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What to Pack for College

Going away to college is a significant milestone in life. For many students, it’s the first time they’ll live independently. One thing that will help make your transition smoother is being prepared. Moving can be daunting, especially when packing for move-in day.

Here’s your list of what to pack for college, so you can hit the ground running when you move into your dorm room.


This should be a major priority on your list of what to pack for college. You’ll need a mix of casual and dress clothes, and weather-appropriate outerwear. Don’t forget to pack a jacket or sweater for cooler weather and comfortable shoes for walking around campus. College can be hectic and stressful, so it’s also important to pack comfortable clothes for relaxation.


Often one of the last things on students’ minds, you’ll also need some toiletries. Be sure to pack at least shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, and a toothbrush. You should also bring along deodorant, body lotion, and other personal care items you use regularly. Remember to bring toilet paper, too! Even if your dorm has a bathroom, it’s best to be safe and make sure you’re prepared.

School Supplies

Your list of essentials to pack for college should start and end with school supplies. Even if you’re not taking classes that require a lot of writing, you’ll still need pens, paper, index cards, and a notebook to take notes in lectures. A backpack is also essential for carrying around your books and other materials.

Legal Documents

Along with your physical items, bring your legal documents. If you lose your wallet or need to get a job while you’re at college, you’ll need your birth certificate, Social Security card, and passport. Ensure you have all of your legal documents in order. That way, you can rest assured that you’re prepared for anything that comes your way.

Bedding Supplies

These are a necessity, of course, so be sure to pack plenty of blankets, pillows, and sheets. You might also want to bring a comforter or duvet for extra warmth on cold nights. Don’t forget the mattress pad! A good night’s sleep is crucial for success in college, so make sure your bed is as comfortable as possible.

Electronic Devices

You need to ensure that you have the right electronics to help you stay connected and productive. A laptop is a must-have for any college student as it allows you to take notes in class, write papers, and do research. Bring a reliable charger and any other accessories you might need, such as an external hard drive or USB drive. Don’t forget to pack your cell phone and headphones.

Household or Kitchen Supplies

It’s important to bring some of the essential supplies. This includes dishes, cookware, silverware, and a trash can. Bringing laundry detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets is also a good idea. These items will help make your transition to college life a little bit easier.


The college years are an exciting time of exploration and growth, but they can also be overwhelming. You may ask, “what do I need to pack for college?” Well, you’ll be living in a new environment with new people, so you’ll want to be prepared. To ensure you have at least the essentials, you can add the items in this post to your what-to-pack-for-college checklist. These will give you everything you need to succeed.