What to Bring to College
What to Bring to College (Photo: CC BY uofdenver)

When preparing for the start of college, use a college packing checklist for reference when determining what to bring to college.

We have created printable college packing lists for both guys and girls.

Printable College Packing List

College Packing List for Girls

College Packing Checklist for Girls

College Packing List for Guys

College Packing Checklist for Guys

Quick Notes about What to Pack for College:

  • Coordinate with your roommate on who is bringing what so you don't end up with two of the same thing. There is only so much room in a dorm.
  • Check with your college and see what items are allowed. Some dorms prohibit certain small appliances.

Quick Tips for Purchasing Items for College:

  • Check campus classifieds and Craigslist. Buying used is obviously going to be cheaper.
  • Shop thrift stores and places like Target for more affordable items.
  • Order from Amazon.com and get it shipped for free with Amazon Prime (free for students for the first 6 months).

The 10 Most Common Items Students Forget to Pack for College

  1. Headphones - An easily lost item, headphones make those early morning walks to class a little more upbeat and bearable. Stay away from tangles and cut the cords with wireless headphones.

  2. Toothbrush - Bathroom items are easily forgotten in the haste to get out the door. If you forget yours, you can probably grab one at the campus health department for free. Or, consider upgrading to an electric toothbrush.

  3. Flip Flops - You won’t want to forget these (for your own health) if you’re sharing a bathroom with an entire floor of people. Grab something you can easily slip in and out of.

  4. Chargers - A charger is one of those items that is a pain to leave behind, but you never feel too bad about having to buy another, as they are good to have as a spare.

  5. Lock - Theft is one of the main downsides of being on a college campus. Protect your belongings in a locker, lock up your bike, and consider a laptop lock. You’ll never know exactly when you need an item like this, but it’s always good to have one on hand for peace of mind in protecting your stuff.

  6. Swimsuit - This is one of those items you don’t think you’ll end up needing, but you’ll never know where an impromptu meetup will take you in college. From jumping in the lake to a late-night relax in the hot tub, something to swim in is essential in college.

  7. USB Drive - You’ll be using multiple different computers and printers at college, making this a convenient item for any highly-efficient student.

  8. Ibuprofen/Tylenol - Whether you study hard or play hard, these will come in handy at some point during your college stay.

  9. Fan - This is a must-have item not only for providing a cool breeze, but a constant noise that can help you fall asleep at night.

  10. Sunglasses/Glasses - We’ve all been there. Make a personal note to remember to bring these or download a printable what to bring to college checklist below.

Download and Print your College Packing Checklist (PDF):

What to Bring to College for Guys

What to Bring to College for Girls