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The Ultimate College Packing Guide

You never knew you needed some of these things to go to me.


You're excited to head off to college, but first, you have to pack. It can be overwhelming trying to fit your whole life into half of a shoebox of a dorm room, so it's important to only pack the essentials.

Are you the type of person to pack six bras and 7 outfits for a weekend trip? Take it from someone who severely overpacked my freshman year of college and barely had room to walk in my need this.

I've broken it into Do's And Don'ts in several categories so you can refer back once it's time to actually pack the boxes. Happy college packing!


Gina's Ultimate College Packing Guide

Bedding and Towels

-Comforter or Quilt

-Two Pillows (2 is plenty)

-1 Blanket

-2 Sets of Sheets (Extra Long)

-Mattress Pad (Most college mattresses are terrible)

-Mattress Cover (For germs and bed bugs)

-Bed Risers (You'll want the extra space, trust me)

-Clip on Night Stand (If your bed is lofted, this is where you can put your phone/water, etc.)

-Two Bath Towels

-Two Hand Towels

-8 Wash Cloths

-Hair Towel

DO take two sets of sheets because you can't do laundry easily and you will change them more frequently this way.

DON'T cover your bed in throw pillows. As your main place to sit in your dorm, you want as much space as possible.


-Laptop (You'll want the portability)

-2 Power Strips (One for your phone and one for your computer if the outlets are hard to reach)


-Fan (If you're a hot sleeper and there's no AC in your dorm, a fan is a must)

Personal Care Items

-Full Sized Shampoo, Soap, Conditioner, etc. (You are not traveling so full sized is best.)

-Shower Caddy (If you're sharing a shower)



-Face Wash



-Nail Clippers/Nail Polish


-Cotton Swabs/Cotton Balls

-Makeup Remover

-Body Lotion

-Hair Product


-Blow Dryer



-Bin to put your personal care items in

-Medication and Access to Prescriptions (You'll want to transfer them to a pharmacy near school)

-First Aid Kit

DO stock up on personal care products ahead of time if you can.

DON'T bring every body lotion you've ever owned.


Don't Go Overboard. You will have WAY less space than your closet at home to store your clothing, so bring pieces you know you will wear and can wear with multiple combinations.

I recommend bringing enough clothes to last you 3 weeks without doing laundry. This counts rewearing pants!

-20 Pairs of Underwear

-20 Pairs of Socks

-10 Pairs of Pants

-20 Shirts

-5 Sweatshirts/Loungeshirts

-5 Workout Outfits

-5 Pairs of PJs (This is the time to buy cute ones as every night is a sleepover!)

-7 Bras

-5 Pairs of Leggings/Sweats

-A Bathing Suit (Yes! You never know...)

-A warm weather coat

-A fall coat

-A Rain coat

-A 'going out coat'


-Bins for socks/accessories


-Flip Flops for the Shower

-Sneakers/Tennis Shoes

-Every day boots

-Weather boots (rainproof/warm)


-Heals for going out


DO Pack what you're comfortable in.

DO Pack some 'fun' clothes that can double as costumes. You might go to themed parties where you need to dress up, so have some fun options thrown in there too.

DON'T buy a whole new wardrobe.

DON'T pack things you know you won't ever wear (like those shoes that are not practical)


-Plastic Bins (To store clothes, etc.)

-A reusable Coffee Cup

-A reusable Water Bottle (I used one with a filter in case you need to fill it up out of the tap)

-A Bowl, Plate, and a set of Utensils

-Dish Soap and a sponge

-Desk Supplies (Pens, post-its, notebooks, sharpies, etc.)


-Pepper Spray or Whistle to Protect Yourself

-Pictures and tape to decorate with

-String Lights

-Reading Light

-Bike or scooter and lock

-Mini Fridge


-Trash Can


-Laundry Detergent

-Instructions for how to do laundry (if you're me)

DO communicate with your roommate to make sure you don't bring duplicates

DON'T go overboard on decorations and make sure to use command hooks as to not damage the walls.

DO bring an open mind. For most, a dorm room is a big downsize, so keep an open mind knowing it's all part of the college experience and is temporary.

DON'T infringe on your roommates space or be inconsiderate with your side of the room. Keep it clean and organized as this will lead to a more relaxing and productive space for all.

Remember, when packing for college it's easy to want to bring literally everything you've ever owned. Just realize that you can live with only the essentials so try packing those before anything else. This is a big transition, but with the right things you can make a comfortable oasis. Soon, you'll make your new place feel like home. Happy packing!

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