Moving to a new place can really be exciting and fun. But when you have to think about what all you need to take along with you, it gets stressful. If you want to pack for college, then it is really frustrating as you cannot move everything from your house to your dorm room. You will have to compromise on certain things while making sure you’re not missing out on anything important.

Worried about how to pack for college? Well, don’t worry as we have it all figured out for you in this article. As daunting as this may seem, if you know what you need to pack and how, you can relieve yourself from the stress and fatigue. So let’s get started on how to pack for college without stressing about it.

What To Pack For College?

Going to your new college can be really exciting as you get to explore a whole new world out there. At the same time, you need to prepare yourself to adjust in your dorm room especially if you are sharing it with a roommate. It’s not possible for you to accommodate all of your stuff from your house to your dorm room. That’s why you need to make a list of all the important things you will need while you’re moving for college. We have compiled the following list of things that you will need to pack for college:

1. Bedding

After a long and tiring day, you would want your bed to be as comfortable as possible. That’s why your bedding should be on your priority list when you’re packing for college. In order to make it as comfortable as possible, you’ll need to visit your dorm room or contact your college to get the right size of your bed. To be on the safer side, always keep two sets of bedding ready to take along with you in case your bedding gets dirty. Here are a list of bedding items that you will need to pack for college:

  • Pillows and pillow covers
  • Mattress
  • Blanket
  • Bedsheets

2. Clothing

Beginning your college life is really exciting and you definitely want to look your best. Do keep in mind that you will need different sets of clothes for different seasons and occasions. Also your college functions may require you to wear formal clothes. Taking all of this into consideration, we have made a list of the clothing you’ll need to pack for college:

  • Undergarments
  • Socks
  • Ties
  • Formal clothes
  • Short and long sleeved t-shirts
  • Sweatpants
  • Track pants
  • Yoga pants
  • Sweaters, Jackets, Sweatshirts
  • Casual wear
  • Party wear
  • Jeans
  • Pajamas
  • Coat and Cardigan for winters
  • Raincoat

3. Shoes

Along with your comfortable clothes, your feet also need to feel cozy inside your shoes too. When it comes to footwear, you have to remember that you need more than one pair and kind of shoes to travel to different places. Here are the kinds of shoes you’ll be needing for college:

  • Casual shoes
  • Flip flops
  • Formal shoes
  • Party shoes
  • Sports shoes
  • Snow boots
  • Rain boots
  • Workout shoes
  • Slippers

4. Toiletries

These are the most essential things and should be on your priority list. Right from your skincare products to your toiletries, you will need to pack all your essentials. Here is a list of toiletries that you’ll need to pack:

  • Soaps and shower gels
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Towels
  • Body scrub
  • Hair oil
  • Moisturizers and Cleansers
  • Sunscreen
  • Face mask
  • Sanitary pads or tampons for women
  • Trimmer and Shaving cream
  • Shaving kit
  • Dental floss
  • Hand mirror
  • Combs
  • Hair dryers, straighteners and curlers
  • Make-up kit
  • Headbands, clips and ties
  • Tissues
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste
  • Bathroom cleaning supplies

5. Desk and Study Supplies

Staying in a new place will need you to adjust with certain things. But that doesn’t mean you can’t organize your things according to your comfort. Moving for college will need you to carry so many of your important desk and study materials which will help you study and be organized. Here are some of the important desk and study supplies you’ll need for college:

  • Books
  • Stationery
  • Important Documents (license, bank documents, passport, identification proofs, etc.)
  • Personal diary or Journal
  • Lamp
  • Calendar
  • Laptop/Tablet/iPad
  • Hard Drive and Pen Drive
  • Keyboard
  • Chargers
  • Camera
  • Cables, Cords and Adapters
  • Earphones or Headphones
  • Calculator
  • Paper clips
  • Highlighters
  • Notepad
  • Sticky notes
  • Glue
  • Folders
  • Backpack

6. Laundry Supplies

Moving for college requires you to take care of so many things on your own. You will be responsible for your things and most importantly, you’ll be in charge of everything that you need to do on a daily basis. Let’s take laundry for example, you will need to do it on your own. But for that you need to pack the following laundry supplies:

