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College Packing List #Homeschool @TheHomeScholar June 2012
by Lee Binz
The HomeScholar

It is an exciting day for some and sad for others: The day your graduate moves from home to college! Before they head out to that new adventure though, they need to pack! When you consider how small the typical dorm room is, this clearly becomes a challenging process. On the one hand, they need to avoid borrowing everything from their neighbors. But you also don’t want to arrive with a pod full of stuff that won’t fit in a tiny dorm room. Space is usually at a premium, so think efficiency as you plan.

The following is a list of things that will likely be needed during the year. Some things may be restricted by your university, so check their policy before buying electrical equipment like microwaves, refrigerators, and toaster ovens.

If possible, try to have your child contact their future roommate(s) prior to arrival. They can coordinate supplies together so you don’t have two of everything cluttering up the space. If one roommate buys the microwave and the other gets the refrigerator, you both save money. And young women particularly seem to like to coordinate their decorations.


There is probably no end to the list of things a college student might want. With this list, they should have what they need most - except for you, of course. They will still need you, and need to know you love them!

Bedding and Decor

  • Dorm Bedding Setcollege packing list, list for college, college roommate (Tip: Get reversible quilts, because they get really dirty. Dorm sets like these are often cheaper. Remember, these don't have to be high quality, they only need to last 4 years.)
  • 2 sets of bath and hand towels, wash cloths
  • 1 or 2 sets of extra-long twin sheets and pillow cases
  • Twin size extra-long mattress pad
  • Blankets
  • Pillow
  • Bedspread or comforter
  • Cozy throw blanketcollege packing list, list for college, college roommate (Both of my children loved this one!)
  • Closet shoe organizer or under-bed storage box
  • Over-the-door coat rackBefore your student leaves home for college, they need pack!
  • Posters, photos, artwork
  • Calendar
  • Message board for door if not provided
  • Dry-erase marker
  • Magnets for message board
  • Small area rug
  • Floor pillow or beanbag chair
  • Lamps or clip-on lights
  • Pictures of family, friends and/or pets
  • Decorative shower curtain if needed
  • Anything to decorate your room and make you feel at home


  • Laptop Computercollege packing list, list for college, college roommate (Tip: Even techie teens may not know how to maintain and care for technology, so service protection is a good idea.)
  • Printer with ink
  • Surge protector
  • Three prong extension cords
  • Ethernet cord and/or wireless router
  • Television
  • DVD or Blu-Ray player if you have a TV
  • NetFlix/Hulu Plus/Amazon membership
  • Stereo, radio, iPod, headphones
  • Compact speaker system
  • CDs Before your student leaves home for college, they need pack!
  • Flash drive for portable file storage
  • Digital camera
  • Rechargeable batteries with charger
  • Cell phone (and charger) with good service/coverage at the college

School Supplies

  • Textbooks
  • Pens
  • Pencils, mechanical pencils
  • Notebooks
  • Binders
  • Folders
  • Highlighterscollege packing list, list for college, college roommate
  • Dry-erase marker
  • Markerscollege packing list, list for college, college roommate
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Printer paper
  • Calculator
  • Desk storage tools
  • Daytimer or calendar
  • Rubber bands
  • Paper clips
  • Thumb tacks, push pins, or Sticky Tac to put up posters
  • Sticky notes


Kitchen Supplies

  • Small Refrigeratorcollege packing list, list for college, college roommate, or a micro-fridge combo unit (Tip: As with all electronics, make sure you check the university policy first. They may severely restrict the size of the refrigerator you can bring!)
  • MicrowaveBefore your student leaves home for college, they need pack!
  • Coffee maker/espresso machine
  • Can opener
  • Toaster/toaster oven (if allowed)
  • Hot pad (if allowed)
  • Microwaveable plates
  • Microwaveable cups or mugs
  • Microwaveable Bowls
  • Glasses
  • Forks, knives, spoons
  • Cutting knife

Cleaning Supplies

  • Hand soap
  • Dish soap
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Nonabrasive bathroom cleanser
  • Dusting spray/cloths
  • Sponges

Before your student leaves home for college, they need pack!Clothing

  • Mark all clothing with a Sharpiecollege packing list, list for college, college roommate!
  • Bath robe
  • Slippers
  • Shower shoes, flip flops, or Crocs
  • Underwear, 1 month’s supply (really)
  • Raincoat
  • Light jacket
  • Winter/heavy coat
  • Mittens, scarf, hat
  • Rain shoes/boots
  • Swimsuit(s)
  • Workout and/or sports clothes
  • “Dress” clothes and shoes (guys, this means a blazer, tie, or suit)
  • “Grubby” clothes
  • Comfortable clothes and shoes you can go to class in



  • Bathroom totecollege packing list, list for college, college roommate or toiletry bagcollege packing list, list for college, college roommatecollege packing list, list for college, college roommate (to carry and hold toiletries)
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss
  • Brush and comb
  • Shaving equipment
  • Hair dryer
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Bath soap
  • Cotton swabs
  • Kleenex/tissues
  • Ear plugs
  • Bandages/first aid suppliesBefore your student leaves home for college, they need pack!
  • Headache, cold, flu, and allergy medicine


  • Tote-able Laundry basket or bagcollege packing list, list for college, college roommate
  • Laundry soap
  • Iron, small ironing board
  • Hangers
  • Quarters for laundry
  • Stain Remover
  • Knowledge of how to do laundry or money to pay someone else to do it


  • Vitamins
  • Snacks to supplement campus food
  • Coffee, tea, soda, bottled water


  • Alarm clockcollege packing list, list for college, college roommate (Tip: Have your child use the new alarm clock before they leave, so they get used to it. Plug-ins are hard to find, so try to get a good battery operated alarm clock.)
  • Back packBefore your student leaves home for college, they need pack!
  • Battery-powered flashlight
  • Sports/recreation equipment
  • Umbrella
  • Air freshener and Febreeze
  • Duct Tape
  • Bottle opener
  • Storage crates
  • Full-length mirror
  • Multi tool or hammer, screwdriver, pliers
  • Sewing kit
  • Electric fans
  • Bike and bike lock
  • Sleeping bag (for retreats)
  • Small bookshelf
  • Decorative storage boxes

Before your student leaves home for college, they need pack!Documents

  • Driver's license or state ID
  • Health insurance card
  • Social security card
  • Health records
  • Friends and family contact list
  • Access to money (i.e. bank account, bank card, credit card, etc.)

What you should leave at home


Don’t bring things you do not or will not use. Don’t bring anything expensive that you won’t use (like letterman jackets, for example). Leave behind fire arms, even if you hunt or shoot for sport. Leave behind expensive clothes and jewelry that may be stolen. And sorry, you can’t bring your pets. I do know plenty of college kids that bring a stuffed animal, though, and a cozy blanket can be very comforting during moments of homesickness or cold-sickness.

Copyright © 2014 The HomeScholar LLC, Text may be reprinted without permission if used in full, except for use in a book or other publication for rent or for sale. Reprint must include this copyright, bio (below), and the original URL link (

Lee Binz, The HomeScholar, specializes in helping parents homeschool high school. Get Lee's FREE Resource Guide "The 5 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make Homeschooling High School" and more freebies at