75+ Back to College Items to Include on Your College Packing List

Written By Bre Bush  |  Young Finances  |  0 Comments

Photo Cred: HGTV

No one likes to think about back to school shopping this time of the year… because that usually signals the end of summer. (And no one ever wants summer to end!) But, as they say, all good things must come to an end and it’s time to head back to school. That means making sure you’ve got everything you need before you make the trek, however long, back to college.

Fortunately, we’ve got the ultimate back-to-college shopping list already put together for you! And, for those who are too busy or love to procrastinate, don’t forget to take advantage of Amazon Student. Amazon Student offers free two-day shipping on millions of items, plus exclusive deals and promotions, unlimited instant streaming of 40,000 movies and TV shows with Prime Instant Video, more than a million songs and hundreds of playlists with Prime Music, and free unlimited photo storage with Prime Photos. Students can sign up for a 6-month free trial, after that it’s a 50% discount off Amazon Prime.

For Your Dorm/Apartment

  • Bedding: Comforter & linens, mattress pad, pillows & pillowcases, bed risers (Walmart for $24)

bed risers

  • Area rug
  • Curtains & curtain rods (if needed)
  • Plastic shoe hangers
  • Shoe rack
  • Posters/Picture frames
  • Pop-up hamper
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Clorox wipes
  • Glass cleaner
  • Plunger/toilet brush
  • Mini vacuum/Swiffer/Broom & dustpan
  • Mini fridge (if moving into a dorm)
  • Microwave (if permitted)
  • Cooking & kitchen utensils
  • Paper towels & plastic utensils, plates, & cups
  • Full-length mirror
  • Desk/floor lamp
  • Storage bins Stor-n-Slide Underbed Boxes (The Container Store: $13-17)

storage bin

  • Hangers
  • Bulletin board/dry-erase board
  • Coffeemaker
  • Blender (if permitted)
  • Toaster (if permitted)
  • Trash can
  • Iron & small ironing board
  • Tool kit with hammer, nails, screwdriver, etc.
  • Air freshener
  • Garbage bags
  • Jewelry organizer
  • 3M tape or adhesive strips

Personal Items

  • Toiletries: Shampoo & conditioner, deodorant, body wash, face wash, hair products (including hair ties, bobby pins, clips, etc.), hair tools (straightener, curling iron, etc.), makeup & remover, moisturizer, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss & mouthwash, shaving cream, sunscreen, cotton balls
  • Bathrobe

men's robe

  • Medication & First Aid Kit
  • Bathing suit
  • Overnight bag for short trips
  • Umbrella
  • Shower shoes
  • Towels & wash rags
  • Shower caddy
  • Laundry detergent, fabric softener, bleach & stain remover
  • Sewing kit
  • All pertinent documents (insurance card, ID, passport, copy of birth certificate, etc.)
  • Food & snacks

School Supplies

  • Notebooks
  • Binders & dividers
  • Pens, pencils, permanent markers, highlighters, etc.
  • Post-its
  • Flash drive
  • Dictionary & thesaurus
  • Planner (Office Depot: $18)

college planner

  • Calculator
  • Backpack
  • Computer paper
  • Tape
  • Stapler & staples
  • Index cards
  • Rubber bands
  • Scissors


  • Extension cord
  • Speakers (including portable speaker)
  • Power strip
  • Ethernet cable
  • TV (with HDMI cord to hook up your laptop)
  • DVD player
  • Computer
  • Printer & ink
  • CameraNikon COOLPIX camera (Best Buy: $110)

nikon coolpix camera

  • Chargers (phone, camera, computer, etc.)
  • iPod & Headphones
  • Kindle/Nook

As daunting as packing can be, no one likes forgetting anything. Be sure to check off this list as you’re getting ready to go back to college.

Back-to-school shopping can be an expensive endeavor, too, so you may need to get creative to find the best deals. As I said before, Amazon Student is really convenient. Also, check the Internet and your local newspaper for coupons and sales. Every little bit counts! Dollar stores and places like Five Below tend to have kitchen, cleaning, and dorm necessities for really cheap, which makes them a great place to start. (I just bought an over-the-door shoe hanger from Five Below for <$5!) Just remember to hunt for the sales and not get carried away with the back-to-school shopping.

Anything else you would include on this college packing list?