an investment, haha 🙂

  • Ashley E

    FINALLY a realistic packing list! You hit the nail on the head of the items that are actually needed!
    Xo, Ashley
    alittleashley.blogspot.com

    • Thank you so much! I’m tired of all of the lists getting freshman to waste so much money! Let’s be honest, you don’t need curtains.

  • Barbara Joyce

    awesome list!