What to pack when moving to college?

When moving to university, you make the first step of your independent life as a responsible adult who is in full control of their own life. You will be granted the freedom you have sought desperately in the last decade but you will also be burdened with great responsibility and many chores nobody else will do for you any longer. Being in charge of your time and your lifestyle means that you will have to choose your own path, set your daily routine and decide what, when and how you do.

One of the very first consequential decisions you will have to make is what to bring to college. Of course, you will buy many things when you get there but at the beginning, you will only use what you have brought with you and your finances will hardly allow you to go shopping at will, so your college packing list should be very carefully compiled. Be sure to take all the important and really useful items because forgetting any of them may turn out to be very troublesome at a certain point.


You are going to need all the documentation demanded by your university, so contact your college in advance and obtain a full list of their specific requirements, as well as the commodities they provide for their students (learn whether desk lamps or curtains, for example, will be available in the dorm rooms, etc.). Prepare all the paperwork as early as possible and keep everything in a separate folder. Don’t forget other really important documents that are not directly related to your studies but you will certainly need, such as your driver’s license and health insurance card.


Check the weather conditions in your new place because you will certainly not need fur-lined boots if your college is located in Florida but they will be a real necessity if you are about to study in Chicago. However, take at least one layer of warm clothing even if you are going south and a couple of tank tops even when packing for a northern state. Take only garments and shoes which are really comfortable and match at least several of the other items you are about to bring to college and make sure some formal attire makes its way into your suitcases, too, for you may need to make an impression at a formal event. Remember that small accessories, such as scarves and belts, will allow for great diversity in your appearance, so take your favorite items and don’t forget your sports clothing and shoes, either. Also, provide some hanging racks because they are great space savers and hangers which are irreplaceable for organizing your wardrobe effectively.


You will probably prefer to use your own sheets and pillowcases, but as far as blankets, pillows and mattresses are concerned, you’d better use the ones provided by your college dorm. If you think you will need mattress pads, comforters and/or a sleeping bag, take these too. An alarm clock and a portable lamp usually come very handy.

Cleaning products & Laundry

You will need to keep the place and your clothes clean, so take detergents, fabric softeners and other products you will use on daily basis. A collapsible dryer rack is really convenient but have in mind that a laundry bag, an iron, a hand vacuum cleaner and a sewing kit are also very practical.

Toiletries & Medicines

Your health and your personal hygiene are of topmost importance, so take all the items you are used to have in the bathroom: towels, lotions, soaps, various skin care products, teeth cleaning items, deodorants, make-up, shampoo, a bathrobe, a hair brush, etc. A mirror and suction hooks are often irreplaceable assistants to your comfort and your good looks, so include them in your moving to college checklist.

Pack all your prescription medicines and prepare a first-aid kit containing a thermometer, allergy and pain relievers and all the essentials in case of injury.


  • Electronic devices – of course, you will take your mobile phone and your laptop (don’t misplace the chargers) but you will probably enjoy having your camera and a stereo, too. Consider taking a hair dryer, a flashlight, extension cords and some basic tools – those are very practical;
  • Kitchen appliances – you will definitely need some dishes and utensils, but while a microwave, a toaster, a coffee maker and other similar appliances are very convenient, they are really difficult to take along, so decide wisely. Don’t forget some small but useful items, such as bottle and can openers, water filters, etc.

Study materials

You can buy writing utensils, notebooks and paper later, but be sure to take your dictionaries, books and a comfortable backpack. Only take your printer if you will use it frequently.

Decorations & Miscellaneous items

Your room should feel at least a little like home, so take your posters, photos and other favorite items which will make the atmosphere cozy and creative. Take all the small items which are really practical and make you feel relaxed, such as board games, sunglasses, an umbrella and whatever you really enjoy. Your off-to-college checklist can be really extensive!

Regardless of exactly what things you pack for college, as a freshman keep in mind that what matters the most is to be able to study hard, practice your hobbies and make good friends. Take every opportunity to learn new things, improve your skills and develop your personality.



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