  • Detergent
  • Bleach
  • Stain remover
  • Fabric softener
  • Bags for your laundry
  • Rack for drying your clothes
  • Iron and Ironing Board
  • Laundry basket

7. Kitchen Supplies

Speaking of kitchen supplies, you need them as there will be times when you will have to cook something for yourself, especially when you’re too busy completing assignments or if your college canteen food doesn’t suit your taste. Depending on the demands and regulations of your college, you’ll need to carry some basic kitchen supplies. Here’s a list of kitchen supplies you’ll need:

  • Kettle
  • Mini Fridge
  • Water Boiler
  • Water Bottle
  • Thermas
  • Utensils and Mugs
  • Dishes
  • Napkins

See Also: Packing Your Kitchen For Moving

8. Medicines

Your safety is the top most priority and so you have to make sure you don’t forget to pack your medications. In case of any emergencies, you can save yourself the time from hunting for a drugstore nearby if you carry all the essential medications with you. So in order to accommodate all your medications, you need to have a medication kit that includes the following things:

  • First aid box
  • Cold and Cough Medicines
  • Allergy Tablets
  • Acidity tablets
  • Loose motion tablets
  • Prescription receipts
  • Creams and Gels (for burns, insect bites or muscle and bone pain)
  • Eye drops
  • Hot Water Bag

Packing Your Things For College

Now that you know what all you need to pack, your packing process will be much easier for you. But before you pack you need to purchase all the packing supplies beforehand. You will need the following things to pack your items:

  • Moving boxes of different sizes and specialties
  • Plastic containers or bins
  • Garbage bags
  • Garment bags
  • Safe Bags
  • Reusable Zip-lock bags
  • Bubble wrap
  • Packing Paper
  • Packing Tape
  • Labeling materials

You will need to keep aside at least two days to pack and move your things for college. After you have purchased all the necessary packing supplies, you’re ready to pack the things. Here’s how you can safely pack all your things for college:

1. Packing your bedding and clothing

Now before you pack your clothing and bedding, make sure you wash them nicely. There are various moving boxes available specifically for your wardrobe where you can accommodate all of your clothes or garments. You can first separate all your casual clothes, formal clothes and pyjamas and pack them in garment bags. We advise you not to take off the hanger as will need it in your college dorm room. You can cut a tiny hole at the top of your garment bag from which your hanger can come out. This will make it easier for you to accommodate your clothing in your wardrobe moving boxes.

You can back your bedding in a similar manner by first keeping them in garment bags and then placing them in the moving boxes. Safe Bags can be another option for you as they are easy to use, waterproof and are reusable. Don’t forget to seal the boxes tightly with packing tape.

Also Read: Packing Clothes for Moving

Packing your shoes

The shoes you want to take along with you may be of so many kinds. That’s why you need to pack them separately. You can divide them into their respective categories like sports shoes, casual shoes, party shoes and slippers. We advise you not to pack the shoelaces separately as they may get entangled during the move. Keep the similar kinds of shoes together. You can wrap them nicely in bubble wrap or packing paper and then place them in your moving boxes. You can purchase special moving boxes for shoes that have compartments. That will make it easier for you to keep all your shoes neatly. Once you’re done accommodating your shoes, remember to seal your boxes with a packing tape.

Packing your toiletries and laundry supplies

An important thing you need to note is that your toiletries and laundry supplies cannot be packed in cardboard boxes. The different lotions, liquid cleaning supplies, bleach or shampoo may spill during your move and the cardboard box won’t be able to contain it. That’s why you will need plastic containers or bins to store and move these items. Firstly you need to pack them in garbage bags or zip-loack bags and then accommodate them in plastic containers or bins. You can use a packing tape or a masking tape to thoroughly seal these containers or bins.

Packing your desk and study supplies

Your books and important documents need to be taken care of, especially when you’re moving. The important documents you possess can be kept in plastic folders while your books can be kept in special moving boxes. But before that, you need to wrap them with packing paper or bubble wrap and then place them in your boxes to avoid any kind of tears during the move.

When it comes to packing your gadgets like your laptop, camera or headphones, you need to be extra careful as these items can easily get damaged while moving. That’s why you’ll need specialized moving boxes to accommodate them. In order to give them an added layer of protection, you will need to make a soft cushioning in your boxes and then place these items. Don’t forget to fill in the gaps with lots of crumpled packing paper in case these items get tossed while moving. Check your boxes before you seal them and only then seal them tightly with packing tape.

Now your delicate possessions like your lamp need to be packed carefully for a move. You need to dismantle your lamp first and then pack it. You’ll need to wrap it with a protective layer of bubble wrap or packing paper before you place it in your moving box. Make sure that you create a soft padding at the bottom of the box and then place your lampshade. Cover all the sides of your box with bubble wrap or packing paper. Check for any gaps in the box and cover them with crumpled packing paper and then seal the box with packing tape.

Also Read: How To Pack Lamps and Lampshades For Moving

Packing your kitchen supplies

The basic kitchen supplies you’d want to carry with you like your dishes and coffee mugs can be accomodated in a dish and glass pack moving box. For your other heavy items like a kettle or thermas, it’s best if you use their original packing boxes. If at all you don’t have them, make sure you wrap these appliances nicely with a bubble wrap and seal with packing tape. You can purchase medium or large size moving boxes to pack and seal these items.

Packing your medicines

Now your medicines can be kept together in a plastic container or bin as there are chances of your drops or syrups sleeping during the move. You can keep your medication kit in a zip-lock reusable bag and then keep it in a plastic container.

Label all your boxes and containers

Unpacking and assembling all of your belongings becomes easier if you have labelled all your boxes and containers. Make sure that you use a permanent marker to write the content on your boxes or containers. To make your unpacking less overwhelming, you can label your important boxes as ‘Open me first’ so that you can unpack all your important things safely.

Read Also: How To Make Packing Easier

Things To Keep In Mind While Packing For College

  • If at all you have any important valuable items like jewelry, cash or documents like license and credit or debit cards, you need to be extra careful. Make sure you keep them in a separate bag and carry them with you rather than placing them in any of your moving boxes.
  • Always contact your hostel or dorm and enquire about the things they provide you. That way you can reduce the items from your packing list. If at all you can get in touch with your roommate, you two can decide on the things you can share and that way you can save money on buying new things.
  • Carry your packing list with you to your college to check whether you’ve bought all of the items on your list.
  • Avoid packing any extra pair of clothes which you haven’t worn in years as it will just pile of things you need to carry. Instead, make a list of important things and those which you can discard.
  • Packing for college can get really frustrating and nerve wracking. That’s when you can always ask your family members or friends beforehand to give you an extra helping hand.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should you not bring to college?

When you are moving to college, you need to have all the basic important things right from your clothes and shoes to your desk supplies and toiletries. But that doesn’t mean that you pack unnecessary things which you won’t even be using. Here are a few things you should definitely not bring to college:

  1. Any kind of dangerous or hazardous things which are prohibited by your college.
  2. Pairs of shoes or clothes that don’t fit you anymore or that are torn.
  3. Any of your fragile and expensive collections like showpieces or antiques.
  4. Avoid bringing too many kitchen supplies which you will not be using.
  5. Avoid purchasing anything that your dorm room already has, for example a lamp, desk or a chair.

How many clothes do you need to bring for college?

When it comes to packing clothes, you’ll need a different set of clothes depending on the season and occasion. For your regular college clothes, you can pack t-shirts and jeans for a week. But for your presentations, you’ll need to carry at least two to three sets of formal clothes. Carry at least two party wears for special occasions. You’ll also need at least three to four yoga pants or sweatpants for your workouts or jogs. One smart way of deciding what clothes to pack is picking out those clothes which you can mix and match for different occasions.

How long does it take to pack for college?

It’s going to be really difficult for you if you start packing just one or two days before you move out for college. That’s why your packing needs to be done at least one to two weeks prior to your date of moving. To make this process easier, you can get a helping hand from your friends or family. Make sure you create your packing list in a way that you list down all the items you need to take along with you.

See Also: Average College Tuition Costs By State |List of Best Local Moving Companies


With the help of a packing list, you can make your packing and moving very efficient and organized. Moving for college will be like a new journey in your life. So if you have sorted and organized all your things properly, you’re ready to explore a new world waiting for you. Just make sure that you pack the right amount of things that you will need and you’re ready to move for college.