Checklist: Off to College


There’s a lot to remember when packing for your first year of college. Below is a list of suggestions to help you stay organized. Talk to your roommate early and coordinate together who’s going to bring what. This will avoid duplication in your room. Remember that space is limited.

Bedding Supplies

Find out in advance what size bed you get in your dorm. Twin? Or twin extra long?

  • Mattress pad
  • Sheet set
  • Pillows
  • Body pillow (which serves as a great floor pillow as well)
  • Pillowcases
  • Comforter

Bath and Toiletries

Find out what your bath situation is. Do you have your own private bath? Do you share with another room? Is there one big one per floor? You are going to want to consider portability when purchasing bath supplies, especially if you have anything other than a private bath.

Laundry Supplies

Find out where your laundry facilities are located and how far away they are from your dorm. Are they in your dorm? Do they cost money? Do you have to go off-campus?

Office and Desk Supplies

Think about what your school already offers, and what you like to have when studying.


Think about what the climate is like where you will be going to school, and if you will be returning home before the seasons change. If you can avoid bringing clothes for every season at once, do so; clothing space is usually minimal.

Room Needs/Décor

Figure out what furniture is provided, if any, and whether you are allowed to hang things on the walls. Some schools don’t allow tape or nails on wall surfaces.

Computer Supplies

If you are bringing your own computer find out if there is Internet access in your room and what the compatibility requirements are so you can be prepared.

Electronic Supplies

Find out what kind of electronics are allowed and supplied in the dorms, and make sure to consult with your roommate – you don’t need duplicates of big-ticket items like TVs, DVDs or refrigerators.

Cooking Supplies

Yes, even if you have a cafeteria, there is a good chance you’ll want to whip something up in your room. Find out what the policy is at your dorm on cooking, specifically on cooking electronics like microwaves, coffee pots, and hot plates. Some schools allow them and some strictly forbid them.

Food Supplies

There will be moments when you feel like “eating in” or having a late night snack in your dorm, so pack some snacks. Don’t mess with perishable food; dry food is best, and stuff that can be stored easily.

Cleaning Supplies

Living on your own also means you have to pick up after yourself. When it comes to areas like the bathroom and kitchen area, you’ll want cleaning supplies on hand.

Miscellaneous stuff you might need

You want to be prepared for everything, so try to think of unique situations and what you might need to handle them. What would you need for a dentist appointment? If something breaks? If you get bored? Also remember that you will be very busy, so you don’t want to bring too much.