College Series : The Epic College Shopping and Packing List

This is a list of pretty much every basic item you could need to buy and/or pack for college. This is my own personal list that I have compiled. Of course, depending on your preferences, gender, etc. this may vary, as well as school rules. Items marked with a * are items you may either need to get cleared with your school's dorm rules (ex. extension cords are not allowed at some schools because they are fire hazards and you have to use long surge protectors instead) or items you will want to coordinate with your roommate(s) since you don't need multiples (ex. iron). Food items, decorations, and personal affects are not really listed. This is mostly everything you need or will probably need. Also note that it does not include clothes.

Bed and Bath Linens
  • XL Long Twin Sheets (or Full/Standard size)
  • Pillow Cases
  • Quilt
  • Comforter
  • Pillow
  • Bath Towels
  • Hand Towels
  • Wash Cloths
  • Mattress Pad
  • Tide To-Go
  • Laundry Basket/Bag
  • Detergent (see if you need liquid or powder)
  • Fabric Softener
  • Drying Rack*
  • Iron*
  • Ironing Board*
House-keeping Items and Appliances
  • Air sanitizer (Lysol, Oust, Febreze)
  • Broom*
  • Dustpan*
  • Flyswatter
  • swiffer duster*
  • vacuum*
  • Lysol wipes
  • Bug killer (bugs are a common problem in dorms-- ants, roaches, etc. are all things that you may encounter since most dorms are somewhat older, and you may not be sharing the building with the cleanest of people.)
  • Microwave *
  • Fridge *
Bedroom stuff
  • underbed storage
  • calendar
  • alarm clock
  • posters/wall art
  • desk organizers
  • pencil cups
  • desk lamp
  • pictures and frames
  • other storage (shelves, drawers, etc.)
  • tons of Command Hooks (removable)
  • Books
  • Board (white board, cork board etc. for memos)
  • mirror*
  • Chairs (fold up is good)
  • jewelry case
Bathroom Items and medicine
  • tooth brush
  • tooth paste
  • brush
  • comb
  • razor
  • shaving cream
  • soap/body wash
  • shampoo
  • conditioner
  • shower shoes
  • floss
  • tweezers
  • bandaids
  • acne medicine
  • alcohol swabs or rubbing alcohol
  • q-tips
  • deodorant
  • perfume
  • lipstick
  • makeup
  • &case/bag
  • shower caddy (so you don't leave your stuff in there and no one uses it)
  • lip balm
  • nail clippers
  • hair styling products
  • neosporin
  • moisturizer
  • nyquil/dayquil
  • thermometer
  • feminine products
  • Insurance card
Bike (not necessary, but it's nice depending on the campus. If you want one but it's too pricey, check to see if the police department sells some confiscated bikes that went unclaimed for cheap. They do it at the beginning of the school year to try to make money. At W&M you can get $500 bikes for around $50 or less)
  • Bike
  • Lock
  • helmet
  • insurance and ownership papers
Electronics and Devices
  • cell phone
  • &charger
  • laptop
  • &charger
  • &case
  • &hard drive
  • camera
  • &charger
  • &USB adapter
  • &memory card
  • iPod
  • &charger
  • &USB adapter
  • Surge protector
  • extension cord*
  • Printer*
  • USB hub
  • ethernet cord
  • headphones
  • speakers
  • blank CDs
  • Phone (landline) *
  • reusable water bottle (BPA free)
  • reusable mug
  • plates, flatware, cups (in case you cook, or have take out you want to reheat)
  • reusable shopping bags, purses, etc. good for packing, the gym, shopping, and much more.
School Supplies
  • Black Pens
  • blue pens
  • red pens
  • mechanical pencils
  • pencils
  • erasers
  • pencil case
  • backpack
  • scissors
  • tape
  • glue
  • stapler
  • &staples
  • binder clips
  • envelopes
  • stamps
  • paperclips
  • index cards
  • college ruled paper
  • printer paper
  • planner
  • pencil sharpener
  • ruler
  • notebooks
  • binders
  • folders
  • calculator
  • highlighters
  • hole punch
  • post its
  • graph paper
  • sharpies
  • reinforcements
  • dividers

This is a part of my College Series. If you have any questions regarding college, dorm life, admissions, test strategies, course selection, essays, health, services, how to pick the right college for you, fact from fiction about college, etc. please comment below or email me you questions at

1 comment:

  1. Great post. I love the social shopping for my dress although it has a higher cost. I am So excited to see your article. Thanks